10 Pages

The Rorschach: A Test of Perception or an Evaluation of Representation

WithSidney J. Blatt

Some clinical psychologists found the behavioral orientation quite compatible and developed theories that attempted to predict behavior from empirical observations of current and/or prior antecedent environmental events. Psychology also moved beyond the formulations of a primarily hedonic theory of motivation in which drive reduction, in either stimulus-response or drive-defense paradigms, is viewed as the primary motivational force of human behavior. Dr. Hermann Rorschach's inkblots have become an experimental procedure that can be used to study the processes of cognitive construction and the relationships of cognitive structures and mental representations to a host of other dimensions, including personality organization. Aspects of Rorschach responses can be viewed along a continuum from perception to representation. A cognitive approach to the Rorschach will require more than descriptive taxonomies of psychopathology based on atheoretical categorizations of different manifest symptoms, such as in the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders.