Psychodiagnostic Plates

In 1917, Swiss psychiatrist Hermann Rorschach tested his inkblot system, comprised of five color inkblot cards and five black and white cards. As they were shown each card, 300 patients and 100 control subjects were asked to respond while Rorschach wrote down their answers.

Afterward, he showed patients the cards again and prompted them to explain their answers. Rorschach evaluated the test results based on various criteria and then used the data to draw conclusions about the patient’s social behavior. He published his early results in his book Psychodiagnostik.

The test has not been without controversy. Its value and accuracy largely depended on the ability of the person administering the test to interpret the results properly. Rorschach, however, looked upon Psychodiagnostik as a work in progress, which he intended to develop further.

He died in 1922 of a ruptured appendix, a year after his book and inkblots were published.

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