We are a commune of inquiring, skeptical, politically centrist, capitalist, anglophile, traditionalist New England Yankee humans, humanoids, and animals with many interests beyond and above politics. Each of us has had a high-school education (or GED), but all had ADD so didn't pay attention very well, especially the dogs. Each one of us does "try my best to be just like I am," and none of us enjoys working for others, including for Maggie, from whom we receive neither a nickel nor a dime. Freedom from nags, cranks, government, do-gooders, control-freaks and idiots is all that we ask for.
Hermann Rorschach worked on an interesting experiment: provide people with an ambiguous stimulus (an image) and find out whether their take on it reveals anything useful about them.
Well, of course it does. In fact, everybody's take on everything and anything reveals things about who they are. All of life can be viewed as a projective experiment but Dr. Rorschach thought that perhaps a standardized ambiguous stimulus might be clinically useful.
I think his hypothesis was correct, but only in the right hands. The challenge is in the interpretation of the responses to projective tests.
Are projective "tests" useful? I think they can be interesting, but not necessary.
There isn't much evidence projective tests, including the Rorschach protocol, provide reliable diagnostic information, Exner or no Exner. Clinicians like it anyway, and believe it tells them something.
My thought is it is an excellent device for measuring a psychologist's ability to consider alternative diagnoses.
Assistant Village Idiot
Sometimes an inkblot is just an inkblot.
I'd say it's about as likely to interpret what someone sees in these tests as it is to interpret someone's dreams, which is nearly impossible. It's hard enough to interpret your own dreams.
Before pushing me out the door almost 30 years ago, the Army insisted on psychological evaluation. Rorschach was part of the evaluation. When the psychologist presented the first card and asked what I saw, my silent mind said, "(Vagina.)" I made up something. Second card: "(Vagina.)" Third through several more, same thing. Making up a plausible answer is a test of imagination. Now, though, I think I should have told the doc what I saw. I don't know what her reaction would have been, though.
That is theoretically part of the test. People can get nervous when being tested. It's considered a bad sign if you blurt out things that might paint you in a bad light. Having some social awareness and self-control even under pressure is considered a positive.
I still don't think the test is that useful, but the theory behind it wasn't that bad. It just doesn't seem to do what it's supposed to.