Rorschach Inkblot Test

Purpose: Designed as a projective technique to assess personality characteristics.

Population: Children and adults.

Score: 4-square (Exner).

Time: N/A.

Author: Hermann Rorschach.

Publisher: U.S. Distributor--Grune & Stratton, Inc.

Description: Hermann Rorschach, employing inkblots (i.e., using forms obtained through chance by folding over a piece of paper into the center of which ink had been dropped) to explore an aspect of personality, created the Rorschach. He standardized the inkblot procedure and synthesized the procedure with Jung's work on the Word Association Test and Bleuler's notions regarding personality assessment. When responses to inkblots had been used to assess imagination, emphasis was placed on the content of the responses. By contrast, Rorschach stressed not the content, but rather the formal properties of the response, and, as such, this enabled him to conceptualize the test as one of perception and not of imagination. By noting the intimate relationship between perceptual reactions and other psychological functions, Rorschach was able to conceptually place his technique in the middle of the assessment of total personality functioning.

Scoring: The foundation for Rorschach interpretation based upon the Comprehensive System is what Exner terms the "4-square," which incorporates the basic scores and ratios thought to be characteristic of one's problem-solving style. The four indices of the 4-square are 1) Erlebnistypus (EB, the ratio of human movement to weighted color responses); 2) Experience Actual (EA, the sum of human movement and weighted color responses); 3) Experience Base (eb, the ratio of nonhuman movement to shading and gray-black responses); and 4) Experience Potential (ep the sum of non-human movement, shading, and gray-black responses).

Reliability and Validity: Refer to Exner’s Comprehensive System publications for detailed information on the reliability and validity of this scoring system. There is also abundant literature on several other alternate scoring systems for the Rorschach.

Norms: N/A.

Suggested Uses: The Rorschach is recommended for projective personality assessment in clinical and research settings.