A Matter of Perceptions

Rorschach, Andy Warhol, 1984

 
 

The Rorschach test also known as the Rorschach inkblot test, the Rorschach technique, or simply the inkblot test) is a psychological test in which subjects’ perceptions of inkblots are recorded and then analyzed using psychological interpretation, complex algorithms, or both. Some psychologists use this test to examine a person’s personality characteristics and emotional functioning. It has been employed to detect underlying thought disorder, especially in cases where patients are reluctant to describe their thinking processes openly. The test is named after its creator, Swiss psychologist Hermann Rorschach (8 November 1884 – 1 April 1922).

Using interpretation of “ambiguous designs” to assess an individual’s personality is an idea that goes back to Leonardo da Vinci and Sandro Botticelli. Interpretation of inkblots was central to a game, Gobolinks, from the late 19th century. Rorschach’s, however, was the first systematic approach of this kind.

 
 

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