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Rorschach Inkblot Test, Thematic Apperception Test (TAT),Minnesota Multiphasic Personality Inventory ( MMPI)

By Rebecca Cortez

Introduction to Projective Tests


Projective Tests- Stemming from psychoanalytic theory, these tests are

designed to assess unconscious material by asking subjects to interpret ambiguous stimuli. The stimulus has no inherent significance, so any meaning people read into it is presumably a projection of their internal feelings and conflicts. When shown photographs afterwards, they were more likely to perceive the photos as scary or malicious. He presumed they had projected their inner feelings onto the photographs. Went on to develop Thematic Apperception Test (TAT).

Murray (1933)- Children at his daughters party played a scary game Murder.

Used to: Researchers frequently use tests in the course of studying personality

traits. Diagnose psychological disorders in clinical settings For assessment purposes in court ordered evaluations Some mental health providers use to decide how to best counsel people about normal problems of daily living

Rorschach Inkblot Test


Created by Hermann Rorschach in 1921 A projective psychological test where individuals are asked to describe what they see in a series of 10 inkblots. Free to use any part of the inkblot and allowed to give several responses for each card. Thought to identify peoples innermost feelings, unconscious drives and conflicts from responses Most widely used projective test 80% of clinical psychologists engaged in assessment services

80% of psych grad programs surveyed teach it.

Rorschach Inkblot Test


Researchers not only access content of response. Any information

given during testing provides valuable insight into the unconscious. This is why everything the subject says or does is written down.

Ex 1: The degree of mental organizing activity involved in producing the response Ex 2: Illogical, incongruous, or incoherent aspects of responses. Ex 3: Whether the subject uses the whole inkblot or part of it in their response Ex 4: Time taken to produce response (pausing before card can indicate shock) Ex 5:How the subject holds the card and rotates them Ex 6:Analyzing the first card can see how they adapt to new/stressful tasks. Ex 7: Whether subject asks questions and what questions asked Ex 8: Whether a movement based response is given (see things in movement)

Rorschach Inkblot Test


Exner Scoring System (John E. Exner, 1960) - Using the scores

for certain categories, the examiner performs a series of mathematical calculations producing a structural summary of the test data. The results of the structural summary are interpreted using existing empirical research data on personality characteristics that have been demonstrated to be associated with different kinds of responses.
Rorschach would give a higher form score to more original

yet good form responses (to what extent a response is faithful to how the actual inkblot looks)
http://theinkblot.com/theory.htm. ,- Take the test for

yourself online

Advantages of the Rorschach


Higher inter-rater reliability through the Exner scoring system (1960s)- a standard

method used for interpreting the test


Substantial evidence scores are related to and can identify thought/ psychotic disorders.

Responses given by those with Schizophrenia and Bi-Polar disorder (manic phase), Schizotypal personality disorder, have poor form quality (they do not fit the shape of the inkblots). The disorganized thoughts and peculiarities of language of schizophrenics can be seen in in interpretation
Several scores correlate well with general intelligence: # of responses , how detailed and

creative response is
Elizur Anxiety and Hostility scales (based on the emotional content of patients

responses)- have a well-demonstrated relationship to anxious and hostile behaviors


The Rorschach Oral Dependency scale (ROD), based on responses that involve eating,

mouths, or other oral imagery, appears to be a valid measure of normal variations in dependency

Advantages of the Rorschach Continued


Piotrowski found that many patients with organic brain

disorders take a longer time to react to the blots and often give repetitious responses.
Klopfers Rorschach Prognostic Rating Scale (RPRS) has a

well-demonstrated relationship to treatment outcomes . Ex: Those who report seeing animals or humans in movement receive higher scores on Klopfers scale and have somewhat better outcomes in psychotherapy.
Can be used as an adjunct to psychotherapy by asking the

client what the image makes him or her think of and then analyzing the response.

Precautions/Limitations with Rorschach


Results are poorly verifiable.
Declining adherence to the Freudian principle of repression on which the test

is based.
Loren and Jean Chapman (1960s) Found responses thought to be indicative of

homosexuality were just as likely to be given by heterosexual males. Students told the male might be a homosexual were more likely to read through inkblot responses and interpret them as such when they were arbitrary developed.
Illusory correlation- the phenomenon of seeing the relationship one expects in

a set of data even when no such relationship exists.


Subject to bias (countertransference)- Ex: If the individual comes from lower

socioeconomic background or different race, will the clinician tend to see inkblot response as more negative if they happen to be prejudiced? In other words, will the clinician project his or her own unconscious impulses about the test-taker on the analysis?

