Psychological Theory and Projective Techniques

  • Jules D. Holzberg

Abstract

There is a considerable gap separating personality theory and techniques used to measure personality variables even though theoretical considerations guide the use of projective techniques from the initial selection of the specific method to the final step of interpreting the data derived from it. Many of these theoretical conceptions are often the idiosyncratic products of the practicing clinical psychologist rather than formal psychological theory. This chapter is concerned with the latter—explicit attempts to formally relate psychological theory to projective techniques. It has been suggested (Abt & Bellak, 1950) that theory can serve to reduce two types of clinical errors, i.e., incautious generalizations and over-restricted interpretations. Holt (1954) stresses that understanding the psychological processes involved in projective testing would provide the clinician with greater flexibility in studying personality while it would check his tendency to engage in rank speculation. Rotter (1954) has expressed the opinion that only by explicating the theoretical assumptions underlying methods of personality study will psychologists be able to improve upon these methods and to develop newer and, hopefully, better methods. Furthermore, he feels that with theory the psychologist is better prepared to cope with the unusual client and with new clinical problems.

Keywords

Europe Schizophrenia Assure Hunt Stein 

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© Springer Science+Business Media New York 1968

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  • Jules D. Holzberg

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