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House-Tree-Person Projective Drawing Technique. Presentation by: Jean Evans & Kristen Speer CNED 5303 11/11/04. Facts. Author: John N Buck Developed in 1947 with revisions in 1948, 1949, and (Buck and Warren) 1992

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house tree person projective drawing technique

House-Tree-PersonProjective Drawing Technique

Presentation by:

Jean Evans & Kristen Speer

CNED 5303


  • Author: John N Buck
  • Developed in 1947 with revisions in 1948, 1949, and (Buck and Warren) 1992
  • Originally developed as an outgrowth of the Goodenough Scale* utilized to access intellectual functioning

*Florence Goodenough developed Measurement of Intelligence by Drawings in 1926. The instrument focus was on the human figure and its purpose was to derive a measure of I.Q.

facts cont
Facts (cont.)
  • Publisher:
    • Western Psychological Services
    • 12031 Wilshire Blvd
    • Los Angeles, CA 90025
    • 1-800-648-8857
  • Many types of packages available
  • H-T-P Interpretation Booklet:
    • 4 page booklet that allows administrator to record, score, and interpret all information from a drawing session
    • $19.92/package of 25
  • *Designed to aid clinician in obtaining information concerning an individual’s sensitivity, maturity, flexibility, efficiency, degree of personality integration, and interaction with the environment.
  • *Provides a structured context for the projection of unconscious material.
  • *
purpose cont
Purpose (cont)
  • *Buck felt that artistic creativity represents a stream of flow onto graphic art. He believed that through drawings, subjects objectified unconscious differences by sketching the inner image of the primary process.
  • *
recommended use
Recommended Use
  • Use in combination with other projective measurement instruments, usually given first as an “ice-breaker”
  • Anyone over 3 years of age
  • Especially appropriate for individuals who are non-English-speaking, culturally different, educationally deprived, or developmentally disabled.
  • Client draws three objects: a house, a tree, a person on plain paper
  • Administrator then uses a Post-Drawing Inquiry checklist (specific questions) to enable client to describe, define, and interpret his/her drawings
  • Client responses are organized under 8 categories
administration cont
Administration (cont.)
  • 8 categories for client responses:
    • General Observations
    • Proportion
    • Perspective
    • Detailing
    • Nonessential Details
    • Irrelevant Details
    • Line Quality
    • Use of Color
drawing analysis
Drawing Analysis
  • Drawings are interpreted using two “paths”; intra-subjective and inter-subjective
    • First path, intra-subjective, considers the content and quality of the three drawings; also explores the depth of material behind the drawings
    • Second path, inter-subjective, considers features indicative of a certain emotional tendency
time factors and considerations
Time Factors and Considerations
  • No time limit (is based on average time)
  • Paper given to client to draw on should be blank
  • This is a projective, not a diagnostic, test
  • Not “standardized”
  • Can purchase a supplemental interrogation form which derives an IQ score
reliability validity
  • *Reliability and validity studies have been most supportive of the cognitive uses of the test in 3 to 10 year old children.
    • *
normative data
Normative Data
  • Not used/appropriate for this type of test as every drawing is different for every person (individualized)
  • No norms/no standardization data available
  • Some aspects of drawings may be indicative of psychological trends
personal evaluation
Personal Evaluation
  • Limitations:
    • original test written in 1970’s; Family/cultural values, trends, ideas have changed
    • Interpretation may be influenced by clinician bias/prejudice
personal evaluation cont
Personal Evaluation(cont)
  • Advantages:
    • Good ice-breaker to use in preparation for other tests
    • Good for engaging reluctant clients
    • Used for any ages over 3
    • Useful for non-verbal clients
    • Useful for non-English speaking clients
  • Paul Jerry, Ph.D., Centre for Graduate Education in Applied Psychology, Notes on Projective Drawings
  • Richard Niolon, Ph.D., Chicago School of Professional Psychology, Notes on Projective Drawings
  • Western Psychological Services (WPS)