Thematic Apperception Test

Purpose: Designed as a projective measure.

Population: Ages 4 and over.

Score: N/A.

Time: (100-200) minutes in 2 sessions one day apart.

Author: Henry A. Murray.

Publisher: Harvard University Press.

Description: The Thematic Apperception Test (TAT) is, along with the Rorschach, among the most widely used, researched, and taught projective tests in existence. It consists of a series of pictures of relatively ambiguous scenes to which subjects are requested to make up stories or fantasies concerning what is, has, and is going to happen, along with a description of the thoughts and feelings of the various characters depicted. The test protocol thus provides the examiner with a rich source of data, based on the subject's perceptions and imagination, for use in the understanding of the subject's current needs, motives, emotions, and conflicts, both conscious and unconscious. Its use in clinical assessment is generally part of a larger battery of tests and interview data.

Scoring: The data from the TAT can be scored according to a variety of existing quantitative systems. However, more commonly in clinical use the stories are interpreted in accord with general principles of inference derived from psychodynamic theory.

Reliability and Validity: The manual provides no information on reliability or validity, although the various scoring systems have independent psychometric data.

Norms: N/A.

Suggested Uses: The TAT is recommended as a projective method of personality assessment.