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Essentials of Rorschach Assessment / Edition 1

Essentials of Rorschach Assessment / Edition 1

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Quickly acquire the knowledge and skills you need to confidently administer, score, and interpret the Rorschach
* Complete coverage of administration, scoring, interpretation, and reporting
* Expert advice on avoiding common pitfalls
* Conveniently formatted for rapid reference

The Rorschach inkblot test identifies adaptive and maladaptive patterns of thinking, feeling, and behaving. A projective personality test, the unrestrained structure of the Rorschach allows for a variety of responses. In order to use the Rorschach properly, professionals need an authoritative source of advice and guidance on how to administer, score, and interpret it. Essentials of Rorschach Assessment guides both the new and experienced professional to a better understanding of the Rorschach and how to implement it in practice.

Like all the volumes in the Essentials of Psychological Assessment series, this book is designed to help busy mental health practitioners quickly acquire the knowledge and skills they need to make optimal use of a major psychological assessment instrument. Each concise chapter features numerous callout boxes highlighting key concepts, bulleted points, and extensive illustrative material, as well as test questions that help you to gauge and reinforce your grasp of the information covered.

This step-by-step guide provides a clear and concise reference for those who want to understand and use the Rorschach inkblot test with confidence. Written in an engaging, easy-to-read style, Essentials of Rorschach Assessment places particular emphasis on the evaluation of adult personality using Exner's Comprehensive System. The authors review the strengths and weaknesses of the Rorschach, and offer valuable advice on its clinical applications, exciting new research data, and several illuminating case reports.

Other titles in the Essentials of Psychological Assessment series:

Essentials of WAIS-III Assessment
Essentials of CAS Assessment
Essentials of Forensic Psychological Assessment
Essentials of Bayley Scales of Infant Development-II Assessment
Essentials of WISC-III and WPPSI-R Assessment
Essentials of Millon Inventories Assessment
Essentials of Myers-Briggs Type Indicator Assessment
Essentials of Career Interest Assessment
Essentials of Cross-Battery Assessment
Essentials of Nonverbal Assessment
Essentials of Cognitive Assessment with Kait and Other kaufman Measures

For a complete list of books in our Essentials of Psychological Assessment series, visit us on the Web at:

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780471331469
Publisher: Wiley
Publication date: 12/19/2000
Series: Essentials of Psychological Assessment Series , #15
Pages: 240
Product dimensions: 5.47(w) x 8.56(h) x 0.63(d)

About the Author

Tara Rose, University of Southern California, Los Angeles.
Nancy Kaser-Boyd, PhD, University of California, Los Angeles.
Michael P. Maloney, PhD, Mental Health Clinical Program Head (Women's Forensic Treatment Program), Los Angeles County Jail.

Read an Excerpt


Adrienne C. Davis, Ph. D.

The assessment of "personality," where personality is broadly defined as the characteristic way in which a person perceives the world, relates to others, solves problems, regulates emotions, manages stress, and copes with life's challenges, is an integral part of the process by which mental health professionals evaluate, understand, and ultimately treat their patients. The assumption is that there are enduring patterns of thinking, feeling , and behaving--some adaptive, some maladaptive--that are characteristic of each of us, and that these patterns can be identified with the use of psychological tests. The Rorschach Inkblot Test is one of a wide array of personality assessment procedures available for this purpose. Personality tests vary with respect to structure and content. At one end of the spectrum are highly structured tests with carefully selected questions and a limited range of possible responses that are objectively administered and scored. At the other end of the spectrum are tests that are referred to as projective personality tests. This latter group of tests, of which the Rorschach is one, is less structured, allows for a variety of responses, and exposes the subject to ambiguous stimuli. These projective tests are believed to access the deeper layers of personality structure and perhaps the complexities of personality dynamics. Some personality tests are broad based in that they attempt to provide a comprehensive view of the subject's personality dynamics. Results from these tests purport to provide a psychological picture of the "whole person." The Rorschach is such a test. Other personality tests are less ambitious and focus on particular aspects of the personality, perhaps those aspects that can be more directly observed or measured, like the subject's mood, level of anxiety, problem-solving techniques, frustration tolerance, or responses to stress. Suffice it to say, there are measures of personality that can be found for nearly every purpose. However, they vary widely with respect to format, scoring, validity, reliability, standardization, and popularity. One of the goals of this book is to provide a clear and concise yet comprehensive reference for those who want to understand and use the Rorschach Inkblot Test with confidence. Particular emphasis is placed on the assessment of adult personality via Exner's Comprehensive System ( Exner, 1993).

