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Weber, A. (1925). General: H. Rorschach. Posthumous publication, edited by E. Oberholzer Zur Auswertung des Formdeutversuches für die Psychoanalyse. Zeitschrift für die gesamten Neurologie und Psychiatrie, Bd. LXXXII.. Int. J. Psycho-Anal., 6:219-221.
Psychoanalytic Electronic Publishing: General: H. Rorschach. Posthumous publication, edited by E. Oberholzer Zur Auswertung des Formdeutversuches für die Psychoanalyse. Zeitschrift für die gesamten Neurologie und Psychiatrie, Bd. LXXXII.

(1925). International Journal of Psycho-Analysis, 6:219-221

General: H. Rorschach. Posthumous publication, edited by E. Oberholzer Zur Auswertung des Formdeutversuches für die Psychoanalyse. Zeitschrift für die gesamten Neurologie und Psychiatrie, Bd. LXXXII.

A. Weber

This is the last work of H. Rorschach, whose premature death we have to regret; it is the completion and continuation of his Psychodiagnostik, published in 1921, in which he communicated the method and the results of an experiment in diagnosis based on the perceptions of the subject. The experiment, which consisted in causing the subject to interpret chance figures (symmetrical ink-blots), showed that the interpretations of the sheets of figures displayed had a quite definite symptomatic value. In the Psychodiagnostik Rorschach explains a number of the most important of these indications at which he arrived by a purely empirical method. Thus it was demonstrated that kinæsthesis (the interpretation of the figures as being in motion) represented the subjectivity, the introversive elements, in the person interpreting, while 'colour-answers' (interpretations influenced by the colour of the smudge) represented affectivity. From the pure 'form-answers' (interpretation influenced only by the form of the smudge), taken in conjunction with other factors, it was possible to infer the scope and nature of the subject's trained thinking, whilst from the relation of kinæsthesis to colour-interpretation the power and scope of the artistic thinking could be deduced.

In the present work Rorschach describes in detail the technique of interpretation, which he had not given fully in the Psychodiagnostik; in this connection he explains two new types of answer and their symptomatic meaning. The rest of the book is written in collaboration with E. Oberholzer, and in it the writers estimate the importance for psychoanalysis of their experiment in the interpretation of forms.

The account of the technique begins with a description and statistics of the answers of subjects in the experiment. Two new terms are introduced; Helldunkeldeutung (chiaroscuro interpretation) and Vulgärantwort (answer in common terms). From the subsequent elucidation of the results we learn that the 'common answers' show adaptation to the collective mode of apperception, whereas the 'chiaroscuro interpretations' seem in some curious way to be connected, on the one hand, with an affectivity indicating an anxious or cautious adaptation and, on the other, where they are original, with constructive talent, the power of imagining in terms of space. These latter interpretations also display in a pronounced fashion the distinguishing marks of particular complexes; we can clearly perceive in them rectifications and wish-fulfilments. The example which he chooses to illustrate his experiment leads the author to demonstrate the points which indicate repression. They are the following: 'colour-shock' as the principal symptom, lack of kinæsthesis on being shown the first sheet of blots (the subject being of an unmistakably introversive disposition) and a certain inflexibility in the succession of answers based on

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colour or motion. In people who are free from complexes there is a free interchange of these answers, an unrestrained alternation of introversive and extratensive attitudes. The condition in which the capacity for experience is narrowed down by repressions is termed by Rorschach coartation; both the introversive and the extratensive elements are always affected by it, but as a rule not equally powerfully. The relation of kinæsthesis to colour-answers is called by Rorschach the 'type of experience', and this he relates to the choice of neurosis. Where the prevailing type of experience is extratensive, hysterical symptoms predominate; where the type is introversive, the symptoms are neurasthenic and psychasthenic; in the intermediate 'ambi-equal' type obsessional symptoms dominate the picture. The results of the experiment show the neurotic dissociation of personality at work in contradictions, and finally in the course of the interpretation the neurosis is seen with extraordinary clearness in the consideration of the intermediate figures which the subject interprets. Further, certain markedly intuitive answers are cited, and it is shown how largely they are determined by complexes. After giving a short sketch of the character of the subject Rorschach enters upon his main subject: the value of the experiment for psycho-analysis.

This, the most important part of the book, is based on a comparison of interpretations with the results of analysis by Dr. Oberholzer, the subject having been analyzed by him after the experiment. According to Dr. Oberholzer's finding in an analysis carried on for several months the character-sketch of the subject given by Dr. Rorschach proved absolutely correct. The experience thus gained showed further that the form and the content of the interpretations are in the main related somewhat as follows: the kinæsthetic interpretations are most intimately linked up with the subject's unconscious and betray his unconscious trend of character and the expectations which form its underlying attitude. The contents of the colour-interpretations are symbols of the same sort as dream-symbols: they betray the strong affective cathexis of the latent content. The form-interpretations are generally 'complex-free', except in markedly irrational types, in whom nearly every manifestation directly betrays their unconscious, and in subjects who are in particularly good spirits at the time of the experiment and whose experience-type is therefore in a state of expansion and freedom from repressions. The stronger the repressions the more firmly is everything to do with the complexes withheld from the form-interpretations; the more clearly, however, does it appear in the answers based on colour and motion. The abstract interpretations, which in reckoning up the answers cannot be comprehended in numerical terms, are important because they obviously establish relations between kinæsthesis and colour-interpretations and between the unconscious attitudes of expectation and the affectively-toned aims of the unconscious. The experiment enables us to make a prognosis for an analysis. It may

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contribute to our knowledge of the ucs, pcs and cs systems and of their mutual relations, while on the other hand psycho-analysis makes it possible to understand the theoretical implications of the experiment.

It remains to mention in conclusion that we owe the publication of this last work by Rorschach to Dr. E. Oberholzer.

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Article Citation

Weber, A. (1925). General. Int. J. Psycho-Anal., 6:219-221

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