Tuesday, July 14, 2009

Rorschach Test

Probably we've all heard of the Rorschach Test - it has been used in psychological testing for many decades. The images have moved into the public domain, but there is some debate over the ethics of posting them.

From wikipedia:

The International Society of the Rorschach and Projective Methods (ISR) has claimed that the blots are copyrighted, they have been in the public domain in Hermann Rorschach's native Switzerland, since at least 1992 (70 years after his death) according to Swiss copyright law. They are also in the public domain under United States copyright law based on when they were first created and published (before 1923), as well as in countries with a copyright term of up to 70 years post mortem auctoris. The American Psychological Association (APA) rules of ethics, designed to ensure "the welfare and protection of the individuals and groups with whom psychologists work", require that psychologists "make reasonable efforts to maintain the integrity and security of test materials". A public statement by the British Psychological Society expresses similar concerns and considers the "release of [test] materials to unqualified individuals" to be misuse "which may result in harm to the client". The APA states that the dissemination of test materials "imposes very concrete harm to the general public" as well, in that "there are a limited number of standardized psychological tests considered appropriate for a given purpose" (for example, detecting suicidality). In the book "Ethics in psychology", it is noted that some believe "reprinting copies of the Rorschach plates ... and listing common responses represents a serious unethical act" and is indicative of "questionable professional judgment".

Regardless of the APA's opinions, the images are freely viewable (for now) on wikipedia. These are just a few of them.


wolfBoy said...

weird. what possible harm do they imagine could come from the images being available for public viewing.

i mean, couldn't, theoretically, any set of images whatsoever be used to test a person's response to stimuli?

micro said...

Yea, it's weird to me that there are specific ones. I guess that's where you could get into rough sailing.

"I said the bottom one looks like a fox, and it says I am a kleptomaniac!?"

They should have me and James create some new ones.

Has anyone seen that character from watchmen, his face is one of these.

anita said...

I think it's weird that they're copyrighted as well. Especially because before they were used for psychological assessment purposes they were used for parlour games.

To my knowledge their use in hospitals and therapy has fizzled out due to lack of reliability and validity

But it's still fun.

For me, the first one is a moth, the third is a bat. The second one is some mutant king insect alien from Mars.

What do you see?

Much like clouds.