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Journal of Projective
Techniques and Personality
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A Human Modification of the

Children's Apperception Test
Leopold Bellak & Marvin S. Hurvich
Published online: 16 Nov 2010.

To cite this article: Leopold Bellak & Marvin S. Hurvich (1966) A Human Modification
of the Children's Apperception Test (CAT-H), Journal of Projective Techniques and
Personality Assessment, 30:3, 228-242, DOI: 10.1080/0091651X.1966.10120301
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A Human Modification of the Childrens Apperception Test

( C A T HI

New York, New York

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Summary: Since the cr&ation of the CAT fifteen years ago, first introduced in the
pages of this Journal, many studies have been published comparing the stimulus
value of animal versus human figures, Some outcomes favored the animal figures,
while an even larger number favored the human stimuli. It appears that some children respond better to animal stimuli, and some to human figures, depending on
particular characteristics of the child. A human modification of the CAT was therefore developed by Bellak and Bellak. It is hoped this version will be useful with older
children, especially those with an M.A. beyond ten years, and will thus bridge the
gap between the animal CAT and the TAT. The human CAT may also elicit more
information from children with particular personality characteristics.

T h e development of the original

Childrens Apperception Test (CAT)
prior to 1949 was based on a number
of propositions, among them to provide a projective test likely to produce themes relevant for the personality of young children. Secondarily,
animal figures were chosen on the
basis of expectations derived from
clinical work that young children
would identify more readily with animal figures than with human figures
and that animal figures would more
easily elicit idiographic material.
Fables, fairy tales, the high animal
per cent in childrens Rorschachs, the
frequency of animal phobias in children, the role of animals in primitive
cultures, identification with animals
in childrens play, the popularity of
animals in T V shows (Flipper, Lassie,
etc.) all would tend to render the
hypothesis reasonable.
I n addition, animal figures have the
advantage of bein more culture-free,
and less structure with regard to sex
and age than human figures. It was
reasoned that animal figures would
increase the extent to which attribution of sex and age to story characters
would be based on motivational factors in the child rather than upon
card pull perceptual factors, thus
providing valuable information related to the childs underlying attitudes toward important adult figures.
I n constructing the CAT, there was

an attempt to depict scenes which

would elicit material relevant to important situations and problems in
the childs life (feeding, rivalry, aggression, loneliness, interactions with
parental figures, etc.) . A further card
pull for these important problem
areas was created by the use of background props, i.e., human settings, for
most of the ten cards.
During the last fifteen years, a number of studies have focused on a comparison of the relative merits of animal vs. human figures. While this is
a legitimate and important problem,
it became the major concern in CAT
research, probably to the detriment of
other important issues, such as longitudinal studies of children and significant pathognomonic differences. I n
addressing themselves to the animal human stimulus issue, some workers
seemed to assume erroneously that the
animal characters were what the CAT
was meant to stand on or fall.
Literature suruey
Studies relevant to the use of animal as opposed to human figures have
most recently been reviewed by Bellak
and Adelman (1960), by Murstein
(1963), and by Haworth (1966).
Prior to the construction of the CAT;
Bender and Woltmann (1936) arranged the themes of therapeutically
oriented puppet shows on the assumption that children, like primitives,

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identify themselves and their parents
with animals. Bender and Rapaport
(1 944) had found animal drawings of
7 to 13 year old disturbed children
helpful in identifying central personality conflict areas. And in the construction of the Blacky pictures, Blum
and Hunt (1952) state that animal
figures were chosen over humans to
add a measure of ambiguity to the
highly structured situations being depicted, with the intent of facilitating
personal ex ression and decreasing resistance to f! gures too close to home.
An early comparison of T A T cards
with animal pictures was reported by
Bills (1950), for 48 male and female
school children ages five through ten.
He found significantly longer stories
to the ten animal (rabbit) pictures,
with less card rejections (18 to I ) , and
concluded that the Ss more easily formulated stories to the animal figures.
A methodological limitation of this
study (and the one by Bills et al. below) was that the animal pictures
were in color and the T A T pictures
were not, resulting in a confounding
of color with the animal-human variable, as Murstein (1963) has pointed
Bills, Leiman and Thomas (1950)
then compared the qualitative differences between stories to the T A T and
animal (rabbit) pictures. Subjects
were four girls and four boys from
third grade, and stories to both T A T
and animal pictures were compared
with non-directive play therapy interviews. Correlations between T A T and
animal pictures for 26 of Murrays
manifest needs ranged from -.09 to
.58, three of these comparisons
reaching the .05 level of significance.
T h e authors concluded that animal
pictures appear to be as valid and
useful as the T A T and easier for
children in formulating stories than
the T A T .
Biersdorf and Marcuse (1953) addressed themselves to the animal vs.
human figure problem by constructing two sets of six pictures (similar


