Thematic apperception test

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  • 1. Thematic Apperception TesT
  • 2. • is a projective test consisting of a series ofpictures in which the examinee isrequested to create a story about thepicture.• method of revealing to the trainedinterpreter some of the dominant drives,emotions, sentiments, complexes andconflicts of personality.• Apperception – refer to the process ofprojecting fantasy imaginary onto anobjective stimuli.
  • 3. History:was conceptualized by Henry Murrayand Christina Morgan on 1935.• Henry Murray– was born on May 13, 1893 into a wealthyfamily.– Has a good relationship with his father butpoor one with his mother, that result him tofeel depression.
  • 4. – A turning point in his life occurred at the ageof 30, when he met and fell in love withChristina Morgan, though married for 7 year.– Carl Jung advice him not to stop therelationship with Morgan and keep bothrelationships. (1925) Christina Morgan- Born in Boston on October 6, 1987- Had a lot of health problems.- Drowned herself on March 14, 1967 at the VirginIslands
  • 5. • Morgan – Murray Thematic apperceptionTest– the original name of the TAT but later onMurray is given primary credit for the test,along with the staff of Harvard PsychologicalClinic.• 1938 the year that Tat was established inHarvard Psychological Clinic• Explorations in Personality in which thedescription of TAT was included.
  • 6. • Murray’s Theory of PersonalityThe TAT is so integrally involved withMurray’s concept of personality that asurvey and knowledge of his basictheoretical components is important. Inconstructing the theory, Murrayemphasizes the biological basis as well asthe social and environmentaldeterminants of behavior. He is alsoconsistently aware of how individualsinteract with their environment.
  • 7. • 1960 – Mrs. Uma Coudharydeveloped Indian Adoption of TAT• Human Potential Movement– encouraged psychologists to use TAT tohelp their clients understand themselvesbetter and stimulate personal growth.
  • 8. General Conditions:• to be administered in an interpersonalsetting.• TAT materials consists of 20 cards onwhich ambiguous pictures are presented.-”M” for males, “F” for females-”B” for boys, “G” for girls-”BM” for boys/males, “GF” forgirls/females.
  • 9. • The selection of cards may beidiosyncratic to the patient’s presentingproblem.SEQUENTIAL NUMBERING SYSTEM (SNS)a) administered to females and malesin exact order : 1, 2, 3BM, 4, 6BM, 7GF,8BM, 9GF, 10, 13MF.b) administered to any males: 1, 2,3BM, 4, 6BM, 7BM, 11, 12M, 13MF.c) administered to any females: 1, 2, 3,3BM, 4, 6GF, 7GF, 9GF, 11, 13GF.
  • 10. • Research purposes : Keiser and Prather(1990) specified Murray’s frequent cards.- 10 most frequent cards : 1, 2, 3BM,3GF, 4, 5, 6BM, 6GF, 8BM and 8GF.• During administration, the subject shouldbe seated beside the examiner with hisor her chair turned away.
  • 11. Instructions:• The examiner will show some picturesone at a time, and the subject will bemaking up as dramatic a story ashe/she can for each picture card. 50minutes for 10 pictures. The followingstory structure must be obtained:
  • 12. a) current situation ; what ishappening at the moment?b) thoughts and feelings of thecharacter (s); what the characters arefeeling and thinking?c) preceding events; what has led upto the event shown in the picture?d) outcome ; what was the outcome?
  • 13. Procedures:• TIMEtime measured should begin when thepicture is first presented and end when thesubject begins his or her story.• RECORDINGa subject’s complete responses should berecorded, along with any noteworthy behavioralobservations: exclamation, stuttering, pauses,blushing, degree of involvement , andchange in voice inflection.
  • 14. • QUESTIONING and INQUIRYto produce an unhampered andfree-flow of the subject’s fantasymaterial.• ORDER OF PRESENTATIONusually, the cards should beadministered according to theirsequential numbering system.
