Thematic Apperception Test – An Overview

The assumptions underlying projective tests such as the Rorschach are that the standard set of stimuli is used as a screen to project material that cannot be obtained through a more structured approach. Ultimately, any interpretation might reflect the patient’s capacity to think in an organized way, inkblot personality test, their psychological approach around personal concerns and the human sphere, in addition to their basic reality testing. Experts also highly recommend getting a personal and medical history before administering. Objective tests, such as self-report measures, rely on an individual’s personal responses and are relatively free of rater bias. Although newer scoring systems—including one that allows for computer scoring—may yield greater reliability, free interpretation of the test is valuable to clinicians. Clinicians use responses to these tests to detect mental disturbance, and they often look for specific indicators. Despite this flaw, many researchers and clinicians find that such tests give them useful information. This will gather information in the person’s own words, allowing the interview to better understand the person.

For example, a corporation may select a person for a managerial position by placing candidates in a simulated managerial situation for half a day and assessing their performance. On each picture, the subject tells the story by identifying the characters, explaining their relationships to each other, describing what preceded the situation shown in the picture, and stating an outcome. Within the story, they are ask what the reason for that event is, what is happening, what the outcome of the story is and what the characters in the picture is thinking and feeling. The TAT presents ambiguous scenes—such as a distraught woman holding an open door—and asks people to generate a story for each scene. Upon presentation of each card, the psychologist asks the client, “What might this be? In the TAT, a clinician might look for recurring themes. By giving his interpretation, the individual projects his inner feelings, beliefs and, most of all, thinking.

This test is often employed in diagnosing underlying thought disorders and differentiating psychotic from non-psychotic thinking in cases where the patient is reluctant to openly admit to psychotic thinking. The last Rorschach test he gave before my visit was in a prison. The Manual describes Rorschach administration and scoring, and shows you how to interpret the test using the Rorschach AutoScore Form. The Record Booklet and Summary Form is a convenient 4-page protocol, which includes all 10 Rorschach plates in miniature and in full color. Once responses are scored, you can use the Rorschach AutoScore Form to quickly determine protocol validity and obtain summary scores. It allows you to record background information, responses, summary scores, and derived scores. This convenient technique yields two numerical scores: a TETRAUT score based on the number and type of autistic responses, and a PASscore based on the perceptual accuracy of the responses. F- responses, popular responses, and original responses. This extensive, revised, and enlarged fifth edition offers a thorough compilation of inkblot responses based on hundreds of studies. Focusing on random details of a Rorschach inkblot may indicate obsessiveness, for example. One example must suffice Carstairs’ (1957) work with the Rajputs, a warrior caste, in Central India using the Rorschach.

The test consists of nine subtests, measuring the standard areas of instruction but in more detail (mathematics is broken down into calculation and applied problems, for example). When the individual is finished, they place the card face down in front of them (Morett, 1997). The examiner usually takes notes on the individuals ‘stories’ by hand. Projective tests allows the examiner to get an insight about the individual’s personality by showing the individual either a vague scene, scenario or object. It is important to have this information because medical conditions as well as life events, such as a divorce, can give the examiner some context on what may otherwise be considered unusual or abnormal responses. By putting essential information in an easy-to-use format, these cards help you keep track of the many details involved in Rorschach interpretation. It is an essential reference for Rorschach users or students. With the Rorschach test, you are given a series of inkblots, or random patterns of ink, and asked what the inkblots resemble.

A person taking the TAT is shown 8-12 ambiguous pictures and is asked to tell a story about each picture. The tests include 40 incomplete sentences that people are asked to complete as quickly as possible (Figure 3). The average time for completing the test is approximately 20 minutes, as responses are only 1-2 words in length. Figure 3. These incomplete sentences resemble the types of questions on the RISB. A third projective test is the Rotter Incomplete Sentence Blank (RISB) developed by Julian Rotter in 1950 (recall his theory of locus of control, covered earlier in this chapter). Despite his findings, Lilienfeld is not totally opposed to using projective techniques, but he feels more research is necessary. Sentence completion methods, in common with story-telling techniques, call for subjects to provide thematic content in response to real and relatively unambiguous test stimuli. There are three forms of this test for use with different age groups: the school form, the college form, and the adult form.