Encyclopedia of Clinical Neuropsychology

2018 Edition
| Editors: Jeffrey S. Kreutzer, John DeLuca, Bruce Caplan

Projective Technique

  • Stephanie A. Kolakowsky-HaynerEmail author
Reference work entry
DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/978-3-319-57111-9_2096


Ambiguous personality assessment; Free-response measures; Unrestricted-response technique


Projective techniques are a subset of personality testing in which the examinee is given a simple unstructured task, with a goal of uncovering personality characteristics. Projective techniques are often the most recognizable yet the most psychometrically controversial psychological testing technique. Based on the projective hypothesis, projective stimuli are purposefully ambiguous with the goal of eliciting the examinee’s true feelings, desires, fears, motives, and other unconscious personality characteristics. While neuropsychologists typically use objective measures of analysis, most only utilize projective techniques if there is suspected psychiatric diagnosis, rather than simply a suspected or known neurological diagnosis (Sweet et al. 2000). The most common projective techniques include the Rorschach Inkblot Test (also known as the Rorschach or simply The Inkblot Test),...

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References and Readings

  1. Klopfer, W. G., & Taulbee, E. S. (1976). Projective tests. Annual Review of Psychology, 27, 543–568.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  2. Lilienfeld, S. O., Wood, J. M., & Garb, H. N. (2000). The scientific status of projective techniques. Psychological Science in the Public Interest, 1, 27–66.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  3. Sweet, J. J., Moberg, P. J., & Suchy, Y. (2000). Ten-year follow-up survey of clinical neuropsychologists: Part I. Practices and beliefs. The Clinical Neuropsychologist, 14, 18–37.PubMedCentralCrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  4. Watkins, C. E., Campbell, V. L., & McGregor, P. (1988). Counseling psychologists’ uses of and opinions about psychological tests: A contemporary perspective. The Counseling Psychologist, 16, 476–486.CrossRefGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer International Publishing AG, part of Springer Nature 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Rehabilitation MedicineIcahn School of Medicine at Mount SinaiNew YorkUSA