  • 15. • USE OF THE TAT (or CAT) with CHILDREN:-instructions should be modified inaccordance with their age andvocabulary.-for the use with children, the TAT cardsthat have the highest number ofinterpretable responses and the lowestnumber of responses are the following:
  • 16. a) in order of usefulness : 7GF,18GF, 3GF, and 8GF.b) least helpful cards are 19,18BM, 11 and 12BG(Bellak and Abrams, 1997)
  • 17. • CAT usually used to 3-10 yrs old(Bellak 1949)• 1965 – CAT-H for 11-15 yrs old
  • 18. ADDITIONAL INFORMATION:• TAT to children ages 8-11 yrs old : 1, 3BM,7GF, 8BM, 12M, 13B, 14, 17BM (Obsrzutand Boleik 1968)• TAT for adolescents: 1, 2, 5, 7GF, 12F, 12M,15, 17BM, 18BM, 18GF• Children and adolescents of either gender: 1, 2, 3BM, 4, 5, 6BM, 7GF, 8BM ( Teglasi1993)• (Bellak) SENIOR APPERCEPTION TECHNIQUE(SAT) - for elderly individuals for over 65years of age.
  • 19. Scoring:The Psychological CorporationFor each of the scoring categories,practitioners should abbreviate theirobservations about the person. In some sections,practitioners are asked to indicate the levels ofimportance or strength for the per by puttingone check (mere presence of characteristics),two checks (moderate) or three checks (strong).The entire scoring and interpretation proceduretypically takes a half-hour.
  • 20. • H.A Murray, 1943 scoring the TAT involvesevaluating the following five different aspectsof the stories: The Hero. Scoring for the hero involves identifyingwho is central character(s) in the story Need of the Hero. For Murray, it was also critical toidentify the needs, motives and desire of the hero. Identifying the presses. A press refer to anyimportant environmental factor that may influenceor interfere with the need of the hero.Example: (parents or boss), (the lock on the door isbroken)
  • 21.  Scoring for themes. Scoring for themes in TATstories involves noting the nature of theinterplay and conflict between the needs andpresses, the types of emotion elicited by thisconflict, and the way the conflict is resolved. Scoring for outcome. Scoring for the outcomeof the story involves analyzing how the storiesend by noting a happy versus unhappy endingand assessing the extent to which the ending iscontrolled by the strengths of the hero andforces in the environment.
  • 22. Interpretation:• Nomethetic and Idiogrphic.1. Nomothethic Interpretation refers to the practiceof establishing norms for answer from subjects inspecific age, gender, racial, or educational levelgroups and then measuring a given subject’sresponses against those norms.2. Idiographic Interpretation refers to evaluating theunique features of the subject’s view of the worldand relationships.Most psychologists would classify the TAT isbetter suited to idiographic than nomothethicinterpretations
  • 23. • In interpreting the responses of the TAT, theexaminers typically focus their attention onone of the three (3) areas:•The content of the stories that thesubject tells;•The feeling or the tone of the stories;•The subject’s behavior apart fromresponses. These behavior may include:Verbal Remarks (e.g. comments aboutfeeling stressed by situation or not beinggood story teller) as well as NonverbalActions or Signs (e.g. blushing stammering,fidgeting in the chair, difficulties making aneye contact with the examiner, etc.)
  • 24. • The story content usually reveals thesubject’s attitudes, fantasies, wishes,inner conflicts, and view of the outsideworld.• The story structure typically reflects thesubject’s feelings, assumptions aboutthe world, and an underlying attitudeof optimism or pessimism.
  • 25. • The 3 Levels of Interpretations suggestby Bellak & Abram, 1997 are:•Descriptive Level- it is the mererepeat of the story•Interpretative Level- It extends thedescriptive level by an alteration of it[if one does the X, then the outcomewill be Y.].•Diagnostic Level- It is the furtherextension I that an interference ismade about the client.
