Projective testing


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Projective testing is a type of methodology that is based on the idea that people will ‘project’ their personality, or problems onto ambiguous stimuli. There are many projective tests that have been used in Britain and beyond, these include: the Thematic Appreciation Test (Morgan & Murray, 1935), the Lowenfeld Mosaic Test and World Technique (Lowenfeld, 1929) and perhaps the most famous the Rorschach Ink Blot test (Rorschach, 1921).
Such tests have some links with psychoanalytic thinking and stems from some of Jung’s work on word association. These kinds of test were mostly developed and used in Britain at the beginning to the mid-20th Century and were popular in institutions such as the Tavistock clinic. There was also the British Journal of Projective Psychology dedicated to the use of Projective methods published until 1997.
Projective test were especially popular in the United States and those such as the Rorschach continue to be regularly used in other countries such as France. However there has been debate as to whether these tests are valid and objective. They were greatly criticised by some Psychologists, for example Hans Eysenck, at the Maudsley Hospital.