to C A T cards, 1, 2, 4, 5, 8, and l o ) ,
one set with animal, the other set
with human figures. For 30 first-grade
pupils of both sexes, no significant differences were found on 7 response
roductivity measures, including numger of words, ideas, characters mentioned, characters introduced, and response time indeces. I n a second study,
Mainord and Marcuse (1954) employed the identical stimulus pictures,
but this time- with a group of 28
emotionally disturbed children of both
sexes (21 boys, 7 girls) , aged five
years, four months to eight years, five
months. Again, no significant differences were obtained on the response
productivity measures. However, five
clinicians asked to rate the stories for
their clinical usefulness (amount of
personal structure and dynamics revealed about the child) favored the
human set to a statistically significant
degree (p. 001).
T h e same year Armstrong (1954)
reported a study comparing 60 school
children (ten boys and ten girls from
first, second, and third grades) o n five
C A T cards (1, 2, 4, 8, and 10) and
on a duplicate set of pictures with
human figures, which the author states
were ambiguous as to sex. Mean Stanford-Binet I.Q. for each grade of children was in the superior range. Comparison between groups was made on
length of protocol, number of nouns,
verbs, ego words, transcendence scores
and reaction time. Significant differences i n Transcendence Index scores
were found (i.e,, more subjective, personalized, interpretive responses other
than pure description) in favor of the
human figures. No differences in any
other response measures were attributable to the animal-human figure variable.
Light (1954) designed a study to
compare the T A T and C A T on more
dynamic aspects of story content than
o n reaction time, story length, and
other similar measures, which he felt
were not valid indicators of identification. Subjects were 74 fourth and fifth
graders, aged nine to ten years, six

A Human Modification of the C A T

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months; with a mean age of nine years
eight months. With five T A T and five
CAT cards presented in a group setting, all of the response measures
(amount and kinds of feelings,
themes, conflicts, and definite outcomes) were significantly higher for
the stories to the TAT.
Boyd and Mandler (1955), noting
contradictory findings in the previously published literature, attempted a
more extensive evaluation than previous workers. Subjects (96 third graders of mean age eight years, five
mths, and mean Kuhlman I.Q. of
101) were told two stimulus stories,
each of which was followed by a
stimulus picture to which they were
requested to write their own story.
T h e main variables were a) type of
stimulus story (animal or human characters), b) content of stimulus story
(central figure engages in socially a p
proved or socially disapproved behavior), and c) type of stimulus picture (animal or human figures). T h e
stimulus pictures (each in an animal
or a human version) showed the main
character from the stimulus stories in
some ambiguous action.
Eight response measures presumably
related to personal involvement were
evaluated in a three way analysis of
variance ( 2 x 2 ~ 2factorial design) T h e
response indices were story length,
presence of original ideas, value judgments] punishment, reward, and new
themes, occurrence of the pronoun I,
and the extent of formal features
(number of words used for the beginning and conclusion of the story).
Analysis of the stimulus story variable revealed that s/4 of the Ss preferred the animal over the human
stories, while the response measures
showed significantly more involvement associated with the stories told
with human characters.
Concerning the stimulus pictures,
the animal figures were found to elicit
more personal involvement than the
pictures with human figures. Animal
pictures had a significantly higher

number of original ideas and beginnings and endings and scored higher
on four of the remaining six response
measures, though short of statistical
significance. T h e animal cards were
found especially to elicit negative
feelings, and the authors concluded
that socially disapproved behavior
seems to arouse more anxiety when
originated by human than by animal
Furuya (1957) tested 7.2 Japanese
children from first, fourth, and sixth
grades (ages 6 to 12) with the
Marcuse-Biersdorf-Mainord cards. He
found significantly more definite outcomes and more expression of feelings
and of significant conflict in the stories
to the human set. Bellak and Adelman (1960) have pointed out that
the human figure cards used by Marcuse et al. and by Furuya were more
structured than the animal cards with
regard to sex and in some instances
also more structured as to activity:
Thus, while their studies show superiority of human figures on the productivity measures, the decrease of
ambiguity from animal to human figures would appear to limit the range
of response choice, and in this important sense decrease the value of
the human as compared to the animal figures. I n this regard, one can
question the representativeness of the
clinicians preference for human over
animal figures in the Mainord and
Marcuse (1954) work, but replication
studies are needed to clarify the issue.
Simson (1959) also compared the
CAT with human figures. Subjects
were 28 second-graders, 14 of whom
were administered the animal version
first, and the human version two
weeks later, and the reverse order for
the other 14. He found the human
pictures to be associated with shorter
reaction time, longer stories, faster
verbalization and more story themes,
With the intention of providing a
more crucial test of the hypothesis
that young children more readily
identify with animals, Budoff (1960)

