Projective measuring personality assignment
Advantages and disadvantages of projective techniques for measuring personality assignment
Imagine you are a forensic psychologist conducting an evaluation of an individual’s competency to stand trial. In your testing battery, you are considering the following tests: California Psychological Inventory, 16 Personality Factors (16PF), Minnesota Multiphasic Inventory- II (MMPI-II), Rorschach Inkblot Test and the Thematic Apperception Test. Of the tests listed, which would you include? Integrating examples and ideas from your readings and research this week, explain your position. What are the advantages and disadvantages of projective techniques for measuring personality, and how do they compare with personality inventories in this respect?
Projective tests are intended to uncover feelings, desires, and conflicts that are hidden from conscious awareness. By interpreting responses to ambiguous cues, psychoanalysts hope to uncover unconscious feelings that might be causing problems in a person’s life.
In many projective tests, you are shown an ambiguous image and then asked to give the first response that comes to mind. The key to projective tests is the ambiguity of the stimuli. According to the theory behind such tests, using clearly defined questions can result in answers that are carefully crafted by the conscious mind. When you’re asked a straightforward question about a particular topic, you have to spend time consciously creating an answer. This can introduce biases and even untruths, whether or not you’re trying to deceive the test provider. For example, a respondent might give answers that are perceived as more socially acceptable or desirable but are perhaps not the most accurate reflection of his or her true feelings or behavior.
By providing you with a question or stimulus that is not clear, your underlying and unconscious motivations or attitudes are revealed. The hope is that because of the ambiguous nature of the questions, people might be less able to rely on possible hints about what they think the tester expects to see and are less tempted to “fake good,” or make themselves look good, as a result.
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