The Inkblot Test


Have you ever come across an entertaining personality quiz entitled the “Inkblot Test” while skimming through the Internet? If you have not come across this test yet, let me tell you about it.

In 1921, Herman Rorschach (1884–1922), Swiss psychologist, came up with the “Inkblot Test”, known as the “Rorschach Test”, which assesses people’s personalities. The Test includes ten images created using spots of ink, which look vague as if randomly splashed on paper with no special meaning or significance. When the individual sees these images, he/she tries to give them meaning; the individual projects his/her emotions and unconscious thoughts onto the images. In short, the vague images do not say anything; people see what they feel, revealing their thought processes.

Yet, was assessing personalities behind Rorschach’s creation of the test? Initially, Rorschach created the Test to diagnose schizophrenia*, because he noticed that those diagnosed with schizophrenia responded differently to Klecksography—the art of making images from inkblots. Using this art form, inkblot images are created by dropping spots of ink on paper, which is then folded in half then opened again. A strange pattern appears as an ink smudge forming a mirror reflection on the folded paper.

Rorschach enjoyed Klecksography as a child; when he grew older, he became interested in art and psychoanalysis. This probably influenced him; he blended both art and psychoanalysis in his Test. In his book, Psychodiagnostik, Rorschach provides details about the Test and presents the images and the methods he uses for assessing the responses to the images.

To guarantee accuracy, the individual must be shown the images for the first time, so that he/she do not have to memorize correct answers or think much about interpreting the images. Another problem is that you might have different scores depending on the assessor, which makes the Test unreliable; moreover, the Test fails to spot mental disorders. Despite the controversy about the Test, and to give Rorschach credit, the Test spots schizophrenia, which means that it succeeded in its intended purpose.

Despite creating the Test, Rorschach was not a pioneer; other scientists before him believed that inkblots are useful in discovering unique personality traits. For example, French psychologist Alfred Binet (1857–1911) developed the “Intelligence Test” and planned to include inkblot images in the test to assess creativity.

The Inkblot Test is quite popular and all inkblot images are available online for entertainment (check the Inkblot Test on If you are feeling bored, you can assess your personality while looking at Rorschach’s famous inkblot images. However, beware of the accuracy of the results because you will take your time viewing the images. You might even check the so-called common responses of others to the Test. Now, you know everything you need to know about Rorschach’s famous Inkblot Test.


*Schizophrenia is a chronic and severe mental disorder, which affects how a person thinks, feels, and behaves.


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