  • 26. • In Example Given:PICTURE 1– Descriptive level (the boyis practicing to increasehis competence.)– Interpretative level (If onepractice, then he or shewill improve.)– Diagnostic level (Theclient has a high need forachievement with a highlevel of self- efficacy.The boy is
  • 27. Results:• The results of the TAT must be interpretedin the context of the subject’s personalhistory, age, sex, level of education,occupation, racial or ethnicidentification first language, and othercharacteristics that may be important.“Normal” results are difficult to define ina complex multicultural society like thecontemporary United States.
  • 28. • The results of the ThematicApperception Test are difficult togeneralize. The results are oftensubjective and do not use any formaltype of scoring system. However, aclose analysis of the stories told by thesubject normally gives the tester adecent idea of the traits mentionedabove (personality, emotional control,and attitudes towards aspects ofeveryday life).
  • 29. – Companies sometimes use thematicapperception tests to screen potentialemployees. This test can determine (to acertain extent) whether the potentialemployee is likely to succeed at a certainposition For example: Can they handlestressful situations? How will they react toemotional conflicts? Will they fit well withthe general atmosphere and attitude ofthe company?
  • 30. – Thematic Apperception Tests are lessbeneficial to individuals. However,individuals can use the results todetermine if an industry or company isright for them. The results can also helpthe person understand their unconsciousself, which can help them find ways tosuccessfully increase their productivityand efficacy on the job. A trueunderstanding of one self can provideover your co-workers and competitors.
  • 31. Thematic Apperception Test(TAT)Picture 1:A boy is sitting at atable looking at aviolin placed on thetable in front of him.
  • 32. Picture 2 : Country scene with a womanholding a book in the foreground. In thebackground, a man is working a fieldwhile a woman watches.
  • 33. General Discussion• This is the only card in the seriesthat presents the group scene andgives information relating to howthe individual deals with thechallenge of people livingtogether.
  • 34. Picture 3BM : A boy is huddled next to acouch. On the floor next to him is anambiguous object that could be a set ofkeys or a revolver.
  • 35. General Discussion• This is identified as one of the most useful pictures for itconcerns themes of guilt, depression, aggression, andimpulsive control.For example, if the object is described as a gun, is itused or intended to used for:*Intra-aggression-thesubject is going to use it to damage oneself, or*Extra-aggression-the subject has used it or going touse it to damage or harm another person.This picture is particularly important for depressedpatients, whether male or female, because it canreveal important dynamics regarding the manner inwhich the depression developed and how it iscurrently being maintained
  • 36. Picture 3GF : A woman is standing next to anopen door with one hand grabbing theside of the door and the other holdingher downcast face.
  • 37. General Discussion• The same general trend that hold forPicture 3BM are also true here, in thatboth pictures tend to bring outdepressive feelings. Frequently, however,Picture 3BM brings out somewhat richerstories and allows both males andfemales to identify with the centralfigure.
  • 38. Picture 4 : A woman is grabbing theshoulders of a man who is turning awayfrom her.
  • 39. General Discussion• This picture typically elicits a good dealof information relating to the feelingsand attitudes surrounding male-femalerelationship. Frequently, themes ofinfidelity and betrayal emerge, anddetails regarding the male attitudestoward the role of women may bediscussed.
  • 40. Picture 5 : A woman is looking into a roomfrom the threshold of a door.
  • 41. General Discussion• This picture often reveals informationsurrounding attitudes about the subjectsmother in her role of observing andpossibly judging behavior. It is importantto note how the woman is perceivedand how the situation is resolved.This card elicits paranoid fears of attackor intrusion by an outsider, representedby stories in which the woman issurprised by a burglar
  • 42. Picture 6BM : An elderly woman is standingparallel to a window. Behind her is ayounger man with his face down. He isholding onto his hat.
  • 43. General Discussion• This picture can be important to includewhen testing males. It usually proves tobe rich source of information regardingattitudes and feelings toward theirmother or maternal figures in general.Because the stories usually revolvearound a young man striving forindependence, the specific manner inwhich the subject depicts this struggle isimportant.
