Rorschach Inkblot Test

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The psychological test helps doctors in analyzing a person’s personality. It was once used for diagnosing mental illnesses such as schizophrenia. 

The Rorschach inkblot test or Rorschach test, is at times used alongside other approaches for diagnosing personality and mental health disorders. You might have seen it in popular movies/TV shows. 

From childhood, Hermann Rorschach held a firm interest in inkblots. It continued into his adulthood. The inkblot test was published in 1921. Nine years later, it was introduced in the United States by Samuel Beck. 

Despite being one of the most popular assessments, the Rorschach inkblot test is considered an imperfect test with skeptics and criticisms.

What is the Rorschach inkblot test?


It consists of 10 symmetrical inkblots. A few are colored, black and red, or just black. At a time, a person who is being tested is shown each inkblot. He is asked to describe what he sees.

There are no right or wrong answers in a Rorschach test. A person will be able to see more than one thing. The responses verbatim are recorded by the clinician. 

The inquiry phase follows, as the clinician holds up the same cards one by one, the participants are asked to point out the location of their responses in every inkblot and are asked to explain why they see what they see.

As per the Rorschah’s theory, the responses of the patients can give hints on the inner workings of their personality. This is called projective measure. The test is used for assessing an individual’s response to ambiguous stimuli for uncovering unconscious thoughts. 

History and Background

Hermann Rorschach was a disciple of famous psychiatrist and founder of psychoanalysis, Sigmund Freud.

Rorschach had noticed that those diagnosed with schizophrenia had seen similar things in the inkblots. This helped doctors to assess people by examining how they interpreted visual information. 

For marketing the tool as a key for unlocking secrets of the human mind, Rorschach called it a “psychological X-ray.” 


The Rorschach inkblot test is basically used as a projective measure for identifying a person’s state of mind and different personality traits. 

It should be noted that inkblots have up to 300 different reported interpretations of each single blot. 

The Rorschach test is not widely used these days.


Earlier, the inkblot test was used by doctors and psychoanalysts for diagnosing mental disorders, such as schizophrenia.

Those with schizophrenia can have an intense reaction to inkblots. It might lead to emotional distress or anxiety.


In the Czech Republic, people who are adopting a child are encouraged to undergo the Rorschach test, this helps in assessing their mental health and personality. 



In the 1950s, the inkblot test was used for measuring intelligence and creativity. Popular artists like Andy Warhol used the inkblot patterns for triggering their imaginations for creating art. 

According to a study done in 2014, in the Rorschach test, people who have higher emotional stress are more likely to have greater creative strength. 

While examining a person’s responses to the inkblots, a mental health professional gains an idea regarding his coping style, interpersonal relationships and cognitive mediation. 

High level of knowledge, skill, and training is required for interpreting Rorschach inkblot tests. 


The Rorschach test comes with certain concerns.

  • An individual can misrepresent or incorrectly verbalize what he/she sees in the inkblots, whether intentional or not. 
  • We must not forget that people are unique and he/she may exhibit different behaviors and symptoms in their individual diagnoses.
  • The test predictions need not necessarily be accurate.

Hence, a Rorschach test can help us shine a light on our subconscious thoughts. 

Always remember, your mental health is as important as your physical health. In case you feel you need any help, never shy away from reaching out to a mental health expert, it will boost your mental wellness and will help you stay happy in life!


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