Friday, July 27, 2012

A Pretty Flower

The BBC has an interesting article on the Rorschach Test by one Mike Drayton. As you know, this is a test done with symmetrical inkblots, where the subject is invited to say what they think the inkblot shows. The test was originally developed by Hermann Rorschach, hence the name.

In popular culture, when someone is shown a Rorschach blot, what they claim it represents is meant to say something about their personality. So, if they say a picture represents a man having sex with a headless donkey then they are obviously some kind of deranged perv, while if they say the picture represents some happy puppies and kittens playing together they are a well-balanced individual. What I found interesting about the article was Rorschach never thought the test could be used as a personality test. Most psychologists now apparently share that view. Rorschach himself used the blots as a test for schizophrenia, as he noticed that schizophrenic patients often had very strange interpretations of them – not that they saw violent or sexual imagery in them, but that they saw things there that the images could never represent to non-schizophrenics.

The writer of the article then goes on to talk about how he uses the blots in his work to encourage reflection and to start people thinking and talking about themselves. Although he does not mention them, this reminds me of my own interest in Tarot Cards – not for divination but as an aid to imagination and inspiration, a tool for connecting to the subconscious.
Read the whole article here. Or listen to Dr Drayton's radio programme on the subject (link from there).

An inuit panda production

Rorschach blots

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