Psychologicaltests have since history to today been an essential element/tool usedin making hypothesis on people’s personality, capabilities or elsetheir behavior, with the main focuses for the different tests beingto evaluate a person’s personality, diagnose behavioral problemsamong may other applications. In addition, the tests is used to learnabout an individual’s view of self, the world around him/her aswell as other key uses in an individual (Morgan, 1995). There arenumerous, and different psychological tests that can be conducted onan individual, with each of the tests giving specific informationabout persons. One of such key tests in psychology is the ThematicApperception Test,abbreviated as TAT, which is a projective form of a psychologicaltest. TAT is understood to be a projective measure due to the factthat, the test is conducted with an intention to evaluate a person’sthought pattern, attitudes, emotional response, as well as hisobservational capacity when subjected to test materials. The TAT testpresumes that a person will project his current needs into thepicture interpretations hence helping to understand the person’sbehavior, and personality better
ThematicApperception Test is one of the tests that has over time been used bypsychologists, researched on and also taught in schools. The test wasfirst tested or used in 1935, having been coined by Murray Henry whowas a psychologist, together with Morgan Christiana (psychoanalyst).The test (TAT) uses a series of pictures that are both ambiguous andprovocative, and in turn, it has been sometimes referred to many asPictureInterpretation Technique(Morgan, 1995). The basic aspect of the projective test is that, thepatient is shown a picture or ambiguous stimuli, and then the analystuses the patient’s responses to know about the patient’spersonalities.
TheThematicApperception Testis administered in a quiet room, in order to avoid interruptions anddistractions to the person under assessment. The examining personneldisplays a sequence of story cards (one after the other) that aredrawn from TAT cards, which is believed to contain a total of 31different cards. The subject being examined is then to narrate thestory with reference to the picture in each card, answering questionssuch as what contributed to the event being displayed on the cards tohim/her, the occurring action at the moment, as well as the feelingsof the subject being questioned, and lastly, what are the result ofthe story At this time, the examiner is taking note of the patient’sresponse or even records them (Serfass & Sherman, 2013). Theexaminer then interprets the results, which are dependent on thepatient’s age, sex, racial aspect or even level of education. Fromthe test conducted, there are two possible interpretations of theresults that an examiner can draw his/conclusions from i)Nomothetic, ii) Idiographic Interpretations. Nomothetic entailsestablishment of norms for answers from the patient, and in turnmeasuring patient’s responses with reference to the norms (Morgan,1995). On the other hand, Idiographic is simplified as the assessmentof the specific aspects of the person under examination and his/herview, and relationship with his/her exterior world. Mostpsychologists prefer the idiographic approach to nomothetic one.
Oneof the key advantage of this test (TAT) or the use of the projectivetest is that, the test can help to diagnose mental illness. Inaddition, the test helps to give an insight into an individual’spersonality. However, the projective test lacks standardization i.e.,different people can have a different interpretation of the resultsand in turn different results. Lastly, the validity of the test hasover time been questioned in terms of accuracy (Serfass &Sherman, 2013). In summary, despite the shortcomings of the test, itremains to be an important test within the psychology department. Thetest is used for individual assessments, and also when conductingresearch into specified aspects of human personality. ThematicApperception Testremains an essential tool for research into varying areas ofpsychology such as dreams, fantasies, as well as being used inpsychiatric context i.e., when examining for personality disorders.
Morgan,W. G. (1995). Origin and History of the Thematic Apperception TestImages. Journal Of Personality Assessment, 65(2), 237.
Serfass,D. G., & Sherman, R. A. (2013). Personality and perceptions ofsituations from the Thematic Apperception Test. Journal OfResearch In Personality, 47(6), 708-718.