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Gordon, R. (1973). ROBERT S. MCCULLY: Rorschach theory and symbolism. Baltimore, The Williams & Wilkins Co., 1971. pp. xxi + 271. $14.25.. J. Anal. Psychol., 18(2):181-183.

(1973). Journal of Analytical Psychology, 18(2):181-183

ROBERT S. MCCULLY: Rorschach theory and symbolism. Baltimore, The Williams & Wilkins Co., 1971. pp. xxi + 271. $14.25.

Review by:
Rosemary Gordon

The Rorschach ink-blot test is unique in having remained over many years the most valuable of all projection tests. It is a test which is not only the most aesthetically pleasing, but also one that seems to probe most deeply and extensively a person's experience and functioning. And, more than any other test, it seems to transcend the limitations of culture and epoch.

Professor McCully brings to his study of the Rorschach test a wealth of knowledge in the fields of art and archaeology and this helps him to throw light upon it from a Jungian point of view. He recognizes its trans-personal qualities; which seems confirmed by the fact that there is an amazing consensus of opinion about the particular stimulus quality of each of the ten cards among researchers and clinicians, irrespective of the particular psychodynamic school of thought they may belong to. Thus card No. 4 nearly always provokes responses around the theme of relationship to the father, while for card No. 7 the responses tend to concern the relation to the mother, etc.

In discussing the archetypal qualities of the Rorschach ink-blots, Professor McCully aligns himself with those Jungian thinkers—though he does not name anyone in particular—who regard the concept of the archetype as closely related to the ethologists’ concept of the ‘innate fixed pattern’. In consequence archetypes can be thought of as the product of imprinting, which serves to activate certain types of experience and behaviour and to account for recurrent symbolic themes.

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