  • 44. Picture 6GF : A young woman sitting on theedge of a sofa looks back over hershoulder at an older man with a pipe inhis mouth who seems to be addressingher.
  • 45. General Discussion• This card was originally intended to be thefemale counterpart to Picture 6BM,, and it washoped that it, too, would elicit attitudes andfeelings toward paternal figures. However,because the two figures are often seen asbeing about an equal age, the cardfrequently does not accompilsh0 its intendedpurpose. When clear father-daughter plots arenot discussed, the picture reflects thesubject’s style and approach to instructedheterosexual relationship.
  • 46. Picture 7BM : An older man is looking at ayounger man, who appears to bepeering into space.
  • 47. General Discussion• This card is extremely useful in obtaininginformation about the authority figures and,more specifically the subjects own father. Thepicture deals with hierarchicalPersonal relationships and usually takes theform of an older, more experienced maninteracting with the younger, less experiencedone.. Thus, the card can clearly show how thesubject deals with external demands andattitudes toward authority.
  • 48. Picture 7GF : A young girl is seated on acouch and is holding a doll in her hands.Behind her is an older woman whoappears to be reading to her out of abook.
  • 49. General Discussion• The intention here is to bring out the style andmanner of mother-child interaction. When theolder women are the subjects, the pictureoften elicits feelings and attitudes towardchildren. Because both figures are lookingaway, either figure is sometimes perceived asrejecting the other. This, the card draws outnegative feeling and interactions, and it isimportant to note how these feelings areresolved, expressed, or avoided. Sometimesthe older woman is described as reading afairy story to the younger girl.
  • 50. Picture 8BM : A young boy in the foregroundis staring directly out of the picture. In thebackground is a hazy image of two menperforming surgery on a patient who islying down.
  • 51. General Discussion• The picture can be seen as a thinly veileddepiction of a young man’s oedipal conflicts,with concomitant feelings of castrationanxiety and hostility. Thus, it is important tonote what feelings the boy or the othercharacters in the story have toward the olderman performing the surgery. If the storydepicts a need for achievement expressed bythe younger man, it is also likely the he willidentifyWith the older one and perhaps use him as anexample, If this is the case, the details of howthe identification may be helpful.
  • 52. Picture 8GF : A woman is sitting on a chairstaring into space with her chin resting inher hand.
  • 53. General Discussion• This picture is difficult to generalizeabout. Typically, it produces somewhatshallow stories of a contemplativenature.
  • 54. Picture 9BM : Four men in a field are lyingagainst one another.
  • 55. General Discussion• This picture is particularly helpful inproviding information about relation withthe members of the same sex.Sometimes, heterosexual tendencies orfears regarding such tendenciesbecome evident in the story plot. Socialprejudice often becomes apparent,particularly when the men in the pictureare seen as homeless.
  • 56. Picture 9GF : A woman in the foreground isstanding behind a tree, observinganother woman who is running along abeach below.
  • 57. General Discussion• This card basically deals with femalepeer relations and is important inelaborating on the issues such as conflictresolution, jealousy, sibling rivalry, andcompetitiveness. Because the figurestanding behind the tree is carefullyobserving the woman on the bench,stories may provide details surroundingparanoid ideation.
  • 58. Picture 10 : One person is holding his or herhead against another person’s shoulder.The gender of the two persons is notdefined.
  • 59. General Discussion• This card often gives useful informationregarding how the subject perceivesmale-female relationship, particularlythose involving some degree ofcloseness and intimacy. It might behelpful to notice the relative degree ofcomfort or discomfort evoked byemotional closeness. A story ofdeparture or of termination of therelationship may be reflective of eitherovert or denied hostility on the part ofthe subject.
  • 60. Picture 11 : On a road in a chasm, severalfigures are proceeding along a pathtoward a bridge. Above them andagainst the side of a cliff appears to bea dragon.