Essentials of Rorschach Assessment is one in a series of books that provide the basic elements of various assessment instruments for the beginner in an easy-to-read format. This book is structured so that issues related to administration, scoring, interpretation, and application of the Rorschach are emphasized using Exner's scoring system. Each chapter is written with the first-time administrator in mind and, as such, provides easy-to-follow, step-by-step instructions. In addition, the instructions are referenced to the corresponding page numbers in volume 1 of Exner's Comprehensive System (1993). This volume is not meant to replace the very extensive coverage of the Rorschach technique summarized in Exner's three volumes; it is meant to simplify and clarify many details of the test. Moreover, those who read this book and would like a more in-depth review are referred to the reference section at the end of the book. Chapters include "Rapid Reference," "Caution," and "Don't Forget" boxes, which highlight the important points and can be referred back to easily. At the end of each chapter, questions are provided as a summary and review of the information that has been covered.


If there is one word that describes the Rorschach, it is controversial. Even during the early 1900s when Hermann Rorschach first began developing the idea of characterizing the unique responses of different types of clinical populations, his efforts received mixed and sometimes highly critical reviews from his colleagues in Europe. What makes the history of this test all the more intriguing is the fact that much of the research and development of the Rorschach has occurred during the decades following Rorschach's premature death in 1922 at the age of 37. However, despite a long history of controversy and lingering debate regarding the reliability and application of the Rorschach procedure, to the dismay of its critics and the applause of its devotees, the Rorschach has developed into one of the most popular methods for assessing adult personality. A survey conducted by Watkins, Campbell, Nieberding, and Hallmark (1995) of over 400 clinicians revealed that 82% used the Rorschach regularly in their practice. Moreover, the Rorschach ranked 4th among assessment procedures employed. Only the WAIS/ WAIS-R/WAIS-III, MMPI/MMPI-2, and Sentence Completion tests were used more often.

Hermann Rorschach was a Swiss-born physician whose first and only manuscript about this test, Psychodiagnostik, published in June 1921, described the Rorschach procedure that he developed between 1909 and 1913 as a psychiatric resident at Munsterlingen Mental Hospital in Russia. His procedure for exploring perceptual and psychological processes was influenced by, among other things, the Word Association Test that was developed by psychoanalyst Carl Jung. In his early studies Rorschach compared the responses of psychotic patients on Jung's Association Test with those on the inkblot "test" and concluded that the two tests were tapping somewhat different psychological processes. Rorschach did not conceive of his technique as a "test" per se but as an empirically based tool for differentiating the responses of varied groups, including mentally retarded, schizophrenics, and other groups with known characteristics. He believed that perceptual processes--how people organize and structure what they see--are closely linked to aspects of the human psyche. Since the major symptoms demonstrated by schizophrenics, the clinical population with which he worked, involve disorders of thought and perception, it follows that Rorschach would explore procedures to gain better insight into this disorder.

According to Ellenberger (1954), Rorschach saw himself first and foremost as a scientist and was most interested in pursuing a career in clinical research, not clinical practice. His development of the inkblot technique was empirically based. So, it is of interest to note, that some of the strongest critics of the Rorschach are those in academia and proponents of empirically based diagnostic and treatment techniques who view the Rorschach technique as not empirically based.

