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AN AESTHETIC VALUE SCALE OF THE RORSCHACH

ANA MARfA INSUA

Argentine Foundation for Mental Health, BIMTUM Airet An aesthetic value scale of the Rorschach cards was built by means of the Successive Interval method (N ^ 100). Cards IV and I obtained the lowest scale values. Cards V, VI. II and VII formed a cluster with similar values that were more positive toan the previous two. Card III was located in the middle, and Cards VIII, IX and A obtained the highest scores. This scale was compared with the ratings obtained by means of the Semantic Differential Scales. The agreements and disagreements between both methods were underlined. The scale was found to successfully differentiate sexes in their judgment of cards' attractiveness.

Several authors have attempted to characterize the stimulus value of the Ror8chach Inkblot test by employing the Semantic Differential Scales (Hays & Boardman, 1975; Otten & Van de Castle, 1963; Rabin, 1959; Rosen, 1960; Schleifer & Hire, 1960; Zax & Loiselle, 1960). These studies have given a rank order to the Rorschach cards, according with the number of positive or negative adjectives that qualify each one. tfseful as these studies have been in clarifying the stimulus values of the Rorschach cards, they present some problems: (a) people vary greatly in their use of adjectives in appraisals of experience; (b) the meanings of some terms in the Semantic Differential are rather awkward when applied to inkblots. For instance, is it possible to qualify an inkblot with attributes such as hot-cold, bravecowardly, kind-cruel, etc.?; (c) even if a certain rank order of the cards' degree of attraction can be obtained by using the Semantic Differential, we do not know how far away one card is compared to the others. The aesthetic value of an object is determined largely by the subjective evaluation of the percipient and may vary from one person to another. The present study aims to measure the subjective continuum by which the series of Rorschach cards are judged. This subjective continuum goes from one extreme of maximum agreeableness to another of maximum disagreeableness.
METHOD

The Successive Interval method was selected to build the scale. This method has been developed by Thurstone (1959) and described by several authors, including Edwards (1957), Guilford (1954), Rimoldi and Hormaeche (1955), etc. The intuitive idea of the theory associated with the method is that each category represents a certain interval on a one-dimensional continuum and that each stimulus may be represented by a probability distribution on this continuum (Suppes & Zinnes, 1967).
Subjects

SB for this study were a group of 100 persons aged 17 to 60 years (X = 24.67). Most of the <5s were less than 30 years old. They were college students of economics, employees, professionals and volunteers of a nonprofit organization. The group included 42 men and 58 women.
Procedure

SB were asked to judge the Rorschach cards according to the degree of liking or disliking. Each S was presented with lines with equally spaced intervals. There were 10 lines, one for each Rorschach card. On the extreme left of the line was written "I dislike it very much." The opposite "I like it very much" was written on the extreme right. The placement of a check mark in any interval was inter189

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Journal of Clinical Psychology, January, 1981, Vol. 37, No. 1.

preted as indicating that the S likes this card more than the others located below the lower limit of that interval and less than the cards located over the upper limit. From the Ss' check niarks, the following operations were performed: (a) frequencies and corresponding proportions were obtained; (b) cumulative proportions were calculated and the corresponding normal deviates determined; (c) the liminal values and the scales values were determined using the formulae published by Rimoldi and Hormaeche (1955)^
RESULTS AND DISCUSSION

The second column of Table 1 presents the improved estimates of the scaled values of the 10 Rorschach cards. In column three, the negative signs have been eliminated adding the lower value to each one of the scale values. That is, the scale is extended from 0 point for Card IV, the most rejected, to 1.525 for Card X, the most liked. TABLE 1
SCALE VALDES (SJ) OF THE TEN RORSCHACH CARDS

Cards

Si -.556 -.679 -.238 -.212 -.192 -.116 .165 .490 .645 .695 2.002

Si (Improved estimates) -.596 -.538 -.305 -.255 -.229 -.159 .117 .452 .584 .929 000