  • 61. General Discussion• Because the form of the picture is quitevague and ambiguous, it is good test ofthe subjects’ imaginative abilities andtheir skills in integrating irregular andpoorly refined stimuli. The picture alsorepresents unknown and threateningforces and reflects the manner in whichthe subjects deal with fear of attack.
  • 62. Picture 12M : A man with his hand raised isstanding above a boy who is lying on abed with his eyes closed.
  • 63. General Discussion• This picture often elicits themes regarding therelationship between an older (usually moreauthoritative) man and a younger one. Thiscan be significant in predicting or assessingthe current or future relationship between thetherapist and the client. The manner in whichthe older man is perceived is particularlyimportant. The picture can represent specificsof the transference relationship and such, canbe an aid in interpreting and providingfeedback to the client regarding thisrelationship. In particular, subjects frequentlyreveal attitudes toward some externalcontrolling forces.
  • 64. Picture 12F : A portrait of a woman is in theforeground; an older woman holding herchin is in the background.
  • 65. General Discussion• This picture elicits descriptions andconceptions of mother figures. Thebackground figure is frequently seen asa mother-in-law who has a variety of evilqualities. Often, these negative qualitiesare feelings that the subject has towardher own mother but can indirectly, and,therefore, more safely, project onto thefigure of a mother-in-law
  • 66. Picture 12BG : A country setting depicts atree, with a rowboat pulled up next to it.No human figures are present.
  • 67. General Discussion• With suicidal or depressed subjects,there may be an elaboration of feelingsof abandonment and isolation), forexample: someone has been lost or hasbeen fallen from a boat. More stableand adjusted subjects are likely todiscuss the peace of being alone in thewoods and perhaps of fishing or havinggone fishing further down the stream.
  • 68. Picture 13MF : A young man is standing inthe foreground with his head in his arms.In the background is a woman lying in abed.
  • 69. General Discussion• This picture is often helpful in revealing sexual conflicts.In a general way, it provides information on thesubject’s attitudes and feelings toward his or herpartner, in particularly attitudes just before andimmediately following the sexual intercourse. Stories inwhich there are overt expressions of aggression orrevulsion are significant variations and should benoted as relatively unusual. In particular, the relationbetween a subject’s aggressive and sexual feelings isfrequently portrayed.Because this picture has a relatively large number ofdetails, obsessive-compulsive personalities frequentlyspend an excessive amount of time in describing andexplaining these details. This approach may beparticularly evident when the picture has a shockeffect and may, therefore, create an anxiety.
  • 70. Picture 13B : A boy is sitting in the doorwayof a log cabin.
  • 71. General Discussion• This picture may help both adults andchildren to reveal attitudes towardintrospection or loneliness. In adults, itfrequently elicits reveries involvingchildhood memories.
  • 72. Picture 13G : A girl is climbing a flight ofstairs.
  • 73. General Discussion• This picture lacks the specificity and theimpact found in other TAT cards. Itusually produces stories that are highlyvaried but lacking in richness anddetails. Like picture 13 B, it cansometimes useful in depicting a subject’sattitude toward loneliness andintrospection.
  • 74. Picture 14 : A person is silhouetted against awindow.
  • 75. General Discussion• If a subject’s presenting problem is depression,especially if there is evidence of suicidal ideation, thiscard, along Picture 3 BM, is essential.. This type ofsubject often describes the figure in the picture and,more importantly discusses the events, feeling, andattitudes that led up to the current self-destructivebehavior. It becomes important to investigate, duringthe inquiry phase of examination, the particularmethods and styles of problem solving that the storycharacter has attempted or is attemptingThis picture may also reveal the subject’s aestheticsinterest and personal philosophical beliefs or wishfulfillments.
  • 76. Picture 15 : A man is standing amongtombstones with his hands claspedtogether.
