Some behavioral correlates of the Rorschach experience - balance
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Despite the general clinical acceptance and utility of the Rorschach method there has been wide concern with the status of validation of the test. Those who use the test have agreed that it is in need of experimentally controlled validation; since, the successful application of the test has been highly dependent upon the skill of the examiner rather than the validity of the test. The Rorschach test dimension chosen for experimental investigation was the experience-balance. This concept expresses the relationship between the quantity of human movement responses and the sum of the weighted color responses, the ratio M:EC. A review of the literature vri th respect to the experience-balance indicated some common, consensual interpretations. From these, one broadly stated assumption concerning the experience-balance was constructed. The assumption, which is essentially a summary statement of some of the implicit and explicit beliefs held by users of the test, has been stated as follows: Movement responses reflect a tendency to emphasize behaviorally mental activity whereas color responses reflect a tendency to emphasize behaviorally motor activity. Two behavioral predictions were derived from this assumption: 1. People who give a preponderance of human movement determined responses to the Rorschach test delat motor activity longer in approaching a novel situation than do people who give a preponderance of color determined responses. 2. People who give a preponderance of human movement determined responses to the Rorschach test delay motor activity longer in approaching a novel situation than do people who give a preponderance of color determined responses. The general plan of the study was a comparison of subjects' scores in an independent, standardized behavioral situation to quantitative measures of the experience-balance. Variation in the experience-balance served as the primary criterion for the selection of the subjects. Median cutting points were determined for moth M and C using eighty-six Rorschach protocols. The obtained median values were x_M=3, x_C=2. The M group consisted of those subjects in whom M was above three and C at or below two. The C group consisted of those subjects in whom C was above two and M at or below three. A modified version oft he Katona ( 23 ) Match Stick Tasks was employed as the independent, standardized behavior situation. This test was selected for the following reasons: (a) it offered the subjects an opportunity to behave in a manner compatible with both aspects of the assumption and its implications for behavior; (b) it was possible to vary and apply the material extensively; and (c) these tasks proved difficult enough in a pilot study to allow for extended behavioral observations. Nine tasks were used. They were arranged in an ascending order of difficulty as determined by the pilot study. Reaction time, defined as the time elapsing between the last word of the instructions to the time the first move was made, served as the measure of delay. A move was defined as any change of the position of a stick either from the arrangement placed before the subject, or from an arrangement he had devised in attempting solution. The number of moves served as the measure of motor activity. The behavioral implicat i ons, deduced from the assumption, were translated into operational hypotheses. 1. The reaction time for the M group will be significantly longer than the reaction time for the C group. 2. The M group will make significantly fewer moves than will the C group. Two groups of ten subjects each were used in this study. Both groups with one exception, consisted of white, American-born students drawn from psychology classes conducted at a local uni versity. One subject was obtained from a group of student nurses in training at a local hospital. No subject with a previous history of, or treatment for psychiatric or neurological difficulties, as determined by available records and interview, was used. Any subject with a record of previous Rorschach examination was eliminated from the experiment. The hypothesis that the two samples were drawn from a common population with respect to age, intelligence, and total number of Rorschach responses was found tenable . The M group consisted of six male and four female subjects, and the C group contained an equal number of males and females. The subjects were seen in two sessions. The first session consisted of the administration of the group Rorschach test. The second session was made up of the individual administration of the Stick tasks and the Wonerlic Personnel Inventory, Form A, which was used to derive an estimate of intellectual level. The operational hypotheses were translated into the following statistical hypotheses: la. The M and C groups are drawn from populations having equal mean log reaction times. 2a. The M and C groups are drawn from populations having equal mean rates of moves. These hypotheses were tested against the classes of alternatives which state that la.) the mean log reaction time for the M group is larger than the mean log reaction time for the C group, and 2a.) the mean rate of moves for the M group is lower than the mean rate of moves for the C group. Analysis of variance for repeated measurements was used to analyze the data. The analysis of variance was performed, in each instance, using two groups of subjects tested on nine trials. Both hypotheses were tested by the between groups F test. The obtained value of F for hypothesis (1a) equalled 11.616, and is significant at <.01 level. The value of F for hypothesis 2a was 29.982, significant at <.001 level of confidence. The results of the statistical analyses indicated acceptance of both stated alternatives. Support was therefore indicated for the behavioral predictions that movement-preponderant people delay longer and are motorically less active than color-preponderant people. In light of the supplemental finding that the groups did not differ with respect to efficiency of solution, the results were interpreted as indicating that the experience-balance reveals rather characteristic response tendencies. This study makes no claim of having contributed new meanings to the Rorschach experience-balance. It would seem rather, that some of the insights of those who use the test have gained experimental support. In this sense the clinician may form interpretations on the basis of the experience-balance with more ease and support and need to rely less on funtuition and subjective impressions. Movement-preponderant people tend to approach novel situations with caution and deliberation. They tend to engage in relatively little motor activitywhen compared to color-preponderant individuals. On the other hand, color-preponderant people become motorically active much more quickly and engage primarily in motor activity in attempting to resolve and adjust to the novel situation. In the course of this research questions and issues have arisen which point to the future for possible resolution. It is not the purpose here to supply definitive procedures, but to recognize and structure some of these problems. 1. The results of the present study demonstrated that validity can be ascertained for Rorschach variables. A need remains to attempt verification of other important Rorschach factors. On the basis of inference as to which personality processes are related to specific indices, research could be structured that would experimentally study the interactions between these indices, attempting to approach the total personality. 2. The results of the present study suggest that the experience-balance may bear an important relationship to the nature of social and interpersonal activity. Of particular interest would be research designed to measure group activity in groups composed solely of movement-preponderant and color-preponderant individuals. The findings of the present study suggest the expectation that these groups would tend to exhibit differential behavior with respect to the type of communication between the members, the type of activity emphasized, and the type of defenses employed. For practical purposes, if such results are obtained, it may be found beneficial to consider the possibility of admixing these individuals in establishing groups. The use of the experience-balance score, in clinical situations, may prove to be extremely valuable and might conceivably lead to a relatively simple, objective criterion for the selection of group members. 3. A final implication different from the results of the present study concerns the relationship of efficiency of performance of movement-and color-preponderant individ~als in situations which impose demands for activity antithetical to their preferred modes of behavior. It should be kept in mind that in the present study both groups were found to be equally proficient in the problem-solving situation. The subjects were offered a free choice situation, and the set for either type of approach was kept at a win:Un.um. However, there are life situations which impose particular demands upon the individual and offer little opportunity for choice. Within this latter framework the question may be raised: What is the proficiency of a movement-preponderant individual in a job or task situation demanding large amounts of motor activity? Similarly, what is the performance efficiency of a color-preponderant individual in a situation demanding deliberation and caution for maximal productivity? Study of occupation adjustment uner such circumstances may also prove fruitful.
Thesis (Ph.D.)--Boston University
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