Projective Inkblots

Anyone who knows me will know that I am studying a Psychology Bachelors Degree, I am no where near my goal and it is seeming to take for ever but I am determined to get there & be labelled a Registered Psychologist. What I do from there is still unknown.

I recently went away for my on-campus residential for the subject Psychological testing & Assessment, one of things that popped up was the development of the Projection Test as one of the first Personality tests. Developed initially by Sigmund Freud, Psychoanalytic Theorist, Inkblots soon developed further and The Rorschach inkblot test and the Thematic Apperception Test (TAT) were coined, if you have any interest in Psychology who may have heard of these as they are the two most widely used Projection tests, and they were both important milestones in the clinical field.

The test assumes that the person being tested is projecting their personalities into the inkblots.  Further, the test assumes that since the person is focusing on the inkblot in order to identify what it resembles, they would be removing the attention of themselves and therefor remove their usual psychological defences. Since the same inkblot could seem like everything and nothing, any object or idea that the subject claims to see would be a product of the subject’s unconscious projected onto the inkblot.  That is the history.

Now, I am not a fan of Freud and anyone who has read about him may feel the same, he is often seen as a creep with sexually deviant desires and his theories surrounding early childhood are very radical and some what disturbing. None the less, he is a major player in Psychology and I do understand the basis of Projective tests.

Out of curiosity I made some inkblots with Smiley. I still have ink left over from our experimental Marbling in November.  So I got that out to use. It was a fun process and a learning activity for him as he got to see how the ink transferred onto both sides when folded in the paper and how the colours smeared together.

I cut A4 White printing paper in half and did about 10 inkblots.  I asked smiley to choose his colours, splash some dots on the paper and then we folded them in half. Using the same technique you would if you were making butterflies with paint. Open them up and put them up to dry.

Once they were dry I asked smiley what they looked like. What do you think that is,  and what is it doing?  I did this purely out of curiosity, and of course for the process of making them, i didn't intend to perform any type delving technique and I wasn't going to look into what he said for some underlying hidden meaning. 

He is nearly 3 and that would be totally inappropriate, so I did it purely to see where his imagination took him and how well he could attend, listen and talk about the pictures. Through open ended questioning I thought it would also help develop his language and conversational skills. But most of all, they were fun to make and they do look pretty unique and interesting.

He did really well and he is suprising me a lot lately with how grow up he is becoming. Time has gone so fast and he isn't my little baby anymore he is becoming a little boy.  All grow up he says "OK, Show me this one!" and took the inkblot, as the tests are ambiguous they can be seen in any direction or angle that the viewer wants them to be in and this is funnily exactly what he did.

He twisted and turned it around, hummed & hared tilting his head at all different angles then announced this one is a Big Camp Fire, like the one out the bush!  (we had a bomb-fire that day but if it were a real adult projection test the psychoanalyst might have said that represents a hot temper or signifies anger rising up - PFFtTt so the tests as you can imagine aren't really that popular these days)

It was very humorous to me, my little man so grow up telling me stories about what it is. "Lets see" he would say & squint, with a real serious look on his face. "This one has huge Antennas" he said, and then from there on it was an insect theme.

There was a Spider eating his food. There was a cranky biter cricket with huge antennas.  A squashed frog with a fat belly that a car had run over, A beautiful butterfly of course and an explosion in the water from what i gather. There were lots of sound effect, boom, splash, pachoooow and lots of cute facials!

The last one, which was totally out of the theme was Poppy with his glasses on which surprised me because he hasn't seen Poppy for a couple of weeks and the picture was, well very ambiguous but I can see where he got the glasses from (it was 2 big yellow blots that looked like round eyes, or glasses).

Here are some below; The fire, the spider eating his food & the cranky cricket 


  1. What a fun & interesting activity!

  2. Hi,
    Thanks for stopping by my blog and putting a link to your inkblots - they are beautiful. What nice colors. I've been wanting to try colored ink, after seeing yours I think we're definitely adding color to our next batch.



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