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The Famous Rorschach Inkblot Test

Updated on January 9, 2013
Does Brad Pitt resemble Hermann Rorschach or what?
Does Brad Pitt resemble Hermann Rorschach or what?

Want to See the Famous Rorschach Inkblots?

Most of the tests we take are easy to score. They are True / False, Multiple Choice, or Sentence Completion. Our answers are either right or wrong. But there are also tests with open-ended questions, like the dreaded essay questions you may remember from high school and college.

The Rorschach Inkblot Test, created by Swiss psychiatrist, Hermann Rorschach, was published in 1921 and belongs to the second category. There has been a considerable uproar recently about the fact that the ten original Rorschach ink blot images have been reproduced online together with the most common responses. Published almost 90 years ago, the test has lost its U.S. copyright protection.

What had been an ongoing dispute about reproducing even one inkblot picture reached new heights when Wikipedia and other online sites displayed the illustrations for all ten inkblots. Some compare this revelation to displaying the correct answers for the SAT or the GRE.

Who started the furor? An Emergency Room doctor from Moose Jaw, Saskatchewan – I’m not kidding, it really was Moose Jaw – first posted the 10 illustrations and common responses for each one.

Psychiatrists and psychologists are concerned that subjects could be coached and a wrong diagnosis could be rendered as a result. In my experience, Rorshach results are already subject to error because they are so outdated, inaccurate and meaningless. And subjective. They may well reveal the secret world of the doctor who is interpreting them rather than the mindset of the patient.

Reminds me of this old joke: Psychiatrist: “I’m going to show you some ink blots. Tell me what you see." The doctor then shows his patient 10 different inkblots and to each one, the patient responds saying something with a sexual connotation.

Psychiatrist – “You seem to have an abnormal obsession with sexuality, male and female genitalia, and unusual sexual practices.”

Patient – “I’m not the one with the problem. You’re the one who has been showing me dirty pictures.”

Want to see the inkblots and take the Rorschach for yourself?

View the video and quickly jot down your answer - what you see - after each inkblot is shown, before the narrator gives an explanation.

Take the Rorschach Inkblot Test

© Copyright BJ Rakow, Ph.D. 2013 Rev. All rights reserved. Author, "Much of What You Know about Job Search Just Ain't So." Includes valuable information for older workers, and how to negotiate salary successfully.

Comments for The Famous Rorschach Inkblot Test

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    • drbj profile image

      drbj and sherry 2 years ago from south Florida

      Thanks for the visit, Margarita. You might enjoy my 'Pig Personality Test.'

    • MargaritaRomanova profile image

      MargaritaRomanova 2 years ago

      pretty accurate results are here:

    • drbj profile image

      drbj and sherry 4 years ago from south Florida

      You found the test funny, Dolores, and that is exactly why it is no longer a valid instrument. It was supposed to be a serious measurement of personality in the past. Thanks for the Up, m'dear.

    • Dolores Monet profile image

      Dolores Monet 4 years ago from East Coast, United States

      I loved the video, it was so funny. Is it supposed to be funny? I think the whole test is outmoded because people find it so ridiculous. Voted up!

    • drbj profile image

      drbj and sherry 5 years ago from south Florida

      Crazy, ps? No way. More inventive, more ingenious and more creative? Yes! You will enjoy the other personality tests, too. Trust me.

    • pstraubie48 profile image

      Patricia Scott 5 years ago from sunny Florida

      I took the inkblot test and found I am crazzzzzzzzier than I thought I was ...o my....I will take some of the others you have listed too. And then maybe head off to the nearest psychiatrist very quickly....:) ps Sending Angels to you...

    • drbj profile image

      drbj and sherry 5 years ago from south Florida

      Delighted that you included this one on your hub tour, Chris. I knew you would share my enjoyment of that old joke. Thanks for the visit and the very kind words.

    • carolina muscle profile image

      carolina muscle 5 years ago from Charlotte, North Carolina

      I love that Rorschach 'dirty pictures' joke... I always said that 'dirty' is one of those things that's almost completely subjective. Nicely done, as always!

    • drbj profile image

      drbj and sherry 5 years ago from south Florida

      Hi, Jessica. Thanks for the visit and finding the YouTube video amazing. Woooooooo backatcha!

    • bigjessy profile image

      Jessica 5 years ago from GERMANY

      woooooow the youtube video is amazing!

    • drbj profile image

      drbj and sherry 5 years ago from south Florida

      Who wants to be normal, mary? That's no fun. All I saw when I first viewed the Rorschach were a bunch of crazy-looking insects . . . all having sex!

      Thanks for visiting and finding this interesting.

    • mary615 profile image

      Mary Hyatt 5 years ago from Florida

      I took your ink blot test, and guess what? I am not normal! That is not a surprise to me. Actually, I was normal in four plates. I didn't see anything sexual.

      Interesting Hub.

    • drbj profile image

      drbj and sherry 7 years ago from south Florida

      Hi, kal - I'm delighted you seem to be touring some of my forgotten hubs. Tour away! Thanks for the visit and the comment. Any time. And that funny quote is one of my favorites.

    • kaltopsyd profile image

      kaltopsyd 7 years ago from Trinidad originally, but now in the USA

      That joke about the subjective nature of inkblot tests is so funny. My professor quoted that one to us last year in psychopathology. Interesting hub.