Projective Testing
By
Virginia Huynh, Isaac Huang
Erica Olsen, and Liz Beck
Lilienfeld, S. O., Wood, J. M., &
Garb, H. N. (2001). What's wrong
with this picture. Scientific American,
284 (5), 80-87.
Lilienfeld, S. O., Wood, J. M., & Garb, H.
N. (2001). What's wrong with this picture.
Scientific American, 284 (5), 80-87.
Lilienfeld, S. O., Wood, J. M., & Garb, H.
N. (2001). What's wrong with this picture.
Scientific American, 284 (5), 80-87.
Lilienfeld, S. O., Wood, J. M., & Garb, H.
N. (2001). What's wrong with this picture.
Scientific American, 284 (5), 80-87.
Lilienfeld, S. O., Wood, J. M., & Garb, H.
N. (2001). What's wrong with this picture.
Scientific American, 284 (5), 80-87.
Lilienfeld, S. O., Wood, J. M., & Garb, H.
N. (2001). What's wrong with this picture.
Scientific American, 284 (5), 80-87.
Lilienfeld, S. O., Wood, J. M., & Garb, H.
N. (2001). What's wrong with this picture.
Scientific American, 284 (5), 80-87.
Projective Tests
• Assess the unconscious desires, emotions,
experiences, memories and imaginations of
individuals.
• Assess violent tendencies in convicts,
mental stability of people, aggression in
children, and sexual abuse in children.
• Tests often have little or no validity for
these purposes.
Lilienfeld, S. O., Wood, J. M., & Garb, H.
N. (2001). What's wrong with this picture.
Scientific American, 284 (5), 80-87.
Rorschach Test
• First introduced by Swiss psychiatrist
Hermann Rorschach in 1920’s.
• Consists of 10 inkblots.
• Test was criticized in the 1950’ and 1960’s
because of the lack of norms and
standardized procedures.
Lilienfeld, S. O., Wood, J. M., & Garb, H.
N. (2001). What's wrong with this picture.
Scientific American, 284 (5), 80-87.
Rorschach Test (cont.)
• Psychologist John Exner, Jr. came up with the
Comprehensive System in an attempt to
standardize and use norms for adults and children.
• Comprehensive System failed at scoring reliability
and validity.
• Only half of the characteristics had interscorer
reliability, making this test overall unreliable and
invalid.
Lilienfeld, S. O., Wood, J. M., & Garb, H.
N. (2001). What's wrong with this picture.
Scientific American, 284 (5), 80-87.
Rorschach Test (cont.)
• Can detect thought disorders such as
schizophrenia and manic depression.
– Can be detected in other valid and objective ways.
• Not equipped to identify psychiatric conditions.
• Not valid for detecting sexual abuse in children,
violence, impulsiveness, criminal behavior.
• Unrepresentative of the general population, and
therefore are subject to over-diagnosing
psychiatric conditions.
Lilienfeld, S. O., Wood, J. M., & Garb, H.
N. (2001). What's wrong with this picture.
Scientific American, 284 (5), 80-87.
Thematic Apperception Test
• Client forms a story based on ambiguous
pictures.
• Administration of the TAT is not
standardized and clinicians usually interpret
the results intuitively instead of using
scoring procedures.
• Only 3% relied of clinicians who use the
TAT relied on the scoring system.
Lilienfeld, S. O., Wood, J. M., & Garb, H.
N. (2001). What's wrong with this picture.
Scientific American, 284 (5), 80-87.
Thematic Apperception Test (cont.)
• Weak test-retest reliability and questionable
validity.
• Test does not differentiate psychotic or
depressed individuals from normal.
Lilienfeld, S. O., Wood, J. M., & Garb, H.
N. (2001). What's wrong with this picture.
Scientific American, 284 (5), 80-87.
Draw-a-Person Test
• Requires the participant to draw a picture.
• Base their interpretation and analysis of the
participant depending on the drawings
characteristics.
• Psychologists often over-diagnose and
people who lack artistic ability are more
likely to be diagnosed with a mental illness.
Lilienfeld, S. O., Wood, J. M., & Garb, H.
N. (2001). What's wrong with this picture.
Scientific American, 284 (5), 80-87.
Conclusion
• Projective tests should be used in limited
circumstances.
• Methods of assessment seem to lack incremental
validity and empirically-based validity.
• Many innocent people suffer from the false
diagnosis and the custody ruling and criminal
court decisions based on these tests.
Lilienfeld, S. O., Wood, J. M., & Garb, H.
N. (2001). What's wrong with this picture.
Scientific American, 284 (5), 80-87.
Critiques
• The Rorschach test is poorly equipped to
identify most psychiatric conditions, such as
schizophrenia and bipolar disorder, but used
so frequently during analysis (412 randomly
selected clinical psychologists use it at least
occasionally 82% of the time, and 43% use it
always or frequently)
• researchers hide the negative results and
continue to use the tests, and only ones that
show validity get published.
• Psychologists mis-diagnose people who lack
artistic ability with mental illness, even though
Lilienfeld, S. O., Wood, J. M., & Garb, H.
there is not evidence
of validity
N. (2001). What's wrong
with this picture.
Scientific American, 284 (5), 80-87.
Frequency of projective tests by
clinical psychologists
90
80
70
60
50
40
30
20
10
0
frequently
or always
Rorschach
TAT
Human Figure
Drawings
occasionally
Lilienfeld, S. O., Wood, J. M., & Garb, H.
N. (2001). What's wrong with this picture.
Scientific American, 284 (5), 80-87.
Critiques
• Author says that projective tests are useful in
certain circumstances, but didn’t say where.
Moreover, if these tests lack validity, how can
it be useful?
• Talks about negative aspects only, presenting
a biased and non-objective evaluation of
projective tests
• Says must stop using projective tests, but is
unrealistic. A better option is to persuade
users to use it less because it is not valid
Lilienfeld, S. O., Wood, J. M., & Garb, H.
N. (2001). What's wrong with this picture.
Scientific American, 284 (5), 80-87.