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Projective Testing

  • By: Patricia A. Lowe
  • In: Encyclopedia of School Psychology
  • Edited by: Steven W. Lee
  • Subject:School/Educational Psychology (general), School Psychology, Educational Psychology

Projective techniques are tests that involve the use of open-ended stimuli such as inkblots as well as pictures, drawings, and words. In projective testing, an examinee is asked to respond to the stimulus and supply structure to the unstructured test material and this structure reflects fundamental aspects of the examinee's personality. In supplying structure to unstructured test material, the individual reveals his or her desires, conscious and unconscious needs, fears, perceptions, and inner conflicts. This is known as the projective hypothesis. Thus, projective tests are indirect methods of assessing an examinee's personality (Cohen & Swerdlik, 1999).

Projective tests are used in the schools to assess behavioral, emotional, and social functioning of students. Students typically evaluated with projective tests are individuals who are experiencing behavioral, emotional, and/or ...

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