Rorschach was not the first or only person to explore the diagnostic use of inkblots (see Rapid Reference 1.1). According to Klopfer and Davidson (1962), the first recorded discussion of inkblots was in a paper published by Justinus Kerner in Germany in 1857, who noted in his article the many objects that can be observed in inkblots. Later, in 1895, Alfred Binet, who developed one of the first intelligence tests, noted that inkblots could be used to examine imagination in children. After the turn of the century, in both the United States and Europe, several other inkblot investigators would follow, including Dearborn (1897), Kirkpatrick (1900), Whipple (1910), and Parsons (1917). The focus of their research was the imaginative process. It is unknown to what extent Rorschach knew of or was influenced by these investigators; however, Rorschach is also said to have used inkblots to determine whether gifted students showed more fantasy or imagination than less gifted students. Moreover, interest in inkblots seemed to blossom during a period of history when the game of Klecksography was popular among children. Klecksography involved making inkblots on a piece of paper, and then folding and arranging the inkblot in order to give it a particular form. Participants would compete by trying to generate the most elaborate responses. It is assumed that Rorschach himself played this game as a child. Reportedly, he was given the nickname Klec (" inkblot") by his friends, presumably because of his early fascination with inkblots ( Ellenberger, 1954).

Rapid Reference 1.1
Early History of the Inkblot Technique

In 1917 the Polish psychiatrist Szymon Hens developed and published an inkblot test as his doctoral dissertation. Rorschach's knowledge of Hens's inkblot test is believed to have spurred his commitment to his own inkblot technique after he had set aside the project for several years to pursue other professional goals (Ellenberger, 1954). The early publications of the inkblot technique, those pre-dating the work of Rorschach, focused on the content of inkblot responses, and little consideration was given to the possible relationship between responses to inkblots and personality dynamics. It is clear that unique among Rorschach's contributions was his focus on the structure of the responses given, in other words, how responses were seen and their relationship to personality. In their book on content interpretation, Aronow and Reznikoff (1976) note that the last question Rorschach wished to answer was "What does the subject see?" Of much greater import to Rorschach was which factors or features of the inkblot determined the subject's response.

The basic assumption underlying the Rorschach is that there is a relationship between perception and personality (Klopfer & Davidson, 1962). The classification of the Rorschach as a "projective" test did not originate with Hermann Rorschach. It was Frank (1939) who proposed the "projective hypothesis" and included the Rorschach in his review of projective personality tests. Since ambiguous stimuli like inkblots allow for multiple responses and are believed to elicit unconscious projections of the subject's own unconscious needs, conflicts, motivations, and the like, the Rorschach is generally considered a projective test. Moreover, the interpretation of Rorschach responses is based on the premise that the manner in which the subject organizes his or her responses to the inkblots is representative of how they organize and respond to the world in general.

It was Rorschach's contention that fundamental aspects of the subject's psychological functioning with respect to cognitive/intellectual abilities, affective or emotional style, feelings about self and others, and ego functioning (including areas of psychological conflict and defenses) are revealed in the process by which the subject organizes the inkblot into a response. As noted earlier, Rorschach was most interested in uncovering what features of the inkblot determined the subject's response. The response itself was of much less importance to Rorschach. Therefore, the scoring and interpretation of a Rorschach protocol or set of responses to the inkblots focuses on the manner in which the subject arrived at a particular response, that is, by way of its form, color, shading, movement, texture, and so on. Rapid Reference 1.2 provides a summary of fundamental Rorschach concepts.

    The Rorschach: Fundamental Concepts
  • Derived from the "inkblot" technique of studying imagination and creativity
  • Developed by a physician, Hermann Rorschach, to understand the relationship between perception and personality
  • A projective personality test designed to reveal underlying personality structure
  • Five scoring systems have been developed; Exner's Comprehensive System is most often taught and psychometrically sound.
  • Interpretation is based on how the subject arrives at his or her response; content is secondary.