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chose four year old nursery schoolers
rather than the relatively older children used in previous experiments.
Eighteen subjects with Sanford-Binet
I.Q.s above 120 were administered
nine C A T cards (#6 was omitted),
and an analogous human set in a
balanced order with a n interval of
two weeks between presentations. Response mewn-es were productivity
(number of words spoken), story
level (presence of object naming.
picture description, and a story plot)
and Transcendence Index.
Results showed no statistically significant differences between picture
sets on the three response measures
(except one, attributable to chance
because of the number of com arisons
made). T h e overall trend of t e data,
though not statistically significant,
was for higher scores to the human
figures on both story level and Transcendence Index, the latter being low
or both groups. While he questions
the superiority of the animal C A T
over human figures in comparable
situations, the author states that his
findings fail to solve the problem of
whether young children more easily
identify with animals. Among other
suggestions, Budoff conjectures that
where responses to human figures are
particularly threatening, animal figures might elicit more productive
stories due to the increase of psycholoEical distance (as Blum and H u n t
[I9521 have suggested in another
T h e most recent study comparing
animal and human figures is that of
Weisskopf-Joelson, and Foster (1962) .
These authors, interested in the question of what kinds of pictures elicit
the greatest amount of projection,
created four sets of four C A T cards
(3,4,9, and 10). T h e versions were as
follows: animal figures not in color
(AN), animal figures in color (AC) ,
human figures not in color ( H N ) ,
and a color version with human
figures (HC).
An attempt was made to keep all
aspects of the four stimulus sets con-

23 1

stant except for the substitution of

human for animal figures and color
for black and white. T h e original
C A T cards were consequently modified; animals were clothed, the mouse
was omitted from the seated lion picture (CAT card #3), and the kangaroo in C A T card # 4 was changed
to carry the offspring in her arm
rather than in her pouch.
T h e subjects were 40 kindergarten
children, ages five and one-half to
seven, with a mean age of six years,
two months. A Graeco-Latin square
design was used, such that each subject received four stimulus cards, including one each of the four sets (corresponding to C A T cards #3, 4, 9,
and l o ) , and each one being from a
different experimental version (AN,
AC, HN, HC). T h e dependent variable was story productivity as measured by the Weisskopf (1950) Transcendence Index.
Mean Transcendence Index scores
for all stories to human pictures
compared with all stories to animal
pictures did not differ to a degree approaching significance (t = .995);
nor was there any appreciable difference found when all stories to colored
pictures were compared with all stories to non-colored pictures (t. =
.894), So neither the animal-human
variable, nor the color-non-color variable affected the Transcendence Index productivity scores.
When the 11 highest Transcendence Index scorers were compared
with the 11 lowest, a trend (not reaching statistical significance) was noted
for the high scorers to show greater
productivity when responding to
chromatic pictures, and for the low
scorers to be more productive when
responding to the animal pictures.
As the authors point out, subjects
who score relatively high on the Transcendence Index are freer to develop
and express fantasies than are low
scoring subjects, the latter being more
inhibited in this regard. T h e tendency for low scorers to be more pro-

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ductive with the animal figures, the
authors then reason, could be due to
their finding it easier to reveal themselves under the pretense that they
are telling about animals instead of
humans. T h e general consideration
suggested here is that personality differences of subjects can be associated
with greater productivity to animal or
to human pictures, depending on the
particular personality configuration.
A review of the literature thus reveals that for the conditions evaluated, some outcomes favor the animal
figures, and an even greater number
of studies favor the human figures
(see Table I ) . Of the various factors
likely responsible for the conflicting
results, there is variation among the
studies in stimulus cards employed
and in outcome measures utilized.
Few investigators maintained the a m biguity of age or sex in the human
drawings that is inherent in the animal figures. With regard to outcome
measures, dynamic evaluation (as
compared to word counts, theme
counts, etc.) played a relatively small
role in the reported studies. In addition, subjects varied among the
studies with regard to age, intelligence, and degree and kind of psychopathology. It is likely that the stimulus value of animals gradually decreases between ages seven and ten,
especially if the mental age is higher
than the chronological age. An adequate comparison of the utility of the
two kinds of figures would require
studies which control for and systematically sample from among the above
variables and which emplo the same
outcome measures, inclucling some
dynamic and clinically relevant indices. Especially sparse are studies
employing disturbed children, a point
emphasized by Murstein (1963).
T h e Development of the CAT-HHuman Version
Despite the limitations of the
studies purporting to show that human figures in the CAT setting may
have more stimulus value than the

A Hurnun Modification


the C A T

animal figures, it was decided to

develop a human version.
Among the studies reviewed, those
of Budoff and especially of WeisskopfJoelson and Foster suggest that some
children do better with animal stimuli, and some with human ones, and
that these preferences may be associated with specific personality variables: for instance, those subjects having difficulty with producing responses
seemed to be better with animal
figures. Future exploration of relative
preferences of some personality types,
the relationship of defensive patterns,
age, and I.Q., and psychopathology,
is likely to be much more fruitful
than the mechanical either/or propositions of many previous studies.
Another important reason for providing a human equivalent to the
CAT was that some children between
seven and ten, especially those with
high I.Q.3, considered animal stimuli
below their intellectual dignity.
While many found them childish
for purely defensive reasons, it was
nevertheless felt that a human version
would lend itself especially well to an
upward extension of the usefulness of
the CAT and go further towards
closing an age gap between the applicability of the CAT and the T A T .
T h e Human Modifications
I n T h e Pictures
The changing of the animal figures
to human figures resented a number
of difficult prob ems. In fact, this
process highlighted many of the advantages of the original choice of
animals with regard to figures which
were rather ambiguous as to age, sex,
and many cultural attributes.
Three different artists tried their
skill in portraying the nature of the
regular CAT in human form, following the instruction of Leo old Bellak
and Sonya Sore1 Bellak. T e different
pictures in the CAT presented varying degrees of difficulty in that
In picture one, for instance, the
adult on the left was clothed in a