  • 77. General Discussion• This reflects the subject’s particular beliefsabout, and attitudes toward, death and thedying process. For example death may beviewed as a passive, quiet process, or, incontrast, it can be violent, aggressivesituation. If the subject is having an extremelydifficult time coping with the death of a friendand relative, the themes on Picture 15 canprovide useful information as to why thisdifficulty is being experienced. The story mightalso indicate unexpressed and problematicanger directed toward the dead person,because of sense of abandonment.
  • 78. Picture 16 : Blank card.
  • 79. General Discussion• The instructions for this card are:• Imagine a picture and then tell a story about it.From the subjects with vivid and active imaginations,this card often elicits extremely rich, useful stories; andthe amount of detail and complexity in a person’sstories have been found to correlate with differentmeasures of creativity (Wakefield, 1986). The carddoes little to shape or influence the subject’s fantasymaterial and can thus be seen as relatively pureproduct of his or her unconscious. However foranxious, resistant, or noncreative subjects, this cardoften a little or no value because the stories areusually brief and lack of depth or richness Inconsidering the story, is helpful to note whether thedepiction involves a scene that is vital and optimistic,or one that is desolate or flat.
  • 80. Picture 17BM : A naked man is climbing up(or down) a rope.
  • 81. General Discussion• Because the card depicts a naked man,attitudes regarding the subject’spersonal body images are oftenrevealed. They in turn may bring outthemes of achievement, physicalprowess, adulation, and narcissism.Possible homosexual feelings or anxietyrelated to homosexuality also becomesevident in the stories of some subjects
  • 82. Picture 17GF : A female is standing on abridge over water. Above the bridge is atall building, and behind the building thesun is shining from behind clouds.
  • 83. General Discussion• Attitudes toward a recent separation or theimpending arrival of a loved one aresometimes described. This card can beparticularly useful in cases of suicidaldepression, where the figure on the bridge isperceived as contemplating jumping off, as alast attempt to resolve her difficulties. As withPicture 3 BM and 14, an inquiry into thespecific difficulties the story character hasencountered and the manner in which shehas attempted to resolve these difficulties canoften reflect the subject’s manner and style ofcoping with his or her own difficulties.
  • 84. Picture 18BM : A man dressed in a long coatis being grabbed from behind. Threehands are visible.
  • 85. General Discussion• This picture, more than any others, islikely to produce anxiety because of thesuggestive depiction of invisible forcesattacking the figure. Thus, it is importantto note how the subject handles his orher own anxiety as well as howcharacter deals with his or her situation.
  • 86. Picture 18GF : A woman has her handsaround the throat of another woman. Inthe background is a flight of stairs.
  • 87. General Discussion• The manner in which the subject handles aggressive,hostile relationships with the other women is primarytype of information this picture elicits. Particular noteshould be made of what types of events trigger thisaggressiveness, and of the manner in which theconflict is or is not resolvedFeelings of inferiority, jealousy, and response to beingdominated are also often described. Although therepresentation of aggressiveness in the picture is quiteexplicit, subjects occasionally attempt to deny oravoid this aggressiveness by creating a story in whichone figure is attempting to help the other one up thestairs. This may point to general denial and repressionof hostility on the part of the subject.
  • 88. Picture 19 : A surreal depiction of clouds anda home covered with snow.
  • 89. General Discussion• Because this is one of the moreunstructured cards, the subject’s abilityto integrate disparate visual stimuli istested. For certain subjects, theambiguous nature of this picture cancreate anxiety and insecurity. Theexaminer can then observe how thesubject handles his or her anxiety in thecontext of the story. Often the storiesproduced deal with impersonalaggression from forces such as nature orthe supernatural.
  • 90. Picture 20 : A hazy, nighttime picture of aman leaning against a lamppost.
  • 91. General Discussion• The picture often elicits informationregarding a subject’s attitudes towardloneliness, darkness, and uncertainty.Fears may be stated explicitly throughgangster stories. As with Picture 18 BM,the method of handling these fears andthe examinee’s response to physicaldanger should be noted.