May/June Newsletter

MAY/JUNE, 2017

Barry Ritzler, PhD, ABPP

Need for Research
The Rorschach remains as one of the best tools for personality assessment. However, it is very much in need of further research.

Some research has been done. For example, a group of us are presenting a symposium at the International Rorschach Congress in Paris this summer on research with the Comprehensive System. Also, considerable research has been done with R-PAS. Nevertheless, there is little research conducted by psychologists not invested in one of the major systems. Such independent research by unbiased psychologists is sorely needed.

It is a myth that the Exner family does not want changes in the Comprehensive System. They are very supportive of ongoing research and only do not want John Exner’s original writings to be changed.

One area of research that should be conducted by independent scholars is comparing the efficacy of the two major systems – R-PAS and the Comprehensive System. Also, we do not have indices for some important psychological disabilities such as anxiety and obsessive-compulsive disorder. Furthermore, a very promising suicide constellation for adolescent suicide (much different than the adult constellation) was developed by Judy Armstrong and Joanna Silberg, but has never been replicated.

Replication research is not considered to be very glamorous, but is needed with the Rorschach. Taking previous Comprehensive System and R-PAS research and replicating the conditions and definitions would be a useful contribution to the Rorschach literature.

In the current era of technological advancement, psychological research is easier—it can be accomplished in less time with impressive results. Hermann Rorschach’s original studies, the work of Klopfer and Beck, Joh Exner’s seminal research, and Greg Meyer’s statistical manipulations are outstanding examples of how research on the Rorschach can be conducted.

Contemporary researchers need to follow these examples and make improvements in a personality assessment tool that will enable assessment psychologists to function effectively for years to come. If research does not continue on the Rorschach, there is the danger that it will become a stagnant tool used by fewer and fewer psychologists.

Going Forward
The next newsletter will include information from the Paris Convention as well as more contributions from guest writers. We are gratified that interest in the Rorschach is robust with a subscriber list that continues to expand.

As summer begins and the academic season takes a breather we hope our readers have the opportunity for some rest and relaxation.