Explain how projective techniques assess personality. Which projective tests of personality are widely used by psychologists?
Projective techniques is indirect method of assessment of personality. This provides us with a real picture of an individual’s personality using indirect method.
Projective techniques were developed to assess unconscious motives and feelings. These techniques are based on the assumption that a less structured or unstructured stimulus or situation will allow the individual to project her/his feelings, desires and needs on to that situation. These projections are interpreted by experts. A variety of projective techniques have been developed; they use various kinds of stimulus materials and situations for assessing personality. Some of them require reporting associations with stimuli (e.g., words, inkblots), some involve story writing around pictures, some require sentence completions, some require expression through drawings, and some require choice of stimuli from a large set of stimuli.
The projective tests of personality which are widely used by psychologists are :-
1. The Rorschach Inkblot Test :- This test was developed by Hermann Rorschach. The test consists of 10 inkblots. Five of them are in black and white, two with some red ink, and the remaining three in some pastel colours. The blots are symmetrical in design with a specific shape or form. Each blot is printed in the centre of a white cardboard of about 7”?10” size. The blots were originally made by dropping ink on a piece of paper and then folding the paper in half (hence called inkblot test). The cards are administered individually in two phases. In the first phase, called performance proper, the subjects are shown the cards and are asked to tell what they see in each of them. In the second phase, called inquiry, a detailed report of the response is prepared by asking the subject to tell where, how, and on what basis was a particular response made. Fine judgment is necessary to place the subject’s responses in a meaningful context. The use and interpretation of this test requires extensive training. Computer techniques too have been developed for analysis of data.
2. The Thematic Apperception Test (TAT) :- This test was developed by Morgan and Murray. It is a little more structured than the Inkblot test. The test consists of 30 black and white picture cards and one blank card. Each picture card depicts one or more people in a variety of situations. Each picture is printed on a card. Some cards are used with adult males or females. Others are used with boys or girls. Still others are used in some combinations. Twenty cards are appropriate for a subject, although a lesser number of cards (even five) have also been successfully used. The cards are presented one at a time. The subject is asked to tell a story describing the situation presented in the picture.
3. Sentence Completion Test :- This test makes use of a number of incomplete sentences. The starting part of the sentence is first presented and the subject has to provide an ending to the sentence. It is held that the type of endings used by the subjects reflect their attitudes, motivation and conflicts. The test provides subjects with several opportunities to reveal their underlying unconscious motivations. A few sample items of a sentence completion test are given below.
1. My father __________________
2. My greatest fear is_______________.
3. The best thing about my mother is ____________________.
4. I am proud of ____________________.