During the years following Rorschach's death in 1922, several scoring systems were developed. These scoring systems have generated the greatest amount of controversy about the Rorschach--that is, the variability of the scoring and the nature of the interpretations that can be reliably made. There was also concern about the extent to which these scoring and interpreting systems remained true to Rorschach's original concept of the nature and value of the inkblot procedure. However, by 1957, five unique scoring systems had evolved, the most popular of which were developed by Beck (1937) and Klopfer (1937). The fundamental assumptions of these systems were in conflict with each other. Beck attempted to adhere closely to Rorschach's method of coding and scoring and his belief that responses to the inkblots involved a cognitive-perceptual process. Beck also stressed the importance of establishing strong empirical relationships between Rorschach scoring codes and outside criterion measures, again, consistent with Rorschach's original thinking and purpose. Klopfer, on the other hand, was closely aligned with the psychoanalytic principles of Freud and Jung and therefore he emphasized the symbolic nature of a subject's responses because, theoretically, it reflects the reservoir of the subject's unconscious needs, motives, feelings, and conflicts. Klopfer focused his scoring and interpretation on response content. As such, Klopfer's system was considered a major deviation from Rorschach's original intention for this procedure. Response content was an area in which Rorschach was least interested. Three other coding systems, developed by Piotrowski (1957), Hertz (1934), and Rapaport, Gill, and Schafer (1946), were also in use and represented a middle ground between Beck and Klopfer (Groth-Marnat, 1997 ). The existence of different theoretical approaches to the Rorschach and scoring systems led to much confusion and ambiguity with respect to its interpretation and therefore its usefulness. During the decades that followed, the Rorschach received much criticism in the psychological and psychiatric communities, both constructive and hostile. At one point, it was recommended that students not waste their time studying it. Among the challenges to the Rorschach technique have been its poor psychometric properties, the questionable empirical basis of the interpretations, the methodological flaws involved in research on the Rorschach, and the lack of standardized procedures for administration and scoring. In addition, there have been challenges to the very theoretical foundation on which the Rorschach is based. Moreover, early studies did not adequately consider the influence of intelligence, socioeconomic status, age, and education on a subject's response productivity and perhaps the kind of responses given (Exner, 1969, 1983).

    DON'T FORGET 1.1
    Improvements in the Rorschach Technique
  • Creation of a foundation to formally study the Rorschach technique
  • Larger normative database
  • Standardized administration procedures
  • Development of a consistent scoring system
  • Special scoring categories
  • Empirically based interpretations
  • Inclusion of research control groups for age, gender, IQ, and socioeconomic status


During the late 1960s and early 1970s, it was John Exner who formally addressed many criticisms of the Rorschach at the Rorschach Research Foundation (later called the Rorschach Workshops), which he started in 1968. One of the major goals of the foundation was to determine which of the five existing scoring systems demonstrated the greatest empirical sturdiness and clinical utility. After a meta-analysis of the various existing systems, Exner concluded that the research and clinical use of the Rorschach was seriously flawed and he endeavored to improve both and thereby regain respectability for the Rorschach procedure (see Don't Forget 1.1). Exner and his colleagues began by collecting a large, broad, normative database. In addition, they established clear guidelines for seating, verbal instructions, recording of responses, and inquiring about the examinee's responses. With respect to scoring and interpretation, Exner did not create an entirely new scoring system; rather he incorporated the most sound elements of the existing scoring systems into one comprehensive system. In addition, he added several special scoring categories that provided a more complete assessment of the personality in terms of both trait and state aspects--that is, those aspects of personality that are more engrained and endure across time and situations, and those that are more transient and influenced by situations factors. Exner's Rorschach: A Comprehensive System was published in 1974. An expanded edition of this volume was published in 1983 and a third edition was published in 1993. Two additional volumes have been published. Volume 2, published in 1978 and updated in 1991, focused on Rorschach interpretation, and volume 3, published in 1982 and updated in 1995, focused on the use of the Rorschach with children and adolescents.

Despite the criticisms and potential limitations inherent in the Rorschach as a projective test, it continues to be a popular test instrument for a variety of reasons. It is easy to handle and administer, it generates a huge amount of data about the subject, and it is believed to have the ability to bypass the subject's conscious resistances and thereby assess underlying personality structure, particularly subjects with borderline psychopathology. The Rorschach is thought to be highly resistant to faking--that is, the subject purposely exaggerating or otherwise distorting his or her responses. Moreover, with the continuing contributions of Exner and his colleagues to improve the psychometric properties of the Rorschach, it is considered a valuable assessment instrument when used by a trained examiner. As noted earlier, despite its modest beginnings as a descriptive research tool, the Rorschach has evolved into an instrument that provides a comprehensive assessment of basic aspects of psychological functioning. Finally, the Rorschach Inkblot Test is one of the most researched assessment instruments available and, as such, the quality, strength, and integrity continue to evolve and improve.


