Chapter 27: The use of the Rorschach Inkblot Test in South Africa

This chapter will focus on the Comprehensive Exner System, into which all of the empirically defensible features of other, earlier approaches were merged. Even though the basis of the System has been in place for many years, research has been ongoing, also in South Africa. The Rorschach is an ideal instrument for exploring cross-cultural differences, because, unlike verbal or more structured tests, it involves culture-free stimuli. Various authors have concluded that it is a universally applicable and cross-culturally relevant instrument. In South Africa appropriate guidelines and norms have nevertheless not been developed, although some efforts have been made in this direction. Cultural influences on the administration and on response coding as well as the impact of language have been explored, at least to some extent. Some of the available studies such as those by Aronstam (2004), Moletsane and Eloff (2006), and Taylor and Dick (11997) can be seen as important in this regard. Various ongoing doctoral studies, in which the Rorschach is used as a measuring instrument, are also promising in terms of the future use of this test in the South African context. Rorschach testing constitutes a multifaceted method of data collection, and can be seen as a meaningful adjunct to a well-selected battery of tests where the understanding of an individual is important, be it for clinical, forensic or research purposes. The Rorschach is currently being used in South Africa in all of these settings, and knowledge of the strengths and disadvantages of using this test can be of considerable benefit to a clinician working in any of these areas. Intensive and long-term basic training, as well as ongoing more in depth training is crucial, if this test has to be of real use, adding significant information to that gleaned from other measuring instruments.

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