Iii another widely used projective test is the

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Essentials of Psychology: Concepts and Applications
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Chapter 11 / Exercise 4
Essentials of Psychology: Concepts and Applications
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iii. Another widely used projective test is the Thematic Apperception Test (TAT). In the TAT, you are shown images that are not as ambiguous as inkblots yet still allow for a variety of interpretations. You are asked to tell a story about the image, and your responses are then coded for any consistent themes, emotions, or issues. A sample TAT image is depicted in FIGURE 11.6. After being shown this image, a client might relate the following story: “It’s a picture of a young man who has been waiting several hours at a park for his partner to arrive. He is tired, anxious, and angry. He is hoping that nothing bad has happened to his partner. He is also hoping that he wasn’t stood up.”
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Essentials of Psychology: Concepts and Applications
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Chapter 11 / Exercise 4
Essentials of Psychology: Concepts and Applications
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iv. The purpose of projective tests is similar to that of personality inventories. Psychologists want to pinpoint healthy and unhealthy areas of functioning in the individual being tested. However, unlike personality inventories, projective tests are derived from the psychoanalytic perspective; the images and stories described are thought to reflect underlying unconscious urges and desires. Because projective tests are more subject to the interpretation of the clinician than are personality inventories, coding systems have been devised to decrease variation in interpretation and increase their reliability in measuring personality. Projective tests are most useful for identifying themes in a person’s life or for delineating an individual’s problem-solving style. g. Rating Scales and Direct Observation i. A third type of tool used by psychologists to measure personality is the rating scale. Rating scales are formatted similarly to checklists. You check off the statements or behaviors that most apply to you. Because the person being evaluated may not answer the statements truthfully, teachers, parents, partners, and clinicians can also complete rating scales on the person being evaluated. These alternate perspectives minimize the self-distortions that are associated with self-report instruments. ii. Psychologists may also rely on directly observing a client’s behavior and interactions with others to assess personality. Closely watching how you behave in particular situations can be helpful in determining what happens before and after your responses. Such information is particularly important to clinicians who favor a social cognitive approach and who want to understand the social or environmental factors that may be influencing problem behavior. h. Clinical Interviews i. One tool used by most clinical psychologists is the clinical interview . This interview, which typically takes place during the first meeting between the client and the clinician, involves the clinician asking the client questions to identify the client’s difficulty in functioning. The format and length of the interview, as well as the questions that are asked during the interview, may differ from clinician to clinician. These differences again relate to the alternate views on personality

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