The Rorschach Inkblots

  • Michael D. Franzen
Part of the Critical Issues in Neuropsychology book series (CINP)


The use of the Rorschach as a neuropsychological instrument remains an issue of controversy. Despite the extensive clinical and theoretical literature related to the Rorschach, those individuals critical of this instrument maintain that the validity of the Rorschach has not been established according to strict psychometric standards. Proponents of the Rorschach maintain that the functional utility of this instrument relies on the clinical skills and sensitivities of the clinician using it. The past few years have seen a great increase in the number of research studies investigating the reliability and validity of the Rorschach. However, the controversy continues. Regardless of one’s bias toward the use of this instrument, there is a paucity of research on its validity and reliability when it is used with neurologically impaired clients. The utility, or the potential utility, of this procedure, however, continues to be of interest (see the symposium listing for the Eighth European Conference of the International Neuropsychological Society, Costa & Rourke, 1985). The proponents of the Rorschach defend its use and conclude that the Rorschach has an adequate empirical base to allow its use in a forensic context (McCann, 1998). The courts seem to agree, as a review of legal cases in which the Rorschach was involved in legal testimony indicates that the findings of an evaluation using the Rorschach were allowed in testimony the majority of times in which the Rorschach was used (Meloy, Hansen, & Weiner, 1997). However, the true test of the Rorschach needs to be conducted in the context of expert research psychologists published in peer-reviewed journals (Exner, Colligan, Boll, Stischer, & Hillman, 1996; Wood, Nezworski, & Stejskal, 1996).


Brain Damage International Neuropsychological Society Paranoid Schizophrenic Nonpatient Group RORSCHACH Inkblot 
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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 2000

Authors and Affiliations

  • Michael D. Franzen
    • 1
  1. 1.Allegheny General Hospital and Medical College of Pennsylvania/Hahnemann UniversityPittsburghUSA

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