The standard set of 10 inkblots, originally selected by Rorschach, are still in use today. Each inkblot is nearly symmetrical and centered on a piece of 6-3/4"x9-1/2" cardboard. There are five achromatic or black-and-white cards ( I, IV, V, VI, and VII) and five chromatic or colored cards (II, III, VIII, IX, and X). Cards II and III are black and red only. Each inkblot has unique characteristics in terms of design, color, shading, and texture, and tends to provoke typical responses.

The Rorschach is individually administered in two phases, a response phase and an inquiry phase. The first phase involves a verbatim recording of each response to the ten inkblots. The second phase, which involves asking the examinee to explain how he or she saw each response, is used to clarify the examinee's responses so that each response can be scored or coded accurately. Throughout this process, only structured questions to clarify how the subject formed his or her perception are allowed.

    Rapid Reference
    Major Rorschach Scoring Categories
  • Location: what area of the inkblot was used to form the response?
  • Determinants: what features of the inkblot determined what was seen?
  • Form level: how well does the response fit the blot area?
  • Content: what was seen?
  • Popularity-originality: how common is the response/concept seen by other subjects?
  • Organizational activity: describe the efficiency with which the subject organizes a stimulus field.

The Rorschach consists of several scoring categories: location (where on the inkblot the response was seen), determinants (what features of the inkblot determined what was seen), form level (how well the response fits the blot area), content (what was seen); and the popularity or originality of the response (see Rapid Reference 1.3). The coding of determinants is often considered the most challenging and the most subject to error because this category has the most possibilities: form, movement, color, space, shading , texture, dimension, pairs, and reflection. In addition to the core scoring categories, Exner developed 14 special scoring categories that identify atypical and possibly thought-disordered aspects of the subject's responses. These categories include codes for unusual verbalizations, perseveration and integration failure, special content characteristics, personalized answers, and special color phenomena.

After the responses given for each card are recorded verbatim, the sequence of responses is tabulated and the responses are scored or coded. These scores are summarized in the Structural Summary, a form that is composed of two sections. In the first section of the summary the frequencies of scores or codes are recorded--the total number of whole (W) responses, the total number of movement (M) responses, the total number of pure color (C) responses, the total number of special scores, and so on. The second section of the summary form includes various ratios, percentages, and derivations that are calculated from the frequencies obtained in the first part of the summary. These ratios reflect various psychological factors such as ideation, modulation of affect, interpersonal relatedness, and self-perception, as well as special indices such as schizophrenia and suicide potential. Rorschach interpretations regarding personality functioning arise from these calculations.

The interpretation of the Rorschach is a two-stage process. The first stage, the propositional stage, involves generating a hypothesis about the subject based on a careful review of the main components of the structural summary. The second stage, the integration stage, involves developing a description of the subject based on the modification or clarification of the hypothesis that was generated. Don't Forget 1.2 summarizes the description and administration of the Rorschach.


As noted earlier, the Rorschach is considered a projective personality assessment technique. Projective techniques are described as such because they are believed to assess our unconscious perceptions, thought processes, needs, motivations, and conflicts. It seems to follow that a technique like the Rorschach relies on certain psychoanalytic principles, for example, the unconscious and the defense mechanism of projection. Because a relatively unstructured test like the Rorschach has no right or wrong answers, the respondent must utilize his or her own unique inner experiences and perceptions to organize the inkblot into something meaningful and generate a response. However, Exner argues that the Rorschach is not primarily a projective test and that most responses do not show evidence of projection. For example, some of the inkblots have a more definite form and are easier to respond to; responses such as "bat" or "butterfly" to Card V are easy to generate and therefore do not reflect the process of projection. According to Exner, projections and psychopathology are manifested in the embellishments to the responses. So, the response "a bat, like when I visited a cave in Arizona and they were flying around, that was scary" may reflect projection on the part of the subject.

    DON'T FORGET 1.2
    Rorschach Description and Administration
  • The Rorschach is administered individually.
  • A standard set of 10 inkblots is used, each with unique characteristics.
  • There are two phases to the administration: the Association Phase and the Inquiry Phase.
  • An extensive scoring system incorporates elements from older systems with newer elements of Exner and his colleagues.
  • Responses are tabulated, scored, and summarized on the Structural Summary Form.
  • There is a two-stage interpretation process: the Propositional Stage and the Integration Stage.
  • Use of the Rorschach requires extensive training and practice.

