The Rorschach test: how it is conducted, what results it shows

Methods of personal self-development

The Rorschach test, named after its creator, psychiatrist Hermann Rorschach, is the best-known technique for personality analysis. It is widely used in psychology and psychiatry. Its conduct is reduced to the demonstration of cards with blotches that evoke certain associations in a person. Diagnosis is based on test takers’ perception of individual details or pictures as a whole.

What is this methodology?

The Rorschach test has become widespread in the analysis of the behavior of people who have violated the law. Today, it is often used not only in clinical psychology, but also by ordinary people who want to know their own true motives. For the general public, it is used in a reduced and simpler interpretation.

The Rorschach test for schizophrenia and other personality disorders is highly effective, but does not allow for an exact diagnosis. A comprehensive approach, including physician observation and anamnestic data, is used to identify the pathology.

Excessive attention to detail is characteristic not only of the mentally ill, but also of the pedant. Only patients suffering from severe psychosis see a single general pattern in the blotches, such as people laughing or people in disguise showing a performance.

Based on the results of the Rorschach psychological test, a specialist gives a personality profile. It helps in identifying existing disorders and can work with the patient further on the basis of the data received.

Description of the Rorschach test

The technique consists of using special cards with blots. They are called stimulus material. The full Rorschach test is carried out in several stages:

  • preparatory;
  • research;
  • survey.

This is the correct order and is used by specialists. The other variations give only a superficial analysis.


Some people do not take the study seriously and feel anxious that the interpretation will turn out to be completely wrong. Others, on the contrary, take a defensive stance, subconsciously trying to overthink and see the knowingly correct association.

A good psychologist will make every effort to create a favorable and relaxing environment. A person who is to take the Rorschach inkblot test should not go into too much detail. One should be as calm as possible.

The test must be taken sincerely. It allows you to discover yourself as a person and determine what to work on for self-improvement and self-development.


Ten cards with blots are shown. They do not have clear outlines, but are arranged symmetrically in relation to the central axis. Half of the stimulus material is black and white. Two of the “spots” have red elements, and the remaining (three) are colored.

The cards are shown in a certain sequence. The task of the person being tested is to name what he or she has seen. If research is conducted not as part of self-analysis, but at the psychologist’s appointment. It is necessary to sit down so that the psychologist is not opposite you, but even better from the side.


A more in-depth Rorschach blot test is conducted. The psychologist shows the cards again, but asks for an even more detailed description of what he or she sees. Often he or she may ask many questions about how clearly the object is seen, what detail makes one think the blot looks like a butterfly, and so on. A sorting option from simple to complex, from pleasant to unpleasant, and so on may be offered.

Rorschach test

"Smudge" No. 1
“Smudge” No. 1

The study as described is performed exclusively by a specialist, but is also included in various self-knowledge manuals. It can be conducted independently. The goal is to find out your real motives, to understand your character traits and yourself as a person. To take the test, look at the cards below and write down your answers.

“Smudge” No. 1

The association reveals the type of personality:

  • bat – inner personality problems and fear of the outside world;
  • moth – desolation and vulnerability, low stress-resistance;
  • Moth – loneliness and desolation;
  • head of a cat or other animal – fear of the outside world, uncertainty.
"Smudge" No. 2
“Smudge” No. 2

“Smudge” No. 2

Determines the ability to cope with physical pain, anger, and current emotional state:

  • moving people – a close relationship with the environment;
  • a person looking at his reflection – narcissism, egocentrism, insensitivity to criticism;
  • animal – a good and faithful friend;
  • elephant – tendency to think;
  • bear – latent aggression and unwillingness to obey;
  • unpleasant feelings – struggle with inner fears;
  • praying people and blood – ambivalent attitude to intimacy;
  • praying and mixed feelings – religion causes painful feelings;
  • people and blood – increased libido.
"Smudge" No. 3
“Smudge” No. 3

“Smudge” No. 3

Demonstrates a person’s involvement in society:

  • diners – activity and ease of adaptation in society;
  • dolls – low emotionality, remoteness from society;
  • people washing their hands – phobias and paranoid fears;
  • mirroring – egocentrism, inattention to others;
  • playing people – close social ties and inconstancy in decisions made.
"Smudge" No. 4
“Smudge” No. 4

Difficulty in interpreting a picture, when it is perceived only in parts, means narrow-mindedness or there are phobias.

