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Kanter, V.B. (1957). The Object Relations Technique: By Herbert Phillipson. Foreword by J. D. Sutherland. (London: Tavistock Publications, 1955. Pp. 224. 21s. Text together with the 12 plates of Test Material 3 gns. Test Material only 52s. 6d.). Int. J. Psycho-Anal., 38:430-431.

(1957). International Journal of Psycho-Analysis, 38:430-431

The Object Relations Technique: By Herbert Phillipson. Foreword by J. D. Sutherland. (London: Tavistock Publications, 1955. Pp. 224. 21s. Text together with the 12 plates of Test Material 3 gns. Test Material only 52s. 6d.)

Review by:
Victor B. Kanter

The book, which explains this projective test devised by Mr. Phillipson and his colleagues, is dedicated to Henry A. Murray, the explorer of personality. This is an acknowledgement of the fact that the new technique had its origins in Murray's Thematic Apperception Test—the 'T.A.T.' The T.A.T. consists of four series of pictures, one for boys, one for girls, one for men, and one for women, about which the subject is asked to tell stories. There are human figures in most of these pictures and their sex and age are usually recognizable; the situations in which they are shown are more or less ambiguous; the drawings are mostly in the style of popular illustrated story-magazines.

The Object Relations Technique (O.R.T.) has a similar purpose, but differs from the T.A.T. in many respects. It consists only of 12 plates and one blank card which may be given to subjects of both sexes and a very wide range of ages. There are three sets of four cards, each set presenting one person, two and three persons, and a larger group. In the first set, the drawing is in light shading and the environmental setting is not defined; in the second, the shading is dark, almost black, with the environmental setting clearly defined, and in the third, the figures appear in a detailed environmental setting with the outlines lightly sketched and with different colours introduced.

The human forms in the first and second set of the O.R.T. are for the most part presented so that their sex, age, and race cannot be determined from the drawing; they bear a vague resemblance to the statues of Mr. Henry Moore and some other contemporary sculptors; those in the third set are only a little less ambiguous. This ambiguity is, in fact, the outstanding advantage of the test. The subject, asked to describe the situation in the picture and make up a brief story about it, is almost obliged to begin by finding identities for the characters. The ambiguous picture stimulates a special type of daydream which can, of course, be studied psycho-analytically.

Extreme ambiguity is, of course, a quality of the Rorschach Test.

[This is a summary or excerpt from the full text of the book or article. The full text of the document is available to subscribers.]

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