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Wednesday, April 2, 2008

Died This Day: Hermann Rorschach


Watchmen & Rorschach © DC Comics
Rorschach (Nov. 8, 1884 - April 2, 1922) was a Swiss psychiatrist who devised the inkblot test that bears his name and that is widely used clinically for diagnosing psychopathology. His secondary-school nickname was Kleck, meaning "inkblot," because of his interest in sketching.


In 1917, he learned of Szyman Hens, who had studied the fantasies of his subjects using inkblot cards. Rorschach began in 1918 using 15 accidental inkblots, asking patients, "What might this be?" He knew the human tendency to project interpretations and feelings onto ambiguous stimuli. The subjective responses of his subjects enabled him to distinguish among them on the basis of their perceptive abilities, intelligence, and emotional characteristics. His published results (1921) drew little interest until after his death. link