Rorschach test: the meaning of the stains

What the Rorschach test is for

The Rorschach test is a projective personality test: through the answers given to indeterminate stimuli, such as blots, a subject highlights the characteristics that make up his or her personality.

The study of these characteristics leads to a definition of behavioural patterns and a psychological diagnosis, which is also useful for therapeutic purposes.

It is a widely used test in the clinical field but also in the legal field and wherever there is a need to explore interpersonal dynamics.

What the Rorschach test consists of and how it works

The Rorschach test exploits the unconscious mechanism of projection and is based on the age-old principle that, given an ambiguous stimulus, the subject sees the stain more as a product of his or her imagination – using the stimulus as a pretext to project images and memories – than as a direct and objective perception.

The test essentially consists of 10 plates, on each of which a symmetrical inkblot is shown: 5 monochrome, 2 bi-coloured and 3 coloured.

The boards are presented to the subject one at a time.

For each one – with no time limit – the subject is asked to comment on what the stain resembles.

There are no right or wrong answers, but from the interpretation of the answers given, it is possible to outline a personality profile and identify any problematic nodes in the subject.

However, the response time is counted.

The interviewee’s words are translated into a kind of shorthand, also known as ‘initialling’, which makes it possible to formulate a profile of the subject’s profound nature.

This coding is recoded at fixed intervals in order to maintain the coding with statistical significance.

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