I-Studies of Animal vs. Human Figures
Story length, card Animalsrejections
significantly longer
stories, fewer card
8 M & F, 3rd grade, Comparison on 26 Animals seen as
normal school
of Murrays
easier for children.
Manifest Needs
Correlation from a
.09 to + .58 (3 stat
30 M & F, 1st
Number of words, No significant
Biersdorf &
6 CAT cards (#l,
graders, normal
ideas, characters differences
Marcuse (1953) 2,4,5,8 & 10) vs.
comparable human school children
characters introset
duced, response
time indices
Similar to
No significant
Same as Biersdorf 28 M & F, 5.4 to
Mainord &
Biersdorf and
8.5, emotionally
Marcuse (1954) and Marcuse
Marcuse (1953).
Human jud ed
plus ratings of
more clinim%y
clinical usefulness useful.
60 M & F, 1st-3rd Story length,
Human signifi5 CAT cards (#l,
2,4,8.10) vs. a
graders, IQs
number of nouns, cantly higher
comparable human superior, normal
verbs, ego words, Transcendence
school children
Index. Other
Scores &
reaction time
Light (1954)
CAT vs. T A T
75 M & F, 9-10.6,
Amount & kinds
normal school
of feelings,
response criteria
themes, conflicts significantly
and definite
higher except
number of words
2 stones (with ani- 96 M & F, mean
Story length,
Boyd &
stimulus stories.
age 8.5, mean I Q presence of
Mandler (1955) ma1 or human
characters), each
101, normal school original ideas,
Animal for
value judgments, stimulus pics
followed by 2 pica children
of animals or
humans in amreward, new
biguous action
themes, pronoun
I, and formal
Definite outcomes, Human more
Furuya (1957) Same as Biersdorf 72 Jap.. M & F.
6 to 12, normal
expression of
definite outcomes
and Marcuse
school children
and more expression of feelings and
significant conflicts
Story length,
Human superior o n
Simson (1959) CAT vs. cornpar- 28 German,
Age 8-9, normal
speed of
all the response
able human set
number of themes,
reaction time
Productivity, story No statistical
18 4-year olds,
Budoff (1960) 9 CAT cards (#6
omitted) vs. com- M & F, all IQs
level and
difference. Trend in
favor of human
parable human set above 120, normal Transcendence
nursery school
No difference
4 CAT cards (#S, 40 M & F, 5.5 to 9. Transcendence
Weisskopfnormal kinderIndex
except by
Joelson & F a t e:I 4,9,10) vs. cornpersonality
parable human set. garten
color & black &

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Bills (1950)
10 T A T cards vs.
10 chromatic pics
of rabbits in various activities
Bills, Leiman & Same as Bills
Thomas (1950) (1950)

48 M & F, 5 to 10,
normal school

A Human Modification of the C A T


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shapeless garment which could be a

male or female in pajamas and robe.
T h e hairstyle and facial expression
can be described as not necessarily of
one sex or the other. T h e same can
be said for the children's figures.

In picture two, the position of the

adult human figure on the right was
initially turned more sideways to
avoid the problem of breasts, or their
lack, as a defining characteristic, but
it was finally decided to reproduce

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fable, e.g., the mouse outwitting the
lion or helping the lion.
However, the child was drawn with
a somewhat mischievous facial expression, and such a figure might still
elicit stories of a similar nature; such
as giving help to a man who needs a
cane to walk, or by the subject interpreting the shadow near the left knee
as an object suitable for mischief.
Picture four presented relatively
few problems except for the absence
of tails, of course, and the fact that an
infant in arms is not quite the same
as an infant in the maternal pouch,
Picture five, with its anthropomorphic situation in the original, presented little difficulty.
Picture six, however, was a problem. If one is interested in what Murray has called Press Claustrum, there
just is no substitute for a cave. TO
preserve some of the possible stimulus
value of the outdoor situation (in
primitivity, in romance, in fear of
animals and of the wild), the tentlike
nature of the structure was emphasized by introducing the new feature
of trees. Responses related to the
story of the three bears will hardly
continue to play a role.
Picture seven was also a challenge.
Fears of being devoured needed to be
given a stimulus resembling the tiger
threat. The grasping, evil-toothed,
genii-like figure, supplemented by a
steaming kettle (as seen in cartoons
about cannibals) was introduced for
that purpose. The way the child is
depicted might result in chances of
escape roughly equivalent to those of
the monkey in the original.
Picture eight presented the by now
familiar problem of sexual identity.
However, the adult figures were nearly always identified as female with the
ssible exception of the extreme left
E u r e . Therefore, this figure was
dressed in slacks, rather than a dress,
giving it still some ambiguity, at least
in most of the American subcultures.
Picture nine with its anthropomor-