Si + .596 0 .058 .291 .341 .367 .437 .713 1.048 1.180 1.525

IV I
V

VI II VII

in
VIII

IX X

In Figure 1, the scale values of Table 1 have been represented graphically. Observation of this figure shows us that Cards IV and I have similar values, both of which evoke strong negative feelings. Cards V, VI, II and VII form a cluster with similar values that are more positive than the previous two. Spaced along the scale are located Cards III, VIII, IX and X, each of which represents increasing amounts of attraction. That is, the three completely chromatic cards are the most attractive of the set, although they do not have similar scale values. Schachtel (1943) notes the "ambivalent character" of reactions to red. He says that "in many people the affects aroused by red are ambivalent, as ambivalent as those aroused by thoughts of sex and of sadistic or destructive strivings or acts [p. 395]." This ambivalence is reflected in the middle scale position of Cards II and III, the only two with large vivid red areas. The scale value obtained with Cards IV and I is in complete agreement with the results achieved by means of the Semantic Differential Scales. Such an agreement with two different approaches validates the unpleasant stimulus properties 'Tables of proportions, normal deviates, and detailed statistical analysis can be obtained from the author writting to FASAM, AgUero 1287, Bunos Aires, Argentina.

An Aesthetic Valve

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20

40

.60

J80

100

120

1.40 1.60

FIO. 1. Graphic representation of the scale.

of Cards IV and 1. There is also a coincidence between the Semantic Differential studies and the scale value obtained for Cards V, VI, and II, respectively. Unexpectedly, it is found that the low scale value obtained by Card VII is not consistent with the findings of Hays and Boardman (1975), Rabin (1959), Rosen (196()) and Schleifer and Hire (1960). They reported that Card VII is qualified positively as soft, light, active, delicate, sweet, agreeable, etc. . This discrepancy may be due to cultural differences or to a hidden characteristic of the sample. Further studies would be necessary to clarify this point. Cards VIII, IX and X evaluated with the Semantic Differential were rated positively, although they received a small number of adjectives. It is interesting to see in Figure 1 how attractive these cards really are because they are located in tihe positive extreme and to a considerable distance from the remaining cards. This is in open contradiction with the findings of Hays and Boardman (1975), who reported Cards VIII and IX as having the least connotative meaning among the set. However, it is known that the adjectives elicited by the Rorschach cards are not divided evenly among the various cards: Some cards produce no adjectives, while others produce several (Otten & Van de Castle, 1963). Therefore, the Hays and Boardman findings could be explained by the unsuitability of the adjectives of the Semantic Differential Scales to reflect the degree of attractiveness of Cards VIII, IX and X. The method used in the present study represents a much simpler task for the 5, who has only to state his degree of liking or disliking, and the traditional effect of color as an attractive component of the stimuli appears clearly. It should be borne in rnind that the scale values obtained in this study represent a subjective evaluation of a particular group that belongs to a particular nationality. The agreement with other groups and nationalities is remarkable, with the exception of Card VII. It would be interesting to applj- the Successive Interval method to other nationalities. The correlation of the two sets of scale values would show objectively the degree of agreement between both groups. The scale also can be used to explore differences between sexes in their evaluation of the cards. As an example, the scale was applied to 40 men and 40 women. Each S had to indicate the card liked best and the card liked least. The selected cards received a score, according to their scale value. The results showed a significant difference between men and women in the cards liked best, t (38) = 2.20, p < .05. That is, there is a sex difference in the evaluation of the degree of agreeableness of the cards; women had higher scores than men. On the contrary, the t-test did not show a significant difference with regard to the cards liked least; the two sexes were .similar in the choice of the rejected cards.
REFERENCES EDWARDS,

A. L. Techniques of attitude scale construction. New York: Appleton-Century-Crof

GuiLFORD, J. p. Psychometric methods (2nd ed.). New York: McGraw-Hill, 1954. HAT8, J. K., & B o A K D M A N , W. K. An analysis of the function of color in the Rorschach. Journal
of Personality Assessment, 1975, 39, 19-24. OTTEN, M . W . , & VAN DE CASTLE, R . L . A comparison of a set "A" of the Holtzman Inkblots with the KoTSchach by meann of the semantic differential. Journal of Projeetive Techniaues, 1963, 97, 452-460.