Precautions/Limitations with Rorschach Continued


Overpathologize normal individuals- Rorschach identifies half of all test-takers

as possessing distorted thinking, a false positive rate unexplained by current research

It is also thought that the test's reliability can depend substantially on details

of the testing procedure : where the tester and subject are seated introductory words verbal and nonverbal responses to subjects' questions or comments how responses are recorded.

Procedures for coding responses while fairly well specified are extremely time-

consuming to inexperienced examiners, who may cut corners as a result . Exner has published detailed instructions, but Wood et al(2003) cites many court cases where these have not been followed populations. But, beginning in the mid-1990s others began to try to replicate or update these norms and failed. In particular, discrepancies seemed to focus on indices measuring narcissism, disordered thinking, and discomfort in relationships.

Exner's system was thought to possess normative scores for various

Thematic Apperception Test (TAT) (Murray & Morgan,


1935)

The TAT (picture interpretation technique)a projective test that uses a standard series of 31 provocative yet ambiguous pictures from which subjects are asked to tell a story. Questions such as:

What is happening at the moment? What has led up to the event shown? What are the characters are thinking and feeling,? What is the relationship between the characters ? What will be the outcome of the story?

Most human figures. Male, female, both genders, some of ambiguous gender, both adults and children. Facial expressions are intentionally vague so subject can project their own inner states. One card is blank

Thematic Apperception Test


Most practitioners choose a set of approximately 10-20 cards, either using cards that they feel are generally useful, or that they believe will encourage the subject's expression of emotional conflicts relevant to their specific history and situation (although cards were originally designed to be matched to the subject by age & gender, any card may be used with any subject). Can be used as an adjunct to psychotherapy or as an icebreaker in individual and group therapy

Thematic Apperception Test (TAT)

Meticulous notes are taken in exactly the same way the subject has told the story. As with the Rorschach, everything the subject says or does is written down no matter how trivial . According to Murray, the protagonist or the main character is a personality with whom the test-taker identifies himself or herself. The main character reflects the dreams, aspirations, attitudes, needs and feelings of the subject. Example: those who say a daydreaming boy is thinking about an upcoming test or piano recital are thought to be projecting their own goals and achievement value onto the picture

Thematic Apperception Test (TAT)

Several formal scoring systems have been developed for analyzing TAT stories. Two most common methods are: Defense Mechanisms Manual (DMM)- Assesses 3 defense mechanisms: Denial, Projection, and Identification. Social Cognition and Object Relations (SCOR). - 4 dimensions of object relations. Research into object relations using the TAT investigates: extent people are emotionally involved in relationships with others; ability to understand the complexities of human relationships ability to distinguish between their viewpoint on a situation and the perspectives of others involved ability to control aggressive impulses self-esteem issues issues of personal identity

Advantages of Thematic Apperception Test (TAT)


Murray stated that without exception, every person who

participated in the study injected aspects of their personalities into their stories.
Especially useful for children who can utilize pictures to tell a

story about their emotions/internal conflicts as they can have difficultly expressing themselves directly with words.
Especially useful in psychotherapy, where discussions can be

made about the theme of certain stories the client gives that might not have been within the clients current awareness.
Subject cannot figure out how their response will be

interpreted so it is difficult to fake a response

Precautions/Limitations of the Thematic Apperception Test (TAT)


The created stories could be based on current circumstances rather than

personality attributes. Ex 1: a person who had a relaxing day at the beach might tell a very different story than a person who was recently in a car accident. The difference then would be more circumstantial than due to deep seated personality issues. Ex 2: Murray (girls recently watched horror movie, pictures tell about their current state more than their overall personality). reflecting their own set of values and beliefs. Results unable to span consistently across cultures.

Culturally inconsistent- those from different cultures will tell different stories

Declining adherence to the Freudian principle of repression on which the test is

based has caused TAT to be criticized as false or outdated. (as with Rorschach).

No single system presently used for scoring the TAT has achieved widespread

acceptance. The drawback of any scoring system in evaluating responses to the TAT story cards is that information that is not relevant to that particular system is lost.

Precautions/Limitations of the Thematic Apperception Test (TAT)


Very difficult to prove valid or reliable scores
Not useful for diagnosis of mental disorders Characters and environments are outdated, which can create a cultural or

psychosocial distance between the subject and the stimuli. Identifying with them is less likely.
In analyzing responses of subjects given photographs versus the TAT, TAT cards

evoked more negative stories than photographs, leading researchers to conclude that the difference was due to the differences in the characteristics of the images used as stimuli.
Mental Health professional administering the test may unknowingly project

his/her own thoughts and feelings about the subjects story onto the analysis.
Poor predictor of behavior: trouble predicting troublesome or aggressive

behavior from stories.

