Rorschach Test or Rorschach Inkblot test is a method of projective psychological testing. In the Rorschach testing, a person is asked to describe what he/she experiences or sees in 10 inkblots. The Rorschach test mostly appears in popular culture. It is portrayed as a way of revealing a person’s unconscious motives, desires, and thoughts.

The Rorschach is the most frequently used psychological test. But despite this, it has been a part of so many controversies too. It has also been proved that the test is a little difficult task for researchers to study the tests and the test results properly and systematically. Also, the use of so many kinds of scoring systems for the responses given to each inkblot creates a lot of confusion and chaos. Anyways let’s know more about this Rorschach test….


rorschach test founder
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The history of this Rorschach test dates back to the childhood days of Hermann Rorschach. It was when Rorschach used to love creating the inkblots and making up poems and stories about them. The love and connection of Rorschach with this game made him earn the nickname “Kladis,” which is a German word for inkblot. And this interest in Rorschach continued till his adulthood.

While he was working in a psychiatric hospital, he noticed the patients with Schizophrenia responded differently to the inkblots than the patients with other diseases and issues. Then this struck his mind that inkblot can be used to create profiles of the patients for different disorders. And hence, his childhood love and interest in inkblots and his studies of Sigmund Freud’s dream symbolism made him develop a systematic approach to using inkblot as an assessment tool.

Moreover, Rorschach was the first person to suggest that the interpretation of an ambiguous scene might reveal the hidden aspects of an individual’s personality. Alfred Binet also experimented with the inkblots idea to test creativity and originally planned to include the inkblots in his tests of intelligence.

Also Read, Your Simplest Guide to Effective Parenting


rorschach test
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There are officially 10 inkblots that are designed for the Rorschach test. Each is printed on separate white cards. Out of ten, five inkblots are black and grey, two are red, and three are multi-colored without any black. And then during the Rorschach test, the examiners sits just next to you, and these steps are involved-

  • Present- In this very step, the examiner gives a card at a time and asks, “what might this be?”
  • Respond- In this step, you are free to interpret the ambiguous image in whatever manner you want it to. Also, you are set free to take as long as you can to interpret, and you can give as many responses as you can for each card. You can also hold the card in whichever way suits you, be it upside down or sideways. You are free to use your mind and imagination for the interpretation of each card.
  • Record- This step of the Rorschach test involves the recording by the examiner of everything that you say during the test. They also note down the time you took to interpret each card, the way you held the card, the position you preferred, the expressions you had while interpreting a card. Everything they note is for the record.
  • Confirm- This is the final step of the Rorschach test. In this final step, the examiner will take you to all the inkblots once again. This time the motto of the examiner will not focus on any new information from you. Still, instead, he will ask you to help the examiner see what you see in each inkblot card. The examiner will ask you to identify where you see what made you think like that, and so on.

Usually, the whole Rorschach test takes about 1 and a half hours to get done and to evaluate the score simultaneously.

rorschach test
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While scoring the Rorschach test, the administrators used to focus on the content of responses mainly. Still, the other factors matter when it comes to the overall scoring of the Rorschach test.


Content in the Rorschach test refers to the name and class of objects used in the response. Some of the common contents are as follows-

  • Whole Human (H)- This represents or means a complete human figure.
  • Animal Detail (Ad)- This represents an incomplete animal form such as the head of a cat, the claw of a crab, and so on.
  • Sex(Sx)- This represents anything related to sex, such as involvement of sex organs, the activity of sexual nature, or sexual reproduction.
  • Nature (Na)- Includes anything astronomical or weather-related such as sun, water, rainbow, etc.


The Rorschach test, being the most popular psychological test, is mostly used in psychotherapy and counseling. The people who take this test mostly know about their qualitative information about their emotional functioning, personality, and thinking patterns. The therapist and client can then further explore some of these issues during the therapy. This helps a lot in self-analysis too.