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  • Projective Personality Testing

    Psychological Testing

  • Projective hypothesisDEFINITION: In a projective test, an individual supplies structure to unstructured stimuli in a manner consistent with the individuals own unique pattern of conscious and unconscious needs, fears, desires, impulses, conflicts, and ways of perceiving and responding.

  • Concerns About ProjectivesAssumptions:The more unstructured the stimuli, the more examinees reveal about their personality.Projection is greater to stimulus material that is similar to the examinee.Every response provides meaning for personality analysis.There is an unconscious.Subjects are unaware of what they disclose.Situational variables:Age of examiner.Specific instructions.Subtle reinforcement cues.Setting - privacy.

  • Inkblots as projective stimuliThe Rorschach:Hermann Rorschach (1884 - 1922).10 bilaterally symmetrical inkblots on separate cards:5 black and white.2 black, white, and red.3 multicolor.

  • Inkblots: Initial administrationWhat might this be?Record response verbatim:Include time until first response.Position of card, spontaneous statements, nonverbal gestures or body movements.No discussion of examinees responses.

  • Inkblots: The inquiryWhat made it look like _____? or How do you see ____?Clarify initial responses and determine which aspects of inkblot were most influential.Determine if examinee remembers initial responses and if original response is still seen.Ask about any new perceptions?

  • Inkblots: Testing the limitsAsk specific questions to get additional information about personality functioning.Identify confusion/misunderstanding about the task.Determine if examinee is able to do better with more testing structure.

  • Inkblots: Scoring CategoriesLocation:Part of inkblot utilized:Entire blot, large or small section, minute detail, white space.Determinants:Qualities of the inkblot:Form, color, shading, movement.Popularity of responseFrequency of response.Content:Human figures, animal figures, blood etc.Form:How accurately examinees perception matches the corresponding part of the inkblot.

  • Inkblots: Interpretation of scoresGenerate hypotheses based on patterns of response, recurrent themes and interrelationships among scoring categories:Whole responses - conceptual thought processes.Form - reality testing.Human movement - imagination.Color - emotional reactivity.

  • Inkblots: Psychometric PropertiesSplit-half and test-retest methods are not feasible.Inter-scorer reliability (with respect to categories) is acceptable.Inter-scorer reliability (with respect to interpretation) is not always acceptable.Convergent validity of .41:WAIS - .62MMPI - .46

  • The Rorschach Ink Blot:Still widely used clinical instrument:Most frequently used projective test;Most frequently taught projective technique in counseling psychology programs and practicum sites.Extensively used as a research instrument:Thousands of references in the Mental Measurements Yearbook.

  • Exners system for the Rorschach Comprised of best features of 5 different systems.Coding categories:Location.Determinants.Form quality.Content.Popularity.Coding categories (cont.):Organizational activity.Special scores.Indexes derived:Obsessive style.Depression.Coping deficit.Schizophrenia.

  • Pictures as Projective StimuliFirst used in 1907:Differences reported in responses of boys and girls to 9 pictures.Variety of pictures utilized:Paintings, drawings, etchings, or photos of animals, people, objects or anything.

  • Thematic Apperception Test (TAT)Morgan and Murray (1935).Elicit fantasy material from patients in psychoanalysis.31 cards:30 black & white with scenes:Describe story.1 blank:Imagine picture on card and tell related story.

  • TAT: AdministrationA set of 20 cards is recommended, but the number may vary based on length of stories:Some cards are suggested for use with adult males, adult females, or both. Some cards are best used with children; however, all cards may be administered to any subject.

  • TAT: ConclusionsBased on: Stories told by examinee.Clinicians notes:Examinees response to the cards.Extra-test behavior and verbalizations.Analysis of story requires special training.

  • TAT: InterpretationMurrays concepts:Need - determinants of behavior arising from within the individual.Press - determinants of behavior arising from within the environment.Thema - interaction between need and press.

  • TAT Interpretation (cont.)Basic assumption:Examinee is identifying with protagonist in the story. Examinees concerns, hopes, fears, and desires are reflected in the protagonists needs, demands, and conflicts.That is, the examinees personality is projected onto the protagonist.

  • TAT Psychometric propertiesReliability:Split-half, test-retest, and alternate-form reliability measures are not appropriate.Inter-rater reliability is acceptable.Situational factors:Examiner.Events just prior to administration.Delivery of instructions. Transient internal needs states.Stimulus pull.Desire to fake good or bad. Validity:Conflicting opinions regarding the validity of the assumptions and the interpretations.

  • Variations of the TATThompson TAT 1949:Use with African Americans. CAT 1949 (3-10):Pictures of animals.CAT - H: Humans instead of animals.Blacky Pictures Test 1950:Used Blacky the dog and his family and friends.

  • Blacky Test

  • Blacky Test

  • Blacky Test

  • Blacky Test

  • Other Picture-Story TestsThe Picture Story Test 1949:Used with adolescents.Education Apperception Test and School Appreciation Test:Measure kids attitudes toward school and learning.TEMAS:Hispanic characters and urban settings.

  • Other picture-story tests (cont.)Make A Picture Story Method 1952:Arrange pictures of figures on pictorial backgrounds.The Apperception Personality Test 1990:8 stimulus cards with recognizable people in everyday settings; more upbeat than TAT.Multiple choice questions fill in the gap.

  • Words as Projective StimuliSemi-structured technique:Use of open-ended words, phrases and sentences provides a framework within which the examinee must operate.Word association and sentence completion tests:2 best-known examples.

  • Early Influences: Word ProjectionGalton 1879:Present series of words and respond with first word that comes to mind.Jung 1910:Key words representing possible areas of conflict.Kent-Rosanoff Free Association Test 1910:Attempt to standardize responses to specific words.

  • Word Association TestRapaport, Gill and Schafer (1946):3 part test consisting of 60 words.Basis of evaluation:Popularity.Response time.Content.Test-retest response.

  • Sentence Completion TestsComplete the following:I like to _____________.Stems may be general or specific depending on the setting.Obtain information about interests, goals, fears, conflicts, needs, etc.High degree of face validity:Most vulnerable projective test to faking.

  • Rotter Incomplete Sentences Blank (1950)Most popular.40 incomplete sentences . 3 levels:high school, college and adult.Estimates of inter-scorer reliability (with respect to scoring categories) are in the .90s.

  • Projective:Figure DrawingsQuick and easy administration:Individually or in a group.Non-clinicians can administer.Pencil and paper only.Used to obtain information about intelligence, neurological intactness, visual-motor coordination, cognitive development, and learning disabilities.Questionable use.

  • Machovers Draw-A-Person TestAdministration:Draw a person on piece of 8 1/2 X 11 blank white paper.2nd drawing of other sex.Tell me a story about the figure.

  • Machovers Draw-A-Person Test Evaluation CriteriaPlacement of the figure:right - future; left - past; upper right - suppress past and optimism; lower left - depression.Facial expressions:large eyes or ears - suspiciousness; paranoid.Light pencil pressure: character disturbance.Figure size, line quality, symmetry etc.

  • Other Figure DrawingsHouse Tree Person (HTP) Buck 1948.Kinetic Family Drawing (KFD): Burns & Kaufman (1970).Picture of everyone in family doing something.No widely accepted scoring system.


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