Minnesota Multiphasic Personality Inventory (MMPI)


A personality self-report inventory with 567 true-false items with several

scaled scores. Originally designed to measure dimensions of abnormality, now most psychologists look for the overall patterns of scores rather than one specific scale when making assessments. 1989-MMPII-2. Revised 2001.

Hathaway & J.C. McKinley( 1930s). Copyrighted by University of Minnesota.

Clinicians look for scores that are significantly lower or higher than the

normal population. Empirical criterion-keying approach. Ex: to identify and develop a depressive scale, we would identify test items that depressive individuals answer differently from non-depressive individuals. The only thing that interests me in the news is the comics depressives are more likely to agree. 1989- Content scales added (derived from theoretical concerns)

Most widely used clinical assessment tools .

High validity. The MMPI-2 was validated using a normative sample of 2,600 adults. There are 10000 published papers using the MMPI-2 and hundreds of papers every year are added to this number.

Minnesota Multiphasic Personality Inventory (MMPI)


One survey found nearly universal agreement among directors of

graduate programs that MMPPI-2 should be part of a clinicians training intuitions about what answers indicate particular personality traits.

Based on empirical research and not on a clinician's assumptions or Used: Diagnosis of psychological disorders

Part of inpatient psychiatric assessments Outpatient evaluations Expert witnesses in forensic settings Part of an evaluation of a defendant's mental health, particularly in criminal cases. Evaluate candidates for employment in some fields Educational counseling.

MMPI-A- Special version designed for adolescents


Take test online-

<http://www.hypnoticmp3.com/free_mmpi2_online.htm>

Description

What is Measured

No of Test Items

Hypochondriasis
Depression

Concern about bodily symptoms


Depressive Symptoms- persistent sadness, pessimism, lack of hope in future

32
57

Hysteria

Self centeredness, demands attention, violent emotional outbreaks, excessive/uncontrollable emotions, disturbances in sensory & motor function
Conflict, struggle, anger, respect social rules Stereotypical Masculine/Feminine Interests/Behaviors Level of trust, suspiciousness, sensitivity Worry, anxiety, tension, doubts, excessive/uncontrollable fears, obsessiveness (originally OCD) Odd thinking, delusions, hallucinations, social alienation Level of excitability

60

Psychopathic Deviate Masculinity/Feminin ity Paranoia Psychasthenia

50 56 40 48

Schizophrenia Hypomania

78 46

Social Introversion

People orientation ,tendency to withdraw from social contacts & responsibilities

69

Advantages of MMPPI-2
Some times people will intentionally present themselves in a better light than they really

are. Others will present themselves as having psychotic symptoms when in fact they are normal. Special scales on the MMPI-2 are designed to deal with faking good or bad.
Others are carless. Some test items are presented with the same question in both positive

and negative form. Ex: I am outgoing in the presence of others or I tend withdraw from people . Also, same question altogether can appear. Inconsistent answers can reflect carelessness
Some high in social desirability-the tendency of respondents to reply in a manner that

will be viewed favorably by others. Not the same as intentionally faking, these individuals may do this habitually or unconsciously. MMPI-2 measures social desirability directly.
Some more likely to agree with test questions. Do you work a little harder when given a

difficult task? (Yes) Do you usually give up when you find a task difficult? (Yes). Confirmation bias- respondents can usually find information that confirms the statement rather than look for evidence that disconfirms it. Half of the time word is in opposite manner. Sometimes true and sometimes false are indicative of a trait.

Precautions/Limitations of MMPPI-2
Researchers in one study allowed a group of university students to indicate when

they did not know the meaning of a word. Some test questions were not understood by 32% of students (Grazina, Jensen-Campbell, Steele, & Hair, 1998).
Lengthy and Time Consuming( 60-90min)- 567 items, longest of all commonly

used personality inventories. Makes people more subject to carelessness.. A person with a lower reading ability can take up to two or more hours to complete
Because the MMPI-2 is copyrighted by the University of Minnesota, clinicians

must pay to administer and utilize the test.


While quick computer-generated narrative reports are available and can be a

useful tool, they should be evaluated and edited if needed by a trained clinician.
Not a replacement for a clinical interview Diagnosis should NOT be made on MMPI-2 Results alone