A Human Modification of the C A T

phic setting and lack of determining

characteristics presented no adaptational problem.
Picture ten, however, was redrawn
many times until a version was finally
reached, relatively ill-defined with regard to sex and still leaving the most
frequent two choices available-being
dried and cared for, or being spanked.
In order to maintain more ambiguity,
the child's face is drawn in profile
rather than full face, as the dog is
depicted in the original.
There is little doubt that the degree of ambiguity of the sex of the
figures in the CAT-H will vary much
more with different cultures and subcultures than the original animal figures. One of the reasons for choosing
the animals at the time had been their
relative freedom from cultural determinants, at least within the Western
World (the furniture in some of the
original CAT pictures was redrawn in
the Japanese and the Indian versions).
However, in those instances in which
the CAT-H is preferred from the start,
the advantages determining the choice
will presumably outweigh the disadvantages of less ambiguity.
Studies with the CAT-H
The human modification was at
first tried out clinically by the senior
author and by some of his associates,
with various relatively small variations of the transposition into human
form suggested by clinical experience.
In an unpublished study, Haworth
(1964) 1 has approached the comparison of CAT and an experimental set
of the CAT-H (provided by the senior author)2 with a more detailed
and dynamically oriented evaluation
scheme than is found in any of the
previously published work. All stories
lData reproduced with the permission of Dr.
'The present published version of the CAT-H
differs in some details from this experimental set. We are indebted for this final
version of the drawings, among other things,
artistically-greatly improved, to Phyllis Hurvich, who applied herself to the task with
great devotion, understanding, and skill.



11-A Schedule of Adaptive Mechanisms in C A T Responses
Critical Scores:

Age ............ Birthdate........................


Reaction-formation (only one check per story)
1. Exaggerated goodness or cleanliness
(A + ................ 2. Oppositional attitudes, rebellion, stubbornness
................ 3. Story tone opposed to picture content
Undoing and Ambivalence (only one check per story)
................ 1. Undoing
hot-cold, etc.)
................ 2. Gives alternatives; balanced phrases (asleep-awake;
.............. 3. Indecision by S or story character
................ 4. Restates (e.g., "that .........., no this.......... "he was going to, but ..........
1. Detached attitude ("it couldn't happen," "it's a cartoon")
................ 2. Literal ("it doesn't show, so I can't tell.")
................ 3. Comments on story or picture ("That is hard"; "I told a good one.")
................ 4. Laughs at card, exclamations
................ 5. Use of fairy-tale, comic-book, or "olden times" themes or characters
................ 6. Describes in detail, logical; "the end"; gives title to story
................ 7. Specific details, names or quotes ("four hours"; she said, "................"1
................ 8. Character gets lost
................ 9. Character runs away due to anger
................ 10. S aligns with parent against "naughty" child character; disapproves
child's actions
Repression and Denial
1. Child character waits, controls self, conforms, is good, learned lesson
................ 2. Accepts fate, didn't want it anyway
................ 3. Prolonged or remote punishments
................ 4. "It was just a dream"
................ 5. Forgets, or loses something
................ 6. Omits figures or objects from story (on .#lo must omit mention of
toilet and tub or washing)
................ 7. Omits usual story content
................ 8. No fantasy or story (describes card blandly)
................ 9. Refuses card
1. Child superior to adult, laughs at adult, is smarter, tricks adult, sneaks,
pretends, hides from, steals from, peeks at or spies on adult (only
one check per story)
................ 2. Adult tricks child, is not what appears to be (only one check per story)
1. Children play in bed
................ 2. See parents in bed (#5)
................ 3. Open window ( # 5 , #9); Dig, or fall in, a hole
................ 4. Babies born
................ 5. Rope breaks (#2) ; chair or cane breaks (#3) ; balloon breaks (#4) ;
tail pulled or bitten (#4,7) ; crib broken (#9)
................ 6. Rain, river, water, storms, cold
................ 7. Fire, explosions, destruction
................ 8. Sticks, knives, guns
................ 9. Cuts, stings, injuries, actual killings (other than by eating)
................ 10. Oral deprivation
Projection and Introjection
1. Attacker is attacked, "eat and be eaten"
................ 2. Innocent one is eaten or attacked
................ 3. Child is active aggressor (bites. hits, throws; d o not include verbal or
teasing attacks)


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A Human Modification of the C A T