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A. I. A contribution to the "meaning" of Rorschach's iokblots via the semantic differential. Journal of Consulting Psychology, 1959, BS, 368-372. RiiiOLOi, H. J., A HoRMAECHE, M. The law of comparative judgment in the successive intervals and graphic rating scale methods. Psychom/Urika, 1955, BO, 307-318. ROSEN, E . Connotative meanings of Rorschach inkblots, responses, and determinants. Journal (^ Personality, 1960, B8, 413-426. ScHACHTEL, E. G. On color and affect. In Murray H. Sherman (Ed.), A Rorschach reader. New York: International Universities Press, 1960. ScHLEiFER, M. J., & HIRE, A. W. Stimulus value of Rorschach Inkblots expressed as trait and affective characteristics. Journal of Projective Techniques, 1960, B4, 164-170. STTPPES, P., A ZINNES, J. L. Basic measurements theory. In R. D. Luce, R. R. Bush, & E. Galanter (Eds.), Handbook of mathematical psychology (Vol. 1). New York: John Wiley, 1967. THUS8TONE, L. L. The measurement of values. Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1959. ZAX, M . , & LoisELLE, R. H. Stimulus value of Rorschach inkblots as measured by the semantic differential. J<mmal of Clinical Psychology, 1960, 16, 160-163.

RECOVERY OF VISUAL-SPATIAL LEARNING AND MEMORY IN CHRONIC ALCOHOLICS'


WILLIAM R. LEBER, ROBERT L. JENKINS AND OSCAR A. PARSONS

Center for Alcohol and Drug Related Studies University of Oklahoma Health Sciences Center and Behavioral Sciences Laboratories Veterans Administration MediccU Center Oklahoma City, Oklahoma Administered the Memory-for-Designs Test and a verbal and visuospatial paired associate learning test to separate groups of alcoholics {N = 32) 3 and 11 weeks abstinent from alcohol and to a matched control group (A^ = 16). Alcoholics were not impaired in verbal learning. Alcoholics 3 weeks abstinent performed significantly less well than controls on all nonverbal tasks and less weU than 11-weeks alcoholics on one nonverbal measure. No significant differences were found between 11-week alcoholics and controls. The results suggest that some recoverv of function may occur in alcoholics after 10 wedu of abstinence. The data tuso support the hypothesis of impaired right hemisphere in alcoholics.

Investigations of the neuropsychological status of chronic alcoholics have revealed that a variety of abilities may be affected adversely. The degree and permanence of impairment, however, seems not to be constant across the range of abilities. General intellectual functioning and verbal abilities are among the least impaired (Kleinknecht & Goldstein, 1972), although impaired verbal pairedassociate learning has been reported occasionally (Goldman & Rosenbaum, 1976; Ryan, Butters, and Montgomery, 1979). Visual-spatial abstraction abilities such as perceptual motor abilities like those ineasured by the Tactual Performance Test are among the more impaired (Kleinknecht & Goldstein, 1972; Parsons, 1977).
study was supported in part by NIAAA grant (USPHS) AA04164 to Oscar A. Parsons, Ph.D. We wish to express our appreciation to Pamela Parrish, M.D. and the staff and patients of the Alcohol Treatment Unit and to the Oklahoma City Fire Department for their support and participation. Thanks are also due Trev Shelton and Ricardo DeObaJd|ia for their ass stance in collectmg the data. We also appreciate the cooperation of Dr. Vladimir Pishkin and the staff of the Behavioral Sciences Laboratories.