Have you heard of the “inkblot test”? Devised by Hermann Rorschach, a Swiss psychologist, it’s one of the quickest personality tests.
Although it’s a controversial test in the psychology community today, lots of practitioners still use it to uncover someone’s personality traits.
It’s a projective test, which means the person being tested needs to generate their own interpretation, rather than choosing from pre-existing options.
Here are ten classic Rorschach test cards.
What do you see in each case?
Bear in mind that these interpretations are not an exhaustive list; they are just the most common responses.
These interpretations suggest a stable emotional state and self-image.
However, some see a wolf or a sinister face, answers which suggest that you are currently experiencing paranoia or possibly depression.
Some people see an angel with outstretched wings, which implies you have an innocent, light-hearted personality.
If you see two animals or figures attacking or attaching themselves to a third figure in the center, this may mean you feel threatened by others in your life.
If you see two figures connecting with one another, possibly over a table or pot, you have a harmonious relationship with others.
If not, you might have trouble communicating with loved ones, and need to improve your communication skills.
If you see two people fighting, or interpret the red ink as blood, it suggests that you are suppressing a lot of aggression.
Some psychological research has suggested that seeing two clowns might be an indicator of narcissism.
According to some interpretations, a heterosexual person will see two men, whereas homosexual people are more likely to see female or androgynous figures.
A more modern approach is to use the card as a measure of your approach to relationships.
For example, if you see two figures trying to lean in and make contact, you may be yearning to close the gap in an important relationship.
This is sometimes known as the “authority card” or the “father card.”
It reveals how you relate to authority figures in your life.
Most people see a giant with huge boots, or a large animal, such as a bear.
If this image inspires a sense of fear, this is a sign that you are in conflict with a particular authority figure in your life, such as a boss or older male relative.
Most people see a bird, a bat, or a butterfly. These so-called “normal answers” denote mental stability and a healthy imagination.
If you see crocodile faces, you may have a tendency towards hostile feelings.
If you see a pair of scissors – for example, in the lower center of the image – this may mean you fear being vulnerable or powerless.
Most psychologists assume that if you cannot see either female or male organs, you are probably experiencing some kind of problem in your sex life.
If you interpret the blot as a mountain, this symbolizes a sense of anxiety.
You may feel as though you have a huge challenge to face, or that you experiencing life as an endless “uphill struggle.”
This card is known as the “mother card,” and your interpretation indicates how you feel towards your mother, or other significant female figures in your life.
If you see two women sitting together and talking, or merely standing together, this indicates healthy relationships to the women around you.
However, if you see two arguing or malicious figures, you either tend to view women with contempt, or have unresolved issues in your maternal relationship.
If you see a heraldic crest or symbol, this suggests you are good at synthesizing complex information, and that you experience a general sense of personal wholeness.
According to traditional interpretations, you should see a four-legged creature on either side; otherwise, you may have a basic deficiency when it comes to spotting patterns in your personal or professional life.
If you see a spine in the center of the image, this suggests good leadership skills.
If you see two animals that are trying to escape a fire pit, you have some unresolved guilt or personal struggles that demand your urgent attention.
If you see two fighting figures, this suggests you are facing ongoing conflict, and that you might have poor social skills.
Explosions and flowers are the most common answers, suggesting no particular problems.
If you see a pair of stags near the top of the image, this could imply that you are reaching upwards or striving to make changes in your life.
If you notice a rocket launching from the center of the card, you feel powerful in either your personal or professional life.
This is a complex card with lots of signs and symbols to discover.
If it makes you feel uneasy, you might have problems organizing yourself and others in day to day life, or you might feel easily overwhelmed.
Most people see various creatures; rabbit heads, worms, and snakes, to name but a few.
Generally, the more you can see, the more creative you are.
Pass it on!
Psychologists need to receive many hours of training before they can use the test to draw up a complete profile for their clients, but a quick glance through the cards can still provide you with some insight into your personality.
Why not ask your friends and family what they can see?
You might be surprised by their answers.