4. Characters blame others

5. Others have secrets or make fun of somebody
6. S adds details, objects, characters, or oral themes

7. Magic or magical powers


Fear and Anxiety
1. Child hides from danger, runs away due to fear
................ 2. Fears outside forces (wind, ghosts, hunters, wild animals, monsters)
................ 3. Dreams of danger
................ 4. Parent dead, goes away, or doesnt want child
................ 5. Slips of tongue by S
1. Much affect in telling story
(2) ................ 2. Personal references
................ 3. Food spilled
................ 4. Bed or pants wet, water splashed
................ 5 . Dirty, messing, smelly; person or object falls in toilet
................ 6. Ghosts, witches, haunted house
Controls weak or absent
1. Bones, blood
................ 2. Poison
................ 3. Slang or nonsense words
................ 4. Perseveration of unusual content from a previous story
................ 5. Tangential thinking, loose associations
................ 6. Bizarre content
Adequate, same-sex
1. S identifies with same-sex parent or child character
................ 2. Child jealous of, scolded or punished by, same-sex parent
K) ................ 3. Child loves, or is helped by, parent of opposite sex
Confused, or opposite-sex
................ ............. 1. S identifies with opposite-sex parent or child character
................ 2. Child fears, or is scolded or punished by, opposite-sex parent
................ 3. Misrecognition by S of sex or species
................ 4. Slips of tongue with respect to sex of figures
(. or 2, if both are E-2responses)
This checklist has been designed primarily as an aid in the qualitative evaluation of childrens CAT stories; it can also be used to furnish a rough quantitative measure for making
comparisons between subjects and groups. T h e Schedule provides a quick summary of the
number and kinds of defenses employed as well as the content of items used most frequently.
T h e categories are arranged as nearly as possible on a continuum from indicators of high
control and constriction to suggestions of disorganization and loosening of ties to reality.
Directions for Scoring: In the blank preceding each item, indicate with a check.mark (or
the card number, for future reference) any occurrence of such a response. A story may be
scored in several categories and, except where indicated, a story may receive checks on
more than one item under any one category.
After all stories have been scored, record the total number of checks for each category in
the blank provided. T h e number in parentheses under each of these blanks indicates the
minimum number of checks regarded as a critical score for that category,
For the Identification measure, the equivalent of a critical score is secured by comparing
the relative number of checks for categories K and L. If the sum of checks for L is equal to
or exceeds the sum for K, identification is considered to be confused and contributes one
unit to the total of critical scores.
T h e final quantitative measure consists of the number of categories receiving critical scores
(and not the total number of checks for all categories).
On the basis of research findings (Haworth, 1963) five or more critical scores would indicate enough disturbance to warrant clinical intervention.

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for the study to be described were

scored for specific defense mechanisms
and for story content. The presence of
defense mechanisms was assessed with

the Haworth CAT Adaptive Mechanisms Schedule (Haworth, 1963) which

is reproduced in Table 11. Story content was indexed with the CAT Story

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Dynamics Form, Table 111.
In the Adaptive Mechanisms Schedule, the categories are arranged in an
order going from indications of high
control antl constriction to signs of
disorgnnization and loosening of reality ties. Critical score levels for each
dimension were derived from previous work (Haworth, 1962, 1963). A
reliability coefficient of .88 for two
judges had been previously reported
(Haworth 1963).
Subjects were 22 children (1G boys,
6 girls) ; ages six years, three months,
to ten years, three months, referred to
a psychiatric clinic for outpatient
diagnosis or for inpatient treatment,
with diagnoses ranging from neurotic
difficulties and behavior problems to
borderline psychoses. Both sets of
cards were administered to all subjects in a balanced order, with an
equal number of boys and girls in
each of the two administration
groups. The time between administration of the two sets varied from 14
to 20 days for all but two subjects in
each group.
Results showed no significant differences between the animal and human versions of the CAT on the total
number of categories receiving critically high scores. T h e obtained tally
was 62 critical scores for the animal
form, and 55 for the human form,
out of a possible total of 220 (22 Ss x
10 categories per subject) on each
form, with a mean of 2.8 for the animal set, and 2.5 for the human. Comparing the consistency of defense
mechanism scores between the two
forms for the group as a whole, a rank
order correlation of .68 (Kendall's
tau) is found.
Looking at the data in terms of the
consistency for a given subject, approximately half (64) of the 117 critical scores were for the same category
for each subject from animal to human form. For the remaining critical
scores (55), the S receiving a critical
score on a given category for one picture set failed to register a critical


score on the other set. For this sample

of Ss, then, there is a difference between the two sets of stimuli with
regard to eliciting particular defense
mechan isms."
Taking the categories separately,
the largest difference in critical score
incidence occurred on Projection-Introjection, with 12 tallies for the animal set antl 6 for human. Projection
is also the highest category where Ss
received a critical score on one form
but not on the other, again in favor
of the animal form (seven instances
to one). Ss were most consistent between forms on Identification patterns.
A degree of internal consistency
and construct validity is suggested by
a consideration of the nine high-scoring Ss in the group. Analysis of these
nine Ss who had four or more critical
scores on one form or the other (and
six of these had four or more critical
scores on both forms) showed no consistent 'differences in high scores or
total scores for the two forms. More
scores on Regression and Weak Controls for these nine Ss (23 instances)
than for the remaining 13 cases (6
instances) were found, but there was
no indication that the animal form
elicited more of these two dimensions
than did the human form.
Story content was indexed with the
aid of the Haworth CAT Story Dynamics form (Table 111).Any theme
found in the records of 2001, of the
subjects (for either animal or human
card set) was defined as a stable
theme, and was included in the card
by card comparison of the two versions, which is here reproduced from
the unpublished Haworth paper.

