May 12, 2017

Two praying bears? Robed men about to duel? What do you see? Credit: Hermann Rorschach/ Wikimedia

A dog? A bat? A ballet dancer? People see a lot of different things when they take a Rorschach test. But is the iconic exam still relevant? How has it impacted society? Damion Searls, author of The Inkblots: Hermann Rorschach, His Iconic Test, and the Power of Seeing, explores the rise of the test.

Three Takeaways:
  • The Rorschach test was one of the most popular psychiatric tests of the post-war period. In the mid-60s, it was given around a million times a year.
  • In Nuremberg, the Rorschach test was also given to high-level Nazis, in an effort to probe the psychology of evil. According to Searls, psychologists found that “there’s not a kind of special psychology of being a Nazi, of being a bad person.”
  • The Rorschach test is often stereotyped as being imprecise and vague, but Searls thinks that’s inaccurate. He says that the test has objective visual properties and works in a testable, scientific matter.
More Reading:

Body and Mind, Culture, Rorschach, Damion Searls

Previous Post

Full Show: Strange Shifts

Next Post

Full Show: Only Human

comments powered by Disqus