Projective Tests: Unveiling the Depth of Personality

Projective tests offer a unique window into the depths of an individual’s personality. Through the interpretation of responses to ambiguous stimuli, psychologists gain insights into unconscious thoughts, emotions, and underlying psychological conflicts. By unraveling the complexities of the unconscious, projective tests can greatly contribute to a deeper understanding of interpersonal/intrapersonal dynamics, internal conflicts and underlying causes of symptoms. 

Used in clinical practice, they are a precious tool used by trained clinicians to gain a deeper understanding of a patient’s psychological functioning, clarifying the formulation of a treatment plan adapted to the patient’s internal conflicts. 

Dr. Diana Maatouk specializes in Personality assessment.: she completed 14 years of training in Personality assessment at The Institute of Projective Psychology in Montreal, Canada (IPP). 

The two projective tests administered together are the following: 

The Rorschach Inkblot Test:

It’s probably the best-known projective test. It was created in the 1920s by Swiss psychologist Hermann Rorschach (1884-1922). It consists of a series of 10 cards, each containing an inkblot. Some are in black and white, some in color. The subjects are asked to describe what they think each card represents to them.  Based on the answers, a well-trained and licensed Clinical Psychologist interprets rigorously the answers in order to understand better the psychodynamic (internal) functioning of the individual tested. The responses’ analysis provides valuable clinical understanding about the person’s personality structure, cognitive and emotional processes.

The Thematic Apperception Test (TAT):

This projective test was first introduced at Harvard University in 1935 by Henry Murray. It became then, until today a widely used projective test. Some ambiguous images of social scenes are shown to the patient who is then asked to create a story based on each card.  The main idea underlying this test is that unconscious feelings and beliefs will be “projected” onto these ambiguous stimuli. The results obtained help to better understand the patient particularly in his interpersonal relationships.