Personality and Projective tests: Conceptual and Practical Applications


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Chapter 24: Projective Assessment of Adults and Children in South Africa

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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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Chapter 26: The Draw-a-Person (DAP) and Kinetic Family Drawing (KFD) in South Africa

AUTHORS: Z. Amod, R. Gericke, K. Bain

ABSTRACT: Projective testing through the use of human figure drawings which can be seen as a symbolic representation of the inner reality of an individual, is a valuable tool used in psychological assessment practice.  Gregory (2000) reported that projective drawings are amongst five of fifteen most frequently used tests by psychologists.  However results obtained from projective tests such as the Draw-A-Person Test (DAP) and the Kinetic Family Drawing (KFD) need to be used sensitively bearing in mind the unique socio-cultural context of the individual. In this chapter, based on an introductory overview of the DAP and KFD (which would look at administration, issues of reliability and validity, and as well as uses and limitations), the focus would be on the clinical application of these tests using illustrative case examples. Cross-cultural issues and related research will be examined.  While South African research in relation to the drawing tests is limited, some pioneering work has been conducted  (Richter, Griesel and Wortley, 1988; Rudenberg, Jansen and Fridjhon, 1998; Davidow, 1999; Douglas, 2009).   The chapter will be concluded with a brief discussion of other related projective drawing tests such as the House-Tree-Person technique, the Chromatic HTP Test and the Kinetic School Drawing.

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Chapter 25: The use of the Children’s Apperception Test and Thematic Apperception Test in South Africa

AUTHORS: R. Gericke, Z. Amod, K. Bain

ABSTRACT: This chapter will explore the practice, clinical use and cross-cultural application of two thematic projective techniques, the Childrens’ Apperception Test (CAT) and Thematic Apperception Test (TAT). Thematic apperception tests are recognised as valuable tools to unobtrusively access object relations (Kelly, 2007), unconscious conflicts, anxieties, wishes, feelings and needs that may otherwise be defended against. Through projection access to the internal world is gained through a means that is less threatening than being subjected to interviews or self-report questionnaires. A brief introduction to and definition of thematic story telling techniques will be followed by discussions on reliability and validity, test administration and clinical application, and clinical tips. The CAT and TAT are consistently selected as favoured tests across professional registrations, the TAT being the test most favoured by clinical psychologists in SA (Foxcroft, Paterson, le Roux & Herbst, 2004). Given this, the cross-cultural implications of using these tests need to be addressed (De Vos, 2004; Hofer & Chasiotis, 2004; Mclerney & Liem, 2009). Whilst textbooks and scoring manuals are available, this chapter has a strong focus on clinical application within a South African context and provides guidelines for clinicians working within the field. Further to this, a strong focus on illustrative case material will allow the utility as well as the limitations to be discussed in greater depth. Other thematic apperception tests available will be introduced (The Columbus Test, The SA Picture Analysis Test, The Make a Story Test, Michigan Picture Test, Sexual Apperception Test and The Children’s Self-Report and Project Inventory). Finally, suggestions for future research including validating the use of the CAT and TAT in diagnosing attachment patterns will be discussed.

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Chapter 22: Assessment in routine clinical and counselling settings

AUTHORS:  C. Young, D. Edwards

ABSTRACT: This chapter examines the principles of assessment applied to clinical and counselling settings in which clients seek help for such problems as depression, anxiety, eating disorders, or other problems related to trauma, relationship conflict, or difficulties with self control or substance use. The aim of assessment is to obtain an understanding of the client’s difficulties and the context in which they arise sufficient to form the basis of a management or treatment plan. In adults, the main method of assessment is an interview structured to elicit information about the presenting problem, its time course and context, factors that might have precipitated it, case history relevant to understanding the client’s vulnerabilities.  In addition, information is gathered on which to base a diagnosis and an evaluation of risk that the client may harm self or others. Other methods of assessment, particularly with children, include interviews with family members or other significant individuals (for example school teachers, employers) as well as observation (for example of classroom behaviour) or self-monitoring. For children observation of play or interaction between caretaker and child in a playroom may be valuable.  This chapter examines the application of clinical assessment in South African conditions based on case examples and published case studies and discusses the problems and challenges that practitioners face due to time constraints, shortage of resources or cultural and contextual factors.

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Chapter 17: The MBTI in South africa

AUTHORS: K. Knott, N. Taylor, Y. Niewoudt

ABSTRACT: This chapter provides an introduction to the Myers-Briggs Type Indicator® (MBTI®), a well known and popular measure of personality type.  The basic theory and development of the indicator are covered, followed by a summary of South African research and psychometric properties of this well loved instrument.  In particular, the issues of reliability and validity are addressed, and an analysis of the two current forms, namely Form M and Form Q, is presented.  As the instrument is so widely used, some information on the misuse of type is included and there is a focus on the ethical use in South Africa. A substantial portion of the chapter will be spent on the application of type, and how it can be used to improve self understanding, communication, team work, managing change and conflict, among others.  Lastly, we look at the future of the MBTI and new and exciting ways to bring type to life in different contexts.

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Chapter 19: The OPPro in South Africa

AUTHOR:  N. Tredoux

ABSTRACT: With the current population norm group for the Occupational Personality Questionnaire at almost 55000 people, this is one of the most widely-used personality questionnaires in South Africa. This chapter will give an overview of the development of the Occupational Personality Profile and the rationale for the various scales. A brief historical review of reliability and validity studies in South Africa will be discussed, and the different norm groups available for the test will be compared.  In the context of fairness and best use, the relationship between the reliabilities of the OPP scales and the home language, race and educational level of the respondents will be discussed. Age groups and sexes will also be compared. The groups will also be compared in terms of their mean scores on the OPP scales. This leads us to the question of whether one should use a group-specific norm or a general population norm, and how to decide between the options.  A discussion of differential item functioning for race and language groups will follow.   Some attention will also be given to the decision of whether the Occupational Personality Profile is suitable for an intended respondent, or whether a different means of assessing personality (which need not be a questionnaire) should be employed.  The different delivery methods of the OPP, and the available computer-generated reports will be discussed, with the emphasis on using technology to facilitate the fair and appropriate use of the questionnaire. The use of the Occupational Personality Profile for assessing competencies will be discussed, as well as the implications of automating this process. Special emphasis will be placed on the importance of doing an integrated assessment and not relying on one source of information only.


Chapter 16: The BTI in South Africa

AUTHORS: N. Taylor, G. P. de Bruin

ABSTRACT: This chapter describes the Basic Traits Inventory, a South African developed measure of the Big Five personality traits. The basic premises of the Big Five personality theory are given, along with descriptions of the five personality factors. The development of the BTI is described, where issues surrounding developing tests in the cross-cultural South African context are discussed. Further, research done using the BTI in South Africa is presented. The reliability and validity of the BTI is examined and the subject of cross-cultural bias and fairness is addressed. Lastly, examples of the application of the BTI in various fields, such as education and the workplace, are provided and the future of the BTI is discussed.

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