Today we are going to talk about the Rorschach Inkblot Test, which is a psychological personality test. So, let’s know the whole concept of the Rorschach Inkblot Test.

For nearly a century,10 Inkblots, shown below have been used for what seems like an almost mystical personality test. The mysterious images were said to take out the working of a person’s mind. But what do these Inkblots tell us and how does these work? Lets See.

Also, here is the official link to the Rorschach Inkblot website which you all can always go through.

History of Rorschach Inkblot Test

Rorschach Inkblot Test was invented in the late 20th Century by Swiss psychiatrist Hermann Rorschach. Rorschach Inkblot Test is about a general approach to perception.

Hermann Rorschach was captivated by the variety of visual perception from person to person. Later, in his medical school, he learnt about how our senses are deeply connected. He understood that our process of perception doesn’t just get registered in our sensory inputs, but transforms them.

What is the Rorschach Inkblot Test?The use of the Rorschach Inkblot Test in psychology.The procedure of the Rorschach Inkblot Test.

Later Hermann Rorschach started working in a mental hospital in Switzerland. He started designing a series of puzzling images to get new perception into this mysterious process.

Using his inkblot painting he began questioning different healthy people as his subjects and some psychiatric patients asking them what might the inkblot is about. However, this question was not what Rorschach concern was, but rather important was how they approach the test. He was concerned about:

  • which part of the test they focused on and which they ignored?
  • did they see the image moving?
  • did the colour on some inkblots help them give better answers or distract or overwhelm them?

He then developed a system to code people’s responses, reducing a wide range of interceptions to a few manageable numbers. Now he had empirical to quantify all types of test takers. Some people would get stuck, offering the same answers for all the inkblots. Others give unusual delightful descriptions. This offered a different type of perceptual problems- some easier to interpret than others. But, analyzing the test taker’s overall approach yielded the insight into their psychology. As Rorschach tested more and more people patterns piled up.

What is the Rorschach Inkblot Test?The use of the Rorschach Inkblot Test in psychology.The procedure of the Rorschach Inkblot Test.

Healthy people with the same personalities often took remarkably same approaches. Patients suffering from the same mental illnesses also performed similarly, making the test a reliable diagnostic tool.

In 1921 Rorschach published his coding system along with the 10 inkblots. Over the next several decades the test became widely popular around the world. Unfortunately, less than a year after Rorschach died suddenly. Without its inventor to keep in track, the Rorschach Inkblot Test methodically gathered so much data to support began to be used in all sorts of speculative ways.

The use of the Rorschach Inkblot Test in psychology.

The Rorschach Inkblot Test is a projective psychological test that evaluates the answers of a patient to conclude their personality. Ironically, Rorschach did not create the inkblot test for personality testing. The test was developed to identify serious mental illnesses such as schizophrenia, depression, and anxiety. It became clear over time, however, that the test was more useful for identifying personality traits rather than mental illnesses, although the test can still produce these results.

What is the Rorschach Inkblot Test?The use of the Rorschach Inkblot Test in psychology.The procedure of the Rorschach Inkblot Test

The absolute procedure of the Rorschach Inkblot Test.

  1. There are ten official inkblots. Five inkblots are black ink on white. Two are black and red ink on white. Three are multicoloured.
  2. The psychologist shows the inkblots in a particular order and asks the patient, for each card, “What might this be?”.
  3. The patient is asked to list everything he sees in each blot, where he sees it, and what there is in the blot that makes it look like that.
  4. The blot can also be rotated.
  5. When the test is administered, the patient’s brain begins attempting to spot any patterns within the inkblots.
  6. Each of the inkblots incorporates a common form that’s known by most patients. These common shapes are used to measure whether or not a patient is jutting their personalities onto the inkblots or not.
  7. After one round all 10 cards, the patient is usually brought through another round within which they’re asked to explain more regarding the inkblots.
  8. This is when the personality of the patient tends to bleed into their interpretation of the cards.
  9. Once the test is finished and the responses are recorded, the psychiatrist who administered the test will begin to evaluate the patient’s response.
  10. Much of the interpretation comes from psychiatrist’s understanding of the patient’s answers.
  11. Although the cards do have common interpretations, the patient’s response will tell the psychiatrist about their past, their personality traits, and the way that they function in the world.
  12. Because of the advanced nature of the responses, these characteristics can usually be paired along to produce a far better description of the patient’s responses.
  13. The psychiatrist will use a rating system according to several categories.
  14. Using the scores for these categories, the examiner then performs a series of mathematical calculations producing a structural summary of the test data.
  15. 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.
  16. Both the calculations of scores and the interpretation are often done electronically

The Psychiatrist also will use a rating system that bases answers on the subsequent characteristics:

  • The perceived type of inkblot
  • If any movement was detected by the patient once viewing the inkblot
  • Responses that feature colour
  • Responses that feature white, grey, or black colours
  • Responses that describe the feel of an inkblots
  • Responses that describe the shading and dimensions of an inkblots
  • Responses that describe the shading of an inkblot
  • Responses that address the scale of an inkblot however not the shading
  • Responses that address a pair of objects due to the asymmetrical nature of the inkblot

Though the validity of the Rorschach inkblot test is debatable, the mental illnesses that it is seeking to identify are not. If you believe that you have a mental illness, the best course of action to take is to seek help immediately.

Don’t know where to start? I highly recommend starting your healing journey by visiting our previous article on Suicide and Depression Helpline numbers worldwide and Suicide and Depression Helpline numbers in India. These suicide helpline numbers are highly confidential and you can call them anytime or the timing mentioned.

If anyone of you is suffering from a serious mental health issue we suggest you visit a psychiatrist immediately.