8The statement on this point by the present

authors in the first printing of the CAT-H
Manual is as follows: " .there is a definite
relationship between the two sets of stimuli
with regard to eliciting particular defense
mechanisms, but the relationship is only
moderate." Since none of the critical score
comparisons for individual defenses in the
Haworth data are statistically significant, the
above more accurately summarizes this aspect of the study.


A Huntan Modification of the C A T


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111-CAT Story Dynamics
Form: A or H
1. Oral gratification ............ Deprivation ............
Adult is Father............, Mother............, Shadow............ Other............
Punishment theme ............
2. Game............ Fight ............
Winner: Pair............ Single............
Child with: Parent of same sex............ of opposite sex............ Peer............
3. Adult attacks or scolds child ............ Child helps adult............
Adult is king ............ old, tired, lonely, etc.............
Child attacks adult ............
4. Picnic............ Disaster, fire, etc.............
Bike runs over tail or leg............
5. Parents in bed ............
Children play in bed ............ Naughty ............ Sleep............
6. Child runs away............
Attack from outside: feared ............ takes place............
7. Child is: attacked ............ gets away............ turns on large fig.............
8. Scolding, punishing ............ Child is helpful ............
Mention of picture............ Secret............
Male Adult ............
9. Attack from outside: feared............ takes place............
Everyday event ............ Loneliness............
Parents in another room ............
10. Naughtiness relates to toilet ............ other............
Punisher is same sex............ opposite sex............
Continues naughtiness ............ learned lesson............
Cards rejected:
Unusual stories:

Twenty-Sour of the 48 items reached

the 20% criterion.
Card. 1. Oral gratification is the
main theme for both animal and human forms. For those Ss not using this
reponse on both forms, the trend
favors the animal form, while more
oral deprivation is used on the human form. T h e adult is most often
seen as the mother on both forms,
with only a few responses of shadow
or figure other than father (who is
seen ?4 as often as mother). Few punishment themes are reported on either
Card 2. Predominantly seen as a
game, rather than a fight, on both
forms, with the pair most frequently
seen as the winner, especially on the
human card. T h e child is more often
seen with either mother or father on
the animal version and almost exclusively with a peer on the human form.
Card 3. No outstanding use of
either the adult attackin the child or
on either
the child helping the a c ult

form. T h e large figure is seen as

powerful (or as king) only on the
animal form, and is more often seen
as old or tired on the human form.
T h e child figure teases the adult only
on the animal form.
Card 4. Most frequently seen as
going to a picnic or to the store on
both forms, and with very few disasters happening in either versitm. Only
a very few instances on either card of
the child running over the adults heel
with his bike.
Card 5. Children are seen as playing, sleeping (most often) or being
naughty equally on both cards; parents are mentioned equally on both
Card 6 . There is no difference between cards in terms of the child running away, fearing attack or an attack
taking place; none of these themes
were used frequently.
Card 7. T h e smaller figure is frequently seen as being attacked on
both versions, but with somewhat


24 1

ium for the study of children. We still

think of the regular CAT as the first
instrument to consider. However,
with children between seven and ten,
and especially if their mental age is
much higher than their chronological
age, the CiYT-H may often be more
useful. I n this sense the CAT-H may
be a suitable bridge between the
regular CAT and the TAT.
If a child should feel animal stories
not appropriate, albeit defensively,
the human version is of course indicated. Occasionally, having employed the regular CAT and not having
obtained quite a satisfactory story, it
may be useful to offer the human
version as a supplement in the hope
of further data. Certainly, if the CATH is used first, the animal version
might be used for such purposes. As
before, the CAT-S remains for the
study of special problem areas.
With regard to research, though the
two versions may lend themselves to
a further and better study of differences between animal and human
stimuli, it is suggested that other
significant areas of inquiry not be
Finally, it would appear that an
exploration of the developmental
hypotheses of Piaget could be explored horizontally and longitudinally with the help of the CAT series.
Similarly, an exploration of psychoanalytic propositions should be fruitful: a study of the changing relationship to parental figures, the possibility of observing systematic changes in
latency, the shift of libidinal aims as
well as modes would likely be observable. In the area of ego functions,
possibly inte rated with a study of
Piagets varia les, CAT data could be
uniquely useful. Cognitive style as
well as expressive modes might show
interesting phase-and ages-specific
variations. In sociological and transcultural studies, differences in attiSUMMARY
tudes and relationships can be exIt is hoped that the CAT-H will pected to reveal themselves in statu
usefully round out the armamentar- nnscendi. T h e Indian modification

greater incidence on the animal iorm.

