ISSB - Projective Personality Tests

The underlying idea of a Projective technique is to induce the individual to make a response to a given stimuli, e.g., words, pictures or situations. The examiner; by analyzing the responses is enabled to have a peep into the candidate's personality traits such as his basic desires, mental conflicts, attitude towards others, ability to withstand stress, power of reasoning, determination to succeed, social attributes, etc. Thus a pen picture of the candidate is written by the psychologist. The marks awardes or the evaluation tallies with thwe pen picture.

What is Projective Personality Test

Personality assessment is designed to help a professional better understand an individual’s personality. Personality is a complex combination of factors that has been developed over a person’s entire childhood and young adulthood. There are genetic, environmental and social components to personality — our personalities are not shaped by one single influence. Therefore tests that measure personality take into account this complexity and rich texture.

In a projective test, an individual "supplies structure to unstructured stimuli in a manner consistent with the individual’s own unique pattern of conscious and unconscious needs, fears, desires, impulses, conflicts, and ways of perceiving and responding." The responses to projective tests are content examined for meaning instead of being depending on presuppositions about meaning, as is also the case with objective tests.

Rorschach Inkblot Test

The most famous projective test is the Rorschach Inkblot Test. The test is composed 5 black and white inkblot cards and 5 colored inkblot cards that an individual is shown and then asked to tell the professional what they see. The most popular scoring system for the Rorschach is the Exner system, developed in the 1970s. Responses are scored based the location described in the inkblot, and its determinants — the things in the blot that prompted the person’s response. So yes, for the Rorschach there are answers that are “more right” than others.

Thematic Apperception Test (TAT)

The Thematic Apperception Test (TAT) is comprised of 31 cards that depict people in a variety of situations. A few contain only objects and one card is completely blank. Often only a small subset of the cards is given (such as 10 or 20). The person viewing the card is asked to make up a story about what they see. The TAT is not often formally scored; instead it’s a test designed to try and distinguish recurring themes in the person’s life. The pictures themselves have no inherent or “correct” story; therefore anything a person says about the picture may be an unconscious reflection into the person’s life or inner turmoil.

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