The Thematic Apperception Test: Rationale, Administration, and Interpretation

  • Robert R. Holt


Le style c’est l’homme Writers, from the creators of classics to comic strip hacks, put their own values, their own personalities into their works. Who would doubt that Dickens was a moralistic, sentimental person, or that Swift was bitter and lonely? It is a commonplace of literary criticism to point out, as was widely done, for example, of Thomas Wolfe’s Look Homeward,Angel, that the story has much of autobiography in it; the somewhat subtler psychological exegesis of a man’s less obviously autobiographic works is also frequently found in contemporary letters. When we go beyond the step of reading simply to be distracted or to lose ourselves in the excitement of a yarn, we turn to a new novelist or poet to see what aspect of experience he has found most vivid and has passed on to us; we try to get a fresh perspective on the world—and we seldom hesitate to assume that this perspective is the author’s own. The more we read of his work, the more we can see what remains constant while individual stories change; through the nature of these constancies we get a feeling for the author as a man.


Situational Context Personal Style Overt Behavior Emotional Tone Internal Milieu 
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Copyright information

© Plenum Press, New York 1978

Authors and Affiliations

  • Robert R. Holt
    • 1
  1. 1.Research Center for Mental HealthNew York UniversityNew YorkUSA

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