The chilcl escapes equally often on
both cards and only infrequently
turns to retaliate against the larger
Card 8. Scoldings occur with e ual
frequency to both cards, and the c ild
is rarely seen as being helpful. T h e
picture on the wall is mentioned more
frequently on the human form, and
secrets are reported more often on
the animal card. Male figures were
seen only on the animal form and
were mentioned in 10 of the 22 stories.
Card 9. Attacks are only infrequently reported as being feared or
as taking place on either card. Rather,
a preponderance of everyday events
are mentioned (especially to the
human form), and the parents are
occasionally reported as being in the
next room. Themes of loneliness occured more often on the human form.
Card 10. Toilet naughtiness was
reported with fair frequency on both
forms, but with somewhat more on
the human. Punishing parents are
seen about equally as being of the
same or the opposite sex, but with a
trend for more same-sex parents on
the animal form and more oppositesex parents on the human form. In
only a very few cases does the child
learn a lesson, and this tends to
happen more often on the human
Using the same experimental set of
the CAT-H that had been employed
by Haworth, Lawton carried out a
comparison of the animal and human
sets on normal children (1966) . Her
findings are similar to those of Haworth in many respects. Additional
comparative studies between the two
sets of stimuli are needed to substantiate, extend and refine the results obtained by Haworth and by Lawton,
and provide the basis for stable normative expectations for normal and
pathological subjects.

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by Chowdhury (1960) and the J a p nese adaptation by Marui (1956)

should be particularly useful for nonwestern cultures.
Armstrong, M. Childrens responses to animal
and human figures in thematic pictures.
J. consult. Psychol., 1954, 18, 67-70.
Bellak, L., & Bellak. S. An introductory note
on the Childrens Apperception Test. J .
p o i . Tech., 1950, 14, 173-180.
Bellak, L., & Bellak, S. T h e supplement to
the CAT. C.P.S. Inc., Larchmont, New
Bellak, L., & Bellak, S . T h e CAT-H-A Human Modification. C.P.S. Inc., Larchmont,
New York, 1965.
Bellak, L., & Adelman, C. T h e childrens
apperception test (CAT), in A. Rabin &
M. Haworth (Eds.) , Projective techniques
with children. New York: Grune & Stratton, 1960.
Bender, L. & Rapoport, J. Animal drawings
of children. Atner. J . Orthopsychiat., 1944,
14, 521-527.
Bender, L., & Woltman, A. G. The use of
puppet shows as a psychotherapeutic method for behavior roblems in children.
Amer. j . Orthopsyc&zt., 1936, 6, 341-354.
Biersdorf, K., & Marcuse, F. Responses of
children to human and to animal pictures.
J . proj. Tech., 1953, 17, 455-459.
Bills, R. Animal pictures for obtaining childrens projections. J. clin. Psychol., 1950, 6,
Bills, R., Leiman, C., & Thomas, R. A study
of the validity of the T A T and a set of
animal pictures. J . clin. Psychol., 1950, 6,
Blum, G., & Hunt, H. T h e validity of the
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Boyd, N., & Mandler, G. Childrens responses
to human and animal stories and pictures.
J. consult. Psychol., 1955, 19, 237-371.
Budoff, M. T h e relative utility of animal and
human figures in a picture story test for

A Human Modification of the C A T

young children. J . proj. Tech., 1960, 24,
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CAT. Delhi, India: Manasayan, 1960.
Furuya, K. Responses of school children to
human and animal pictures. J. proj. Tech.,
1957, 21, 248-252.
Haworth, M. Responses of children to a
erouD Droiective film and to the RorsEhach, CAT, Despert Fables and D-A-P.
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Haworth, M. CAT vs. CAT-H with a clinic
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New York: Grune & Stratton. 1966.
Lawton, Marcia J. Animal and Human CATS
with a school sample. J. proj. Tech., 1966,
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10, 179-181.
Mainord, F., & Marcuse, F. Responses of disturbed children to human and animal pictures. J . proj. Tech., 1954, 18,475-477.
Marui, S . A Japanese adaptation of the CAT.
Murstein, B. Theory and research in projective techniques: Emphasizing the T A T .
New York: Wiley, 1963.
Simson, E. Vergleich von CAT und einer inhaltsanalogen Mensch Bilderserie. Sonderdruck aus Diagnostica, 1959, 5, pp. 54-62.
Weisskopf, E. A transcendence index as a
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Leopold Bellak, M.D.

Roosevelt Hospital
428 West 59th Street
Kew Pork, N.Y. 10019
Received August 21, 1965
Revision received January 14, 1966