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Contact: Nancy Seideman, Director, 404-727-0640, or nseidem@emory.edu

Emory Psychologist Questions Usefulness of Popular Inkblot Test

So do you see a butterfly, bat or perhaps even an alligator in that inkblot? What you see may or may not say a lot about you. Clinicians have used the popular Rorschach inkblot test to assess personality traits in children and adults for more than 80 years, but in a recent review, Emory psychologist Scott O. Lilienfeld and his co-authors question the validity and usefulness of the test for most diagnostic purposes, stating that there is "virtually no evidence" that the inkblots can diagnose a host of psychological disorders--a determination that can have a major impact on custody decisions, medical treatment and child sexual abuse cases.

This debate regarding the Rorschach inkblot test, including the findings of Lilienfeld's review, were covered in the Feb. 20 issue of The New York Times (go to: www.nytimes.com/2001/02/20/health/20BLOT.html).** The review study by Lilienfeld and his colleagues can be found in the Nov. 2000 issue of the journal Psychological Science in the Public Interest, a publication of the American Psychology Society, at: (www.psychologicalscience.org/newsresearch/publications/journals/pspi1_2.html).

**Please note The New York Times will require a free registration to view any articles on its site.


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