Österreichische Akademie für Psychologen | ÖAP

Is the Rorschach test of any use in clinical and forensic assessment?

 17.10.2023 von 18:30 bis 20:00 Uhr | Zoom


The Rorschach test was created more than 100 years ago (1921) and, strangely, it is still used today worldwide. It seems to be a very peculiar tool as it was and still is the object of an extremely abundant literature with heated debates between harsh critics and convinced proponents. We will present a balanced analysis of the situation: origin and object of critics, arguments of defenders, and what we can learn from the most recent research. We will conclude by describing what the test can be used for and what it should not be used for.

  • Origin of the problem: Hermann Rorschach's intentions and theoretical ideas are not clearly articulated in Psychodiagnostik, the book in which he presents his test. HR was in the process of building a revolutionary theory of personality and wanted to test it with his experiment (the inkblots) to gather empirical data before formulating the whole theory. Unfortunately, he died a few months after the book was published and thus his seminal ideas remained a mystery.
  • Developments: In Europe, Japan, South America and the USA a handful of psychiatrists and psychologists, fascinated by HR's inkblots, appropriated the method in the framework of their preferred theories of personality: psychoanalysis, phenomenology, neuropsychology, Ego psychology to name only the main trends.
  • Consequences: a cacophony of voices, the test being considered alternatively as revealing the unconscious, describing the self-experience, pinpointing brain damage, capturing the problem-solving modalities. In court cases, some used it to prove facts of sexual abuse or other traumatic events, to assign custody of a child to one of the parents, to measure the dangerousness of a criminal offender .
  • There was also a split between two trends: some authors considered it as a test, thus attempting to establish its psychometric properties, other authors considered it as a "projective technique ", thus discarding the notions of validity, reliability, incremental value and normative data as non-relevant.
  • Past and present critics are right when they denounce non-professional uses of the Rorschach.

After this introduction, we will present the Comprehensive System-Revised and concentrate on the psychometric properties of the test: what evidence do we have, what is the incremental value of the Rorschach in a professional personality assessment, to what questions can it contribute, and to what it cannot.
An open debate will then be offered to the participants.

Referentin: Anne Andronikof, Ph.D. is currently emeritus professor of Psychopathology at Paris Nanterre University (France). Her current research topics are the psychometric properties and clinical use of the Rorschach test, the role of self-image and narcissism in health processes and psychopathology of violent behaviours. She is a clinical psychologist, presently focusing on psychology assessment in forensic settings and child and adolescent conduct disorders. Past-president of the International Society of the Rorschach and Projective Methods (ISR), President of the Comprehensive System International Rorschach Association (CSIRA), Curator of the Hermann Rorschach Archives and Museum (HRAM), fellow member of the Society for Personality Assessment, Honorary Editor of the international journal Rorschachiana, vice-president of the French Committee for Ethics, Deontology and Scientific Integrity (CEDIS) of the University Paris-Cité.

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Anne Andronikof, Ph.D.

Veranstaltet von

  • Landesgruppe Wien

Landesgruppen / Fachsektionen

  • Landesgruppe Wien


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