Psychological Testing

These materials represent a selection of psychological tests from the mid-20th century. Experimentelle Triebdiagnostik (‘The Szondi Test’) 1947 and Psychodiagnostik (‘Rorschach Test) 1948 are examples of the projective personality test popular at that time. Subjects of projective personality tests were shown ambiguous stimuli and asked to report their interpretations. Psychologists of the time believed that these interpretations revealed insights into the subjects' internal attitudes, traits, and behavior patterns. Projective tests are still used today in clinical and educational settings, although their value is contested among today’s psychologists. The Stanford-Binet Intelligence test is an example of an adaptive test, and was the first of its kind, measuring cognitive ability and intelligence.

Experimentelle Triebdiagnostik, Testband (Experiemental diagnostics of drives, test volume), developed by Lipot Szondi (1947)

The ‘Szondi Test' was a nonverbal projective personality test developed by Hungarian psychoanalyst Léopold Szondi. The 48 cards contain images of mental patients, whose personalities had been classified into one of Szondi’s personality types based on eight drives: hermaphrodite/homosexual, sadist, epileptic, hysteric, katatonic, paranoid, depressive, and maniac. The subject would be asked to select the two photographs that are the most appealing and the two photographs that are the most repulsive. These choices would supposedly reveal the subject’s most dominant and most repressed personality traits.

Stanford-Binet Intelligence Scale developed by Lewis Termanand Maud Merrill (1972)

Lewis M. Terman, a psychologist at Stanford, is known for initiating the field of intelligence testing. The Stanford-Binet Intelligence Scale is an example of an adaptive test and was one of the first intelligence tests. Initially developed as a way to identify children who were ‘behind’ and in need of help, later revisions were also used to identify children and adults with above-average intelligence. The 5th edition of the Stanford-Binet Intelligence Scale (2003) is still used today.

Psychodiagnostik by Hermann Rorschach (Tafeln, 1948)

The ‘Rorschach Test’ is a projective personality test created by Swiss psychologist Herman Rorschach. The subject is asked to interpret the inkblot images and describe to the administrator what they see. The test was never validated empirically and a moratorium for use of this test was called for in 1999.