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Murphy, W.F. (1950). Introduction to the Szondi Test. By Susan Deri. New York: Grune and Stratton, 1949. 354 pp.. Psychoanal Q., 19:112-114.

(1950). Psychoanalytic Quarterly, 19:112-114

Introduction to the Szondi Test. By Susan Deri. New York: Grune and Stratton, 1949. 354 pp.

Review by:
William F. Murphy

The Szondi Test is a personality evaluation test of the projective type based upon the positive or negative reactions of the subject to forty-eight photographs. These are divided into six sets, each containing the picture of a homosexual, a sadist, a hysteric, an epileptic, a catatonic schizophrenic, a paranoid schizophrenic, a manic-depressive depressed, and a manic-depressive manic. According to Dr. Lipot Szondi, the Hungarian psychiatrist who originated the test, when a person is confronted with one of these photographs he will react positively or negatively, according to the similarity of his gene structure with that of the person in the photograph, and in accordance with the needs of his inner tension which vary from day to day. The subject picks out the two photographs he likes best and the two he dislikes most from each of the six sets. The results are tabulated in a graphic form called the personality profile. The entire test is repeated ten times as the subject's likes and dislikes vary from day to day depending upon what is called the drainage of his inner tension needs. The ten successive tests are studied en bloc. The examiner may in addition ask the subject to associate to the pictures or make up stories around them. It is assumed that the eight diagnostic categories of the test correspond to eight different systems of need in the organism. Homosexuality represents passive tenderness and yielding. The picture of the sadist expresses the need for physical activity and aggressive manipulation of others. The epileptic expresses aggressive hostile emotions and tendencies for storing up and suddenly releasing energy. Hysteria is linked up with exhibitionism and the way a person deals with tender emotions. The catatonic schizophrenic represents the need to keep up the ego's narcissistic integrity and withdraw from the environment; the paranoid represents the expansive needs of the ego and the tendency to fuse with the object. The depressive patient expresses the possessive anal type of object relationship; the manic, the clinging oral type of object relationship. A great number of choices in one category means that the subject has strong similar needs and identifications which are pressing for discharge.

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