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Description: A little while back I posted on an article that was looking at new ways to use the Rorschach “Inkblot” Test. In that post and in the accompanying article the discussion was somewhat skeptical about whether or not the Rorschach “Inkblot” Test has any valid place in current clinical, psychiatric or forensic practice. I am posting on this general topic again as the article linked below provides a unique and rare insight into how clinicians in a variety of settings make decisions about what to use by way of assessment tools. Rather than offering a yes or no opinion on the validity of the Rorschach Test the article/podcast linked below shows us how clinical decisions are thought about by the clinicians who make them. As well, it also provides a glimpse of the reality that clinicians, while grounding their practice in the research supported norms of reflection and action by which psychologists are ethically bound, are none-the-less dealing with unique individuals in circumstances that may have a profound (and often negative) impact upon their lives. Clinical and assessment decision-making must take this into account in addition to the applicable psychological research that bears on any clinical situation, circumstance or case. Read the article or listen to the podcast version to see where this reasoning takes you.

Source: Can we trust the Rorschach Test? Damion Searls, The Guardian

Date: March 24, 2017

Photo Credit:  SCIENCE AND Society Picture Library/ SSPL via Getty Images

Links:  Podcast Link —  or  Article in Text form –

It IS true that the Rorschach test is not, and should not, be used as a routine part of any standard clinical or forensic assessment. However, its nature as a projective test can sometimes work around the typical defense strategies or social desirability tactics that people use to manage and perhaps to sanitize their social presentation. The Rorschach test can provide insight into possible challenges or problems that people are experiencing but working to conceal. The sentiment offered by one of the clinicians in the article that one should dig deeply into an individual’s psychological make-up only when one is ready and able to work to make a difference for that person should the need arise.

Questions for Discussion:

  1. How does the Rorschach test work?
  2. How does the Rorschach test compare to other assessment tools used in clinical or forensic practice?
  3. If you were to write some ethical guidelines for the use of the Rorschach test in clinical and or forensic practice what might they include?

References (Read Further):

Wood, J. M., Nezworski, M. T., Lilienfeld, S. O., & Garb, H. N. (2003). What’s wrong with the Rorschach?: Science confronts the controversial inkblot test. Jossey-Bass.

Gacono, C. B., Kivisto, A. J., Smith, J. M., & Cunliffe, T. B. (2015). Checklist (PCL‐R) and Rorschach Inkblot Method (RIM) in Forensic Psychological Assessment. The Wiley Handbook of Personality Assessment, 249.

Dewangan, R. L., & Roy, P. K. (2015). A Study on Social Desirability Biasness in Rorschach Inkblot Test. SIS Journal of Projective Psychology & Mental Health, 22(1).

Mihura, J. L., Meyer, G. J., Dumitrascu, N., & Bombel, G. (2013). The validity of individual Rorschach variables: Systematic reviews and meta-analyses of the comprehensive system.