Psychologist: “Tell me what you see.”
Me: “I see a blob of ink.”
Psychologist: “Yes, I realize that, but what do you see ‘in’ it?”
Me: “Um…well…if I tell you what I’m thinking you’ll think I’m crazy!”
Psychologist: “No, not at all! Go on…tell me what you see, please.”
Me: “Ok…I see a spider juggling bananas.”
Funny isn’t it? But I’m sure you’ve all heard of this…the notorious bunch of ‘inkblot’ psychological cards? You tell the psychologist what you see and he/she will tell you if you are ready for the loony bin or not.
The technical term for an inkblot test is a Rorschach test. What this does, supposedly, is offer some psychological insight into someone by his/her description or interpretation of what is seen in a series of inkblots. The Rorschach test has been used for 90 years, and is still used in psychological testing today.
The original inkblot test was developed by a Swiss psychiatrist named Hermann Rorschach in 1921. It involves a psychologist or psychiatrist asking an individual to look at inkblot images and with each one the test giver asks, “What do you see?”
So what is an inkblot test and what does it do?
Rorschach inkblot tests are what psychology experts call psychological projective tests. Those who trust in the effectiveness of these tests believe that they are a way of getting into the depths of a person’s subconscious mind or psyche. The general notion of this test is that when a person is shown a shapeless and ambiguous image, the brain will make an effort to attach a meaning or a name to the image. In theory these tests are believed to help diagnose a range of psychological illnesses and/or gauge mental stability.
The test consists of a total of 10 cards containing pictures of inkblots that have been folded over, creating a mirror image. Test takers can flip or rotate the cards around while assessing them, taking as much time as needed before giving an answer. The psychologist will record the answers by writing them down, and possibly even tape-recording them also. Using association theory as a base, the subconscious will see a certain shape in the formless inkblot, and these associations will give the psychiatrist a clue about what is lying deep within your thought process.
The standard method for interpreting the Rorschach test is the Exner scoring system, also known as the Rorschach Comprehensive System (RCS). Dr. John E. Exner developed this system in the 1960s.
The Exner system places a lot of emphasis on how the test taker processes the data by using: cognitive mediation, which refers to the way information is transformed and identified, and ideation, which is the process of forming and relating images or ideas.
Examples of what psychologists consider when scoring responses:
Based on the scores for each of the above, the psychologist then does a series of calculations that produces a structural summary from the data received. The results are interpreted using existing personality characteristics research information that has been associated with different types of responses gathered through past studies and research.
Unfortunately Rorschach Tests are very controversial and can be tremendously subjective, basically depending on the psychologist to translate the results and score them, which is definitely not scientific by any means. In fact, numerous psychologists in the United Kingdom do not trust its effectiveness. However some psychologists do use Rorschach inkblot tests to help their clients with self-reflection and also to encourage their clients to talk about their internal mental world.
One of the ladies in the office was curious. She took an *online inkblot test. It was quite entertaining plus it gave us an understanding of what the test is like. Needless to say if her results are correct, I think she needs to seek therapy immediately!
*Dear Readers, the following information/results are NOT based on the original or a true Rorschach test! It was strictly for fun!
Take a look:
Your responses indicate that the whole world thinks you’re insane, except for your friends deep within the Earth. Electroshock therapy might help, but arsenic will cure those voices in your head for sure. You also have unfounded delusions of adequacy. People who answer as you did are always terrible at parking and usually take up two spaces.
Your impairment is severe, but you can still be a winner in life, provided you engage in no mental or physical activities outside of the Special Olympics. Just keep repeating to yourself: “I’m Ordinary At Best”. Set your expectations low and you won’t be disappointed. We mean like, really low, okay? Also, it wouldn’t hurt for you to drink yourself into a stupor once in a while.