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Booth, G.C. (1939). Beck, Samuel J. Introduction to the Rorschach Method. (A Manual of Personality Study) Monograph No. 1. [American Orthopsychiatric Association. 1937.]. Psychoanal. Rev., 26(3):451-452.

(1939). Psychoanalytic Review, 26(3):451-452

Beck, Samuel J. Introduction to the Rorschach Method. (A Manual of Personality Study) Monograph No. 1. [American Orthopsychiatric Association. 1937.]

Review by:
G. C. Booth

Rorschach's “Psychodiagnostik,” published in 1921, is still the indispensable basis for any serious research work into his outstanding method of objective personality recording. Great linguistic difficulties, however, attend all direct translation of German psychological literature into other languages. The need for an English introduction to Rorschach's original conceptions is therefore strongly felt by those who have realized the importance of more extensive and intensive use of the “ink blot test.” This need still exists, because considerable advance knowledge of the subject matter is taken for granted by Beck. He immediately concentrates on the presentation of 59 complete records, their interpretation and validation. Furthermore, in many respects his principles of scoring the records mean a departure from Rorschach's own conceptions. This is particularly in evidence in the treatment of the kinaesthetic element: whereas Rorschach himself considered it so important that he gave an additional scoring column to rudimentary movement responses in his posthumous paper (“Form zu Bewegung tendierend”), Beck disposes of this technique in a rather flippant way: “to them that have shall be given” (p. 36). On the other hand, Beck distinguishes with much greater statistical thoroughness between inferior and average quality of the form responses, gives closer attention to the contents of the responses, and introduces a new scoring element: the “Z response” as indicative of intellectual “organization energy.” On the whole one may say that Beck's approach shifts the emphasis of the procedure and analysis from the introverted and instinctual towards the extraverted and intellectual elements in the personality structure. This brings the method into the danger of becoming a complicated intelligence test rather than an approach towards the dynamics which underlie external efficiency. Significantly enough, of the 10 groups of personalities studied, only 4 are chosen for the sake of their clinical, dynamic symptomatology, the others with reference to intellectual and social issues. Although “theoretical discussion is conspicuous by absence,” the book raises implicitly many important theoretical problems. (See discussion in “Rorschach Research Exchange,” vol. 2, 1937, 43-74).

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