Encyclopedia of Child Behavior and Development

2011 Edition
| Editors: Sam Goldstein, Jack A. Naglieri

Projective Assessment Techniques

Reference work entry
DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/978-0-387-79061-9_2269



A broad category of psychological tests and techniques designed to measure aspects of personality and emotional functioning.


Projective assessments include such diverse tools as the Rorschach Inkblot Test, Thematic Apperception Test, Roberts-2, story telling, figure drawings, and sentence completion tasks. Many contemporary assessment researchers prefer the term “performance-based assessment” in order to more accurately capture the nature of the task. Although there is a wide array of projective tests and techniques available, they are similar in so far as they require a patient to respond to some type of open-ended prompt, cue, or stimulus. Projectives are quite commonly used by clinical and school psychologists to assess their child and adolescent clients’ personality style, feelings, cognitive processes, emotional distress, and global psychological functioning [1, 2].

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  1. 1.
    Archer, R. P., & Newsom, C. R. (2000). Psychological test usage with adolescent clients: Survey update. Assessment, 7, 227–235.PubMedGoogle Scholar
  2. 2.
    Cashel, M. L. (2002). Child and adolescent psychological assessment: Current clinical practice and the impact of managed care. Professional Psychology: Research and Practice, 33, 446–453.Google Scholar
  3. 3.
    Exner, J. E. (2003). The Rorschach: A comprehensive system (4th ed.). New York: Wiley.Google Scholar
  4. 4.
    Roberts, G. E., & Gruber, C. P. (2005). Roberts-2 manual. Los Angeles: Western Psychological Services.Google Scholar
  5. 5.
    Wagner, E. E., Rasch, M. A., & Marsico, D. S. (1991). Hand Test manual supplement: Interpreting child and adolescent responses. Los Angeles: Western Psychological Services.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC 2011

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Counseling, Clinical, and School PsychologyUniversity of CaliforniaSanta BarbaraUSA