Rorschach initially developed this instrument as a tool for describing the functioning of persons with different types of mental disorders, with the assumption that patients with certain types of mental disorders will organize their responses in a distinct and identifiable manner. However, the use of the Rorschach has progressed well beyond this modest beginning. As Weiner (1997) points out, "The Rorschach is a multifaceted method of generating structural, thematic and behavioral data" (p. 6). In this regard, the process by which a response is selected and delivered is significant in its own right. According to Exner, when an individual first looks at an inkblot many potential responses come to mind, very few of which are ultimately offered. The subject then decides which responses to offer and discards the rest. Responses are selected or discarded based on economy (there are too many potential responses to deliver them all); censorship (the response is perceived as not appropriate to say); the subject's personality traits or styles; or due to the psychological state of the subject caused by the demands of the task, for example, anxiety, depression, or stress. A fundamental assumption of the Rorschach technique is that basic psychological characteristics of the examinee play a dominant role in determining which of the potential answers will be delivered (Exner, 1983).


With Exner's development of the Comprehensive System came a greatly expanded normative database for which he provided extensive descriptive statistics (Exner, 1993). Briefly, his database includes 700 adult nonpatients stratified to represent the 1980 census, and 1,390 children and adolescents. His patient reference groups included 320 schizophrenics, 315 hospitalized depressives, 440 outpatients with various diagnoses, and 180 patients with character disorders.

As noted earlier, with the early development of several different scoring methods, the reliability of Rorschach interpretations fell under criticism. The Comprehensive System has since not only standardized the administration procedures but also brought consistency to the coding and scoring and, therefore, the interpretation of Rorschach responses. Much of the research on the psychometric properties of the Rorschach focuses on inter-rater reliability in scoring , or, the extent to which the scoring by two independent raters of the same protocol is consistent. This is an important area of focus since accurately and consistently scored protocols improve the consistency with which interpretations can be made across clinicians.

In his review of the major scoring systems, Exner (1969) only included a scoring code if it had at least .85 inter-rater reliability. Subsequent research (Weiner, 1997 ) has found inter-rater reliability greater than 90% for location scores, pairs, popular responses, and Z scores (a score that reflects organizational activity). For determinants and special scores, reliability coefficients are in the mid-80s. Exner has also provided test-retest reliability data (whereby subjects are administered the test at two different points in time), ranging from 7 days to 3 years. After the longest period of time (3 years), 13 of the core variables showed stability coefficients greater than or equal to .80. The categories with the lowest stability coefficients tended to be those measuring psychological states such as anxiety that can fluctuate over time. Exner has also found fluctuations in the Rorschach protocols of children, and he presents data that shows the effect of cognitive development on several important Rorschach scores. Exner's findings help to support the contention among developmental theorists that the cognitive processes of children change as children mature.

The reliability of scoring and test-retest reliability has received more attention than test validity. However, Weiner (1996) summarized some of the most relevant studies regarding the Rorschach's validity. Weiner's review of two meta-analytic studies by Parker, Hanson, and Hunsley (1988) and Atkinson (1986 ) suggest that the Rorschach technique is conceptually valid when "used in the manner for which it was designed and intended" (Weiner, 1996, p. 208). In this same study by Parker and his colleagues, validity data was found to be comparable to that of the Minnesota Multiphasic Personality Inventory (MMPI ). The results of these studies have to do with the overall validity of the instrument not the validity of specific scores and categories. Weiner (1996) also provides data indicating that the Rorschach Inkblot Method, as he refers to it, has shown success in differentiating trait and state personality variables, measuring developmental change in children and adolescents, monitoring improvement in psychotherapy, and identifying experienced distress in war veterans with PTSD. To review specific studies consult the reference section of this volume. In addition, Rapid Reference 1.4 provides an overview of the Rorschach Inkblot Test, including testing information, examiner qualifications, and publication information.


