THE INKBLOT . Rorschach

Inkblots have long been regarded as suggestive prompts to projective fantasies. ‘ … he who will gaze allentively at that [smudge or blot]’ wrote Leonardo‚ ‘will see in it human heads‚ various animals‚ a battle‚ rocks‚ the sea‚ clouds‚ thickets and still more .. .’ The Swiss psychiatrist Hermann Rorschach (1884-1922) devised a diagnostic test based on his patients’ responses to a series of ten symmetrical inkblots‚ cr‎eated by a vertical fold‚ and presented on printed cards. What patients ‘saw’ in the blots was analysed in terms of a number of categories: e.g. images of humans and animals: landscapes‚ colours‚ movements‚ spClces and forms. Responses to the whole blot or details were also noted. as were original. unpredictable or unusual responses. Rorschach codified and quantified these responses. He went so far as to see the tests as revealing different qualities (though not degrees) of intelligence. ma‎stering his diagnostic formulae was considered a mailer of great professional accomplishment by some psychiatrists‚ and intuition was seen as essential to its successful application. Others have regarded it as ha‎ving no particular scientific value‚ being merely an invitation to associations whose analysis are dependent on the subjective intuition of the clinician. Non-professionals have been intrigued‚ or disconcerted‚ by informal simulations of the test.
From: PSYCHOBOX‚ A BOX PSYCHOLOGICAL GAMES. Edited by: Mel GOODING. Shambala Publication. 2004