Ink Blot techniques

Ink Blot techniques

The Ink blot techniques consist of two popular techniques, that is, The Rorschach Test and The Holtzman Ink blot test. In these tests the examinee has to respond to an unstructured situation composed of some ink blots.

Construction Techniques
All those situations are included here in which a story is constructed by the examinee on seeing the stimulus material within some given time limit. The themes and mode of responding are considered relevant in such tests. The Thematic Apperception Test (TAT), the Object Relations Test are some of the examples of construction techniques. Some other tests like Draw-A-Person test are also included in this category. In all these tests, the examinee constructs or produces simple/complex statements in a story form or draws some picture or person.

Completion Techniques
These include the situations where some incomplete sentences are presented to the examinee and he can complete them in the form he desires. For example
I want ………..,
I feel excited about…………………..
The subject has to fill up the blanks and the responses given by the examinee are recorded and analysed to get a picture of the individual’s personality. For example, Rotter’s Incomplete Sentences Blank. Some people consider it as a semi projective technique.

Expressive Techniques
These include those tests where some manipulative tasks are used by the examinee to depict his or her personality. Some interaction with the given material is the theme of these techniques. Some of the common expressive techniques include role playing, finger painting, play, drawing etc. The characteristic feature of expressive techniques is that the examiner pays much attention to the manner in which the given materials are manipulated by the examinee.

The Rorschach Inkblot Test
Rorschach inkblot test was developed in 1921 by Swiss psychiatrist Hermann Rorschach. It consists of 10 inkblots, five in black ink on a white background and five in colored inks on a white background. The Rorschach test is a measure
of both the intellectual and non intellectual personality traits. While developing this technique, Rorschach experimented with a large number of ink blots which were administered to different psychiatric groups. On the basis of such clinical observations various psychiatric syndromes that differentiate response characteristics were taken up in the scoring system.

In the test , the subjects are asked to simply state whatever each inkblot looks like to them. Responses are scored by the psychologists using predetermined categories, on key factors such as color and shape, movement, whether the whole or part blot has been seen, and whether the response is given in content to the whole or to peculiar details in the blot.

These blots are frequently used for personality description, diagnosis of mental disorders and for behaviour predictions (Watkins et al, 1995; Wiener, 1997). The whole procedure of The Rorschach Test is a combined set of three components, viz., performance proper, inquiry, and scoring.

The Holtzman Inkblot Test
Holtzman et. Al. (1961) developed an inkblot test known as the Holtzman Inkblot Test (HIT). This test was developed by Holtzman in order to remove the inherent technical difficulties of the Rorschach like unlimited number of responses, poor scorer reliability etc. There are two parallel forms (A and B) having 45 cards, both colored and achromatic and markedly asymmetric. One response per card is taken by the respondent. Each response is followed by a two fold simple question : where was the percept represented in the blot and what the percept suggests about the blot ? All the responses are then classified under 22 response variables.

It has been found by many researchers that Holtzman test appears to be better standardised than the Rorschach test. Also the scorer reliability of the HIT is highly satisfactory validity data on HIT have also yielded satisfactory results. It has also overcome the problem of productivity ratio by specifying the number of responses.

Recently, Holtzman (1988) has also developed a variant of HIT called HIT 25. Consisting of 25 cards. It has been found to be successful in diagnosing schizophrenia.

The TAT
This test was developed by Henry Murray and his colleagues (Morgan and Murray, 1935). The Thematic Apperception Test (TAT) consists of 20 pictures which are all black and white. The people depicted in the picture are deliberately drawn in ambiguous situations. After showing the picture, a story is to be told by the client about the person or people in the picture. They have to say what is happening in the picture, what has caused the event and what could have taken place in the past and what would happen in the future. The story narrated by the client is interpreted by the psychologist, who tries to look for revealing statements and projection of the client’s hidden emotions onto the characters in the pictures. In the original interpretation method of TAT scores, the examiner first determines who is the “hero”, the character of either sex with whom the respondent presumably identifies himself or herself. The content of the stories is then analysed in reference to Murray’s list of “needs” and “press”. Achievement, affiliation and aggression are the examples of needs whereas “press” refers to environmental forces that may facilitate or interfere with need satisfaction.

However, TAT has been used extensively in the research of personality but the high variations in administration and scoring procedures associated with TAT has made it quite difficult to investigate the psychometric properties of the TAT. Nevertheless, the value of Thematic Apperception Techniques has been confirmed and also the clinical utility of various versions of the TAT both for traditional and specific applications have been established.

The Sentence Completion Tests
Other than these two well-known projective tests, there are some other types of projective tests which include Sentence Completion test, Draw-A-Person test, and House-Tree-Person Test. In the sentence completion test, verbal material is used. Various incomplete sentences are given to the subject to complete them. Some of the incomplete sentences are like example given below:
I feel very …….,
I wish my mother….
The subject is asked to complete the sentence the way he/she desires. In the Draw-A-Person and House-Tree-Person, the client is supposed to draw the named items on a white sheet.

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