Personality Assessment in America: An Introduction
This introduction presents an overview of the key concepts discussed in the subsequent chapters of this book. The book reviews the use of inkblots prior to Dr. Hermann Rorschach’s experiments and then describes the development of the technique after Rorschach’s death. It suggests that projective techniques have contributed to basic science by emphasizing the interdependence of phenomena on one another and the importance of holistic research methods that preserve the gestalt. The book explores the similarities among several different clinical approaches, each having a different language and frame of reference. It argues that this is because previous studies used a priori categories instead of empirically discovering the meaningful relationships between personality characteristics and Thematic Apperception Test signs. The book describes how, as part of the social ferment of the period, many psychologists were challenging traditional assumptions regarding the role of the clinician.