Archive for September 2nd, 2012

I’ve Looked At Blots From Both Sides Now

Sunday, September 2nd, 2012

A psychologist holds up the 1st image of the Rorschach Ink Blot Test.
“What’s this?” she says.
“2 people having oral sex,” says the client.
She holds up the next  picture. “And this?”
“A couple having anal sex,” he responds.
“This?” she asks with the 3rd image.
“A woman masturbating.”
“You seem to have sex on your mind a lot,” she says.
“ME!?” shouts the client, “YOU’RE the one with all the dirty pictures!”

Do you think the Rorschach Ink Blot Test is a good indicator of mental health? If you said, “yes,” you’re probably nuts.

The Rorschach test is only the best known of hundreds of projective technique exams that have been used since the 1800’s. Besides ink blots, clients have been shown pictures of clouds, trees, leaves, sand, water, and just about everything else. An unidentified “something” is held up and the testee says what he thinks it is.

Rorschach is better than most tests because it’s standardized – your responses  can be compared to the responses of thousands of others – but what it measures is relatively insignificant.

Not surprisingly, the more bizarre your answer, the more accurate the test.  If an ink blot is held up and you say, “Looks like golden space aliens knifing each other while having sex,” the psychologist is going to be scribbling as quickly as she can move her pen.