Rorschach Test - Controversy

Controversy

Some skeptics consider the Rorschach inkblot test pseudoscience, as several studies suggested that conclusions reached by test administrators since the 1950s were akin to cold reading. In the 1959 edition of Mental Measurement Yearbook, Lee Cronbach (former President of the Psychometric Society and American Psychological Association) is quoted in a review: "The test has repeatedly failed as a prediction of practical criteria. There is nothing in the literature to encourage reliance on Rorschach interpretations." In addition, major reviewer Raymond J. McCall writes (p. 154): "Though tens of thousands of Rorschach tests have been administered by hundreds of trained professionals since that time (of a previous review), and while many relationships to personality dynamics and behavior have been hypothesized, the vast majority of these relationships have never been validated empirically, despite the appearance of more than 2,000 publications about the test." A moratorium on its use was called for in 1999.

A 2003 report by Wood and colleagues had more mixed views: "More than 50 years of research have confirmed Lee J. Cronbach's (1970) final verdict: that some Rorschach scores, though falling woefully short of the claims made by proponents, nevertheless possess "validity greater than chance" (p. 636). "Its value as a measure of thought disorder in schizophrenia research is well accepted. It is also used regularly in research on dependency, and, less often, in studies on hostility and anxiety. Furthermore, substantial evidence justifies the use of the Rorschach as a clinical measure of intelligence and thought disorder."

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