Psychology Papers: the Rorschach Test

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August 31, 2016


How is it The Rorschach Test administered and evaluated?

The Rorschach Test which also known as Rorschach inkblot, was created in 1921 by Swiss Freudian psychiatrist and psychoanalyst Hermann Rorschach. This Test is used for the studying of the psyche and its disorders. In this test, the subject has to give his explanation of every inkblot which he has been shown, and the result is built on the ground of what he has seen.

Hermann Rorschach studied his patients using different inkblots, and he found out that patients with disorder of mind which psychologists call “schizophrenia” are perceived this inkblot in the other way than the rest, and after several experiments he created a set of ten inkblots which were successfully used in diagnostic of schizophrenia. Although this test was intended for diagnostic disordered thought in schizophrenia, it also was used for the other measurements, for example, some inkblots were developed specially for measuring of intelligence level and the other disorders like an emotional. (Harley, para. 3)

How does it work? As was said before, Hermann Rorschach created the whole set of inkblots which consist of ten different cards. Each card has its own specific color and ink, and the size of cards can be different, usually it’s 24,6×17 cm. Hence, there are five inkblots in black color on white background, the two cards have red and black ink on white background and there are some multicolored. In modern psychiatry there are two phases at least, the first one is called “The free association”. Usually, in this phase, the psychologist demonstrates the different inkblots to his patient in particular order and asks him “What might this be”?  In second phase, the tester asks the patient why he saw the certain things. As the patient telling about the things which he has seen, the tester notes all what he says or does. When the test is finished, the psychologist calculates all received scores and then makes his conclusion in compliance with official research data. (Framingham, 2011).

But there are some disadvantages, for example, BBC research claims that some psychologists have argued that while testing subjects, the tester also project his unconscious world on the inkblots when interpreting answers, and that means, the result of this test cannot be authentic.( BBC magazine, 2012)
Summing up, one can call inkblots method very useful development of Swiss psychoanalyst Hermann Rorschach. These inkblots methods are successfully used in many countries of the world, and it is still continue to study and develop in universities of  USA and United Kingdom.  But there are some cases in which the results of this test cannot be authentic, especially when patient knows answers to this test.


Holaday, M.E., Moak, J., & Shipley, M.A. (2001). Rorschach protocols from children and adolescents with Asperger’s disorder. Journal of Personal Assessment, 76, 482-495

İkiz, Tevfika (2011), The history and development of the Rorschach test in Turkey, Rorschachiana, Vol 32(1), 72-90

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