The Rorschach Test, also known as the inkblot test, is a psychological test that can be used to determine personality characteristics and evaluate emotional health. The Rorschach Test is a projective personality test that works because the subject projects his or her personality onto the ambiguous shape of the inkblot.
The test was invented in 1921 by Hermann Rorschach. The test was most popular in the 1960s, when it was the most widely used projective test in the United States. Today it is used less widely, but it is the second-most popular forensic personality test, after the MMPI.
The test consists of a series of ten inkblots that are presented on white cards. Five of the inkblots are all black, two use black and red ink and three are multicolored. All of the inkblots are nearly perfectly symmetrical.
The test administrator first presents each card in relatively quick succession to the subject. The subject free associates from the cards, offering up whatever words come to mind based on the images. Then the administrator has the subject study each card more carefully.
The test administrator takes highly detailed notes for the duration of the test. These notes include both the subject's verbal responses relating to the content of the cards as well as whether cards were rotated or whether the subject asked any additional questions during the test.
The test results are then analyzed either by the administrator or another certified analyst. One of the scoring systems that is commonly used is the Exner scoring system, otherwise known as the Rorschach Comprehensive System (RCS).
The subject's subconscious associations are revealed through interpretation of the cards and the subject's responses are analyzed to measure emotional and intellectual health and functioning. Each subject's responses are compared to a data pool that demonstrates links between various personality traits and certain responses to the test.