“Smudge” No. 4

Allows us to understand attitudes toward values and authority, often called “paternalism:

  • giant monster and negative emotions – bowing down to authority figures;
  • an animal skin – inner conflicts;
  • The rug from the skin – fear of the father or people higher on the social or career ladder.
"Smudge" No. 5
“Smudge” No. 5

“Smudge” No. 5

Identifies personal character traits and is interpreted based on the results of the first card:

  • the answer is similar to “blot” one – the absence of hidden problems;
  • the answer is different – intense internal discomfort.
"Smudge" No. 6
“Smudge” No. 6

“Smudge” No. 6

Reveals how quickly a person is able to establish close relationships with others:

  • animal skin – reluctance to enter into a close relationship;
  • Burrow – isolation and mental emptiness;
  • fear – depression.
"Smudge" No. 7
“Smudge” No. 7

In psychiatry, if this image is associated with intimacy and inspires shock, then there are problems in this area of life.

“Smudge” No. 7

The card shows attitudes toward the female sex:

  • difficulty in interpretation – problems in communication with the weaker sex and conflict with the mother;
  • children or a woman/girl’s head – a need for affection and care, excessive custody of your own children;
  • preparing to kiss heads – the desire to build relationships and be loved .
"Smudge" No. 8
“Smudge” No. 8

Association with female genitals indicates the presence of problems in the intimate sphere.

“Smudge” No. 8

The first of the complex color Rorschach association test cards:

  • difficulties in describing what you see – a difficult life situation;
  • a four-legged animal that does not cause discomfort – calm and relaxed;
  • several different images – fragmented thinking or pettiness in life.
"Smudge" No. 9
“Smudge” No. 9

“Smudge” No. 9

The reaction to this complex multicolored picture determines how one deals with uncertainty in various situations in life:

  • absence of human imagery and association with something bad – difficulty in making decisions if there is ambiguity;
  • human appearance – the ability to manage time well and excellent self-organization.
"Smudge" No. 10
“Smudge” No. 10

The abstract perception of the picture means that one’s peace of mind and equilibrium depend entirely on having a clear schedule and system.

“Smudge” No. 10

The last and most difficult picture to interpret:

  • uncertainty or negative feelings – great difficulties in the current moment of life;
  • several positively perceived images – integrity of personality, good abstract thinking;
  • crabs or lobsters – strong attachment to certain things and patience;
  • spiders – fears and difficulties in life;
  • spiders and a sense of inner tension – having an overbearing woman who limits one’s freedom;
  • snake – sense of danger;
  • caterpillar – constant growth and development;
  • rabbit – positive attitude to life.

Rorschach test interpretation

The above responses require a more detailed analysis, which will lead to a holistic result of personality analysis:

  • Almost or all stimulus material is perceived as a whole, rather than in separate fragments. The person is able to abstract away the superfluous, striving to achieve the goal, and also thinks systematically.
  • Cards are perceived in separate parts or elements. This is evidence of pettiness and fastidiousness. The person, as a rule, has narrow-mindedness and illogical thinking.
  • Perception of white spaces as images. Such means that the person shows negativism and is trying to protect himself/herself/self from the world around him/her.
  • The shapes of the blots are associated with different images. Common sense and logical thinking always prevail over emotion.
  • Abundance of colors. Man is impulsive and has little control over his emotions.
  • Objects and images are mostly in motion. This interpretation shows that the person is well-developed and has flexible thinking.

The specialist analyzes absolutely everything and then comes to a logical result. Rorschach self-analysis allows you to understand your problems and identify problem areas that need to be worked on.

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