The Life and Work of Hermann Rorschach (Ellenberger, 1954) provides a detailed and intimate account of the life of the test's developer. The three volumes of Exner's Rorschach: A Comprehensive System (1991, 1993, 1995) provide in-depth information about the strengths and weaknesses of the Rorschach technique, including its psychometric properties, scoring , interpretation, and recent research developments as well as a review of the major scoring systems. Volume 1, in its third edition, provides the background of the original formulation of the comprehensive system and is the primary source for all aspects of administration and scoring. Volume one, in its second edition, focuses on interpretation, and volume two is devoted to the use of the Rorschach with children and adolescents. Another important reference is A Rorschach Workbook for the Comprehensive System (Exner, 1995). This book, published by Exner's Rorschach Workshops, provides the fundamentals of administration and scoring, descriptive statistics for various clinical and nonclinical groups, and some 300 responses to practice scoring.

      Rapid Reference 1. 4
      Rorschach Inkblot Test
    1. Author: Hermann Rorschach, MD
    2. Publication date: 1921 in the manuscript Psychodiagnostik
    3. What the test measures: Personality structure and dynamics, including cognitive, affective/ emotional, ego functioning, defenses, conflicts, coping mechanisms
    4. Age range: Primarily adult; normative data is also available for adolescents and children.
    5. Administration time: The association portion requires from 10 to 15 minutes; the inquiry portion requires another 20 to 30 minutes; scoring and interpretation can take as long as 2 hours depending on the number and complexity of responses.
    6. Qualification of examiners: Administration, scoring, and interpretation requires extensive training and practice.
    7. Publisher: Verlag Hans Huber, Medical Publisher, Bern, Switzerland. Distributed by The Psychological Corporation, 555 Academic Court San Antonio, TX 78204-2498; 800-211-8378
      10 Psychodiagnostic Plates, $119.50;
      package of 100 Structural Summary Blanks, $48.50;
      The Rorschach: A Comprehensive System, vols. 1 and 2, $98.00, vol. 3, $96.00 (all prices as of January 2000)
      Also distributed by Western Psychological Services
      For current ordering information 800-648-8857
    1. 1. The inkblot procedure was originally used as a test to evaluate which of the following?
      1. (a) personality dynamics
      2. (b) imagination
      3. (c) intelligence
      4. (d) visual perception

    2. 2. The most significant contribution made by Exner to the evolution of the Rorschach was
      1. (a) expanding the normative database.
      2. (b) developing a consistent scoring system.
      3. (c) standardizing administration procedures.
      4. (d) all of these.

    3. 3. Consistent with the original intent of Hermann Rorschach, the philosophy and procedures of Exner's Comprehensive System focus on
      1. (a) content interpretation.
      2. (b) response determinants.
      3. (c) only deviant or unusual responses.
      4. (d) response location.

    4. 4. The test-retest reliability coefficients of the Rorschach show variability where expected. What type of subjects taking the test would tend to show the most variability in their Rorschach protocols over time?
      1. (a) subjects with low intelligence
      2. (b) subjects who have children
      3. (c) children tested at different ages
      4. (d) ethnic minorities

    5. 5. The number and type of Rorschach responses delivered by a subject can be affected by which of the following?
      1. (a) intelligence
      2. (b) age
      3. (c) mood
      4. (d) any of these

    6. 6. What is the primary purpose of the inquiry phase of administration?
      1. (a) to clarify the subject's response
      2. (b) to obtain additional responses from the subject
      3. (c) to evaluate the subject's reactions to the inkblot
      4. (d) to reduce the number of responses offered by the subject

    7. 7. The Structural Summary is used for all of the following except
      1. (a) recording each response.
      2. (b) interpreting response patterns.
      3. (c) calculating ratios and percentages.
      4. (d) tabulating response frequency.

      Answers: 1. b; 2. d; 3. b; 4. c; 5. d; 6. a; 7. b

Table of Contents


How to Administer the Rorschach.

How to Code the Rorschach.

How to Create a Structural Summary of the Rorschach.

How to Interpret the Rorschach.

Strengths and Weaknesses of the Rorschach.

Clinical Applications of the Rorschach.

Illustrative Case Report.


Annotated Bibliography.@References.


About the Authors.

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