Scoring the Rorschach: Seven Validated Systems

Scoring the Rorschach: Seven Validated Systems

Scoring the Rorschach: Seven Validated Systems

Scoring the Rorschach: Seven Validated Systems


Exner's Comprehensive System has attracted so much attention in recent years that many clinicians and personality researchers are unaware that alternative Rorschach scoring systems exist. This is unfortunate, because some of these systems have tremendous clinical value. Scoring the Rorschach: Seven Validated Systems provides detailed reviews of the best-validated alternative approaches, and points to promising new paths towards the continued growth and refinement of Rorschach interpretation.

The editors set the stage with an extended introduction to historical controversies and cutting-edge empirical methods for Rorschach validation. Each chapter presents a different Rorschach scoring system. A brief history is followed by detailed information on scoring and interpretation, a comprehensive summary of evidence bearing on construct validity, and discussion of clinical applications, empirical limitations, and future directions. A user-friendly scoring "manual" for each system offers readers practical guidance.

The systems tap a broad array of content areas including ego defenses, thought disorder, mental representations of self and others, implicit motives, personality traits, and potential for psychotherapy.

All psychologists seriously engaged in the work of personality assessment will find in this book welcome additions to their professional toolkits.


Rorschach assessment generates three sources of information about the personality characteristics of respondents. Structural features of Rorschach responses provide representative indications of how people are likely to think, feel, and act. Such representation occurs, for example, when a high XA% indicates generally accurate perception of people and events, when a high Lambda indicates a narrowly focused and uncomplicated way of attending to experience, and when introversiveness indicates a preference for deliberation and contemplation as opposed to an action-oriented approach to solving problems.

Thematic features of Rorschach responses contain symbolic clues to underlying attitudes and concerns that are likely to influence how people interpret and react to situations. Such symbolization occurs, for example, when an image of "someone hurt and bleeding" suggests possible morbid preoccupation with vulnerability to being harmed, when "eyes looking out from behind a bush" suggests possible hypervigilant preoccupation with being under the scrutiny of others, and when "two people leaning against each other" suggests possible yearnings for mutually cooperative and dependent interpersonal relationships.

Behavioral features of how respondents handle the testing situation and interact with the examiner exemplify their customary manner of dealing with task-oriented and interpersonal situations. Such behavioral manifestations occur, for example, when saying "I don't think I'm doing very well on this test" identifies self-critical attitudes and negative expectations of success, and when repetitively addressing the examiner as "doctor," "sir," or "ma'am" identifies a deferential stance toward persons in authority.

Each of these Rorschach sources of information is most likely to serve useful purposes, and to be validated for these purposes, when it is quantified into reliably coded scales. the emergence of the Comprehenxiii

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