Projective Tests The Projective Hypothesis The projective hypothesis (Lawrence Frank, 1939): When people try to understand vague or ambiguous unstructured stimuli, the interpretation they produce reflects their needs, feelings, experience, prior conditioning, thought processes
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Kaplan & Saccuzzo / Psychological Testing
However, I have know self-proclaimed ‘master interpreters’ who failed to convince me of the mastery of which they were convinced
Example sentence stems:
I like ……..
My greatest fear …….
I am …….
"If there is a tendency to over-interpret projective test data without sufficient empirical grounds, then projective drawing tests are among the worst offenders." Kaplan & SaccuzoPsychological Testing, 1993
- Among the plausible but empirically invalid relations that have been claimed:
- Large size = Emotional expansiveness or acting out
- Small size = emotional constriction; withdrawal, or timidity
- Erasures around male buttocks; long eyelashes on males = homoeroticism
- Overworked lines = tension, aggression
- Distorted or omitted features = Conflicts related to that feature
- Large or elaborate eyes = Paranoia
"senses are fallible…clinical judgments must be checked continually against objective measures"