Thematic Apperception TesT

• is a projective test consisting of a series of pictures in which the examinee is requested to create a story about the picture. • method of revealing to the trained interpreter some of the dominant drives, emotions, sentiments, complexes and conflicts of personality. • Apperception – refer to the process of projecting fantasy imaginary onto an objective stimuli.

was conceptualized by Henry Murray and Christina Morgan on 1935. • Henry Murray
– was born on May 13, 1893 into a wealthy family. – Has a good relationship with his father but poor one with his mother, that result him to feel depression.

1967 at the Virgin Islands .Had a lot of health problems. (1925)  Christina Morgan .Born in Boston on October 6.Drowned herself on March 14.– A turning point in his life occurred at the age of 30. – Carl Jung advice him not to stop the relationship with Morgan and keep both relationships. though married for 7 year. when he met and fell in love with Christina Morgan. 1987 . .

• Morgan – Murray Thematic apperception Test – the original name of the TAT but later on Murray is given primary credit for the test. . along with the staff of Harvard Psychological Clinic. • 1938 the year that Tat was established in Harvard Psychological Clinic • Explorations in Personality in which the description of TAT was included.

In constructing the theory.• Murray’s Theory of Personality The TAT is so integrally involved with Murray’s concept of personality that a survey and knowledge of his basic theoretical components is important. Murray emphasizes the biological basis as well as the social and environmental determinants of behavior. . He is also consistently aware of how individuals interact with their environment.

Uma Coudhary developed Indian Adoption of TAT • Human Potential Movement – encouraged psychologists to use TAT to help their clients understand themselves better and stimulate personal growth.• 1960 – Mrs. .

-”M” for males.General Conditions: • to be administered in an interpersonal setting. “GF” for girls/females. . “F” for females -”B” for boys. • TAT materials consists of 20 cards on which ambiguous pictures are presented. “G” for girls -”BM” for boys/males.

3. 11.• The selection of cards may be idiosyncratic to the patient’s presenting problem. 7GF. 4. 11. 3BM. 9GF. SEQUENTIAL NUMBERING SYSTEM (SNS) a) administered to females and males in exact order : 1. 2. 4. 3BM. 6BM. b) administered to any males: 1. 2. 13MF. 7BM. 12M. 7GF. 10. 3BM. 4. 13GF. 6BM. 9GF. 6GF. 13MF. 2. . c) administered to any females: 1. 8BM.

3BM. 6BM. 5. . 2. 3GF. .• Research purposes : Keiser and Prather (1990) specified Murray’s frequent cards. 4.10 most frequent cards : 1. 8BM and 8GF. the subject should be seated beside the examiner with his or her chair turned away. 6GF. • During administration.

Instructions: • The examiner will show some pictures one at a time. 50 minutes for 10 pictures. The following story structure must be obtained: . and the subject will be making up as dramatic a story as he/she can for each picture card.

what has led up to the event shown in the picture? d) outcome . what the characters are feeling and thinking? c) preceding events. what is happening at the moment? b) thoughts and feelings of the character (s). what was the outcome? .a) current situation .

pauses. blushing. stuttering. and change in voice inflection. • RECORDING a subject’s complete responses should be recorded. degree of involvement .Procedures: • TIME time measured should begin when the picture is first presented and end when the subject begins his or her story. along with any noteworthy behavioral observations: exclamation. .

• ORDER OF PRESENTATION usually. .• QUESTIONING and INQUIRY to produce an unhampered and free-flow of the subject’s fantasy material. the cards should be administered according to their sequential numbering system.

-for the use with children. the TAT cards that have the highest number of interpretable responses and the lowest number of responses are the following: .• USE OF THE TAT (or CAT) with CHILDREN: -instructions should be modified in accordance with their age and vocabulary.

3GF. and 8GF. 1997) . 18BM.a) in order of usefulness : 7GF. 18GF. b) least helpful cards are 19. 11 and 12BG (Bellak and Abrams.

• CAT usually used to 3-10 yrs old (Bellak 1949) • 1965 – CAT-H for 11-15 yrs old .

4. 12M. 12M. 6BM.ADDITIONAL INFORMATION: • TAT to children ages 8-11 yrs old : 1. 3BM. 3BM.for elderly individuals for over 65 years of age. 5. 12F. 14. 2. . 8BM ( Teglasi 1993) • (Bellak) SENIOR APPERCEPTION TECHNIQUE (SAT) . 5. 18BM. 17BM. 7GF. 13B. 18GF • Children and adolescents of either gender : 1. 17BM (Obsrzut and Boleik 1968) • TAT for adolescents: 1. 15. 7GF. 2. 8BM. 7GF.

The entire scoring and interpretation procedure typically takes a half-hour. practitioners should abbreviate their observations about the person. . In some sections. two checks (moderate) or three checks (strong).Scoring: The Psychological Corporation For each of the scoring categories. practitioners are asked to indicate the levels of importance or strength for the per by putting one check (mere presence of characteristics).

 Identifying the presses. (the lock on the door is broken) .A Murray. motives and desire of the hero. A press refer to any important environmental factor that may influence or interfere with the need of the hero. it was also critical to identify the needs. Example: (parents or boss).• H. 1943 scoring the TAT involves evaluating the following five different aspects of the stories:  The Hero. Scoring for the hero involves identifying who is central character(s) in the story  Need of the Hero. For Murray.

Scoring for themes in TAT stories involves noting the nature of the interplay and conflict between the needs and presses. the types of emotion elicited by this conflict. Scoring for the outcome of the story involves analyzing how the stories end by noting a happy versus unhappy ending and assessing the extent to which the ending is controlled by the strengths of the hero and forces in the environment. Scoring for themes. . and the way the conflict is resolved.  Scoring for outcome.

Most psychologists would classify the TAT is better suited to idiographic than nomothethic interpretations . gender. 1. racial.Interpretation: • Nomethetic and Idiogrphic. Nomothethic Interpretation refers to the practice of establishing norms for answer from subjects in specific age. 2. Idiographic Interpretation refers to evaluating the unique features of the subject’s view of the world and relationships. or educational level groups and then measuring a given subject’s responses against those norms.

comments about feeling stressed by situation or not being good story teller) as well as Nonverbal Actions or Signs (e. blushing stammering. etc. difficulties making an eye contact with the examiner. the examiners typically focus their attention on one of the three (3) areas: •The content of the stories that the subject tells. •The subject’s behavior apart from responses. •The feeling or the tone of the stories.• In interpreting the responses of the TAT. fidgeting in the chair.g. These behavior may include: Verbal Remarks (e.g.) .

inner conflicts. • The story structure typically reflects the subject’s feelings. .• The story content usually reveals the subject’s attitudes. and an underlying attitude of optimism or pessimism. and view of the outside world. assumptions about the world. wishes. fantasies.

It extends the descriptive level by an alteration of it [if one does the X. •Diagnostic Level.It is the further extension I that an interference is made about the client. 1997 are: •Descriptive Level.].• The 3 Levels of Interpretations suggest by Bellak & is the mere repeat of the story •Interpretative Level. . then the outcome will be Y.

The boy is .• In Example Given: PICTURE 1 – Descriptive level (the boy is practicing to increase his competence. then he or she will improve.) – Interpretative level (If one practice.efficacy.) – Diagnostic level (The client has a high need for achievement with a high level of self.

“Normal” results are difficult to define in a complex multicultural society like the contemporary United States. age. sex. racial or ethnic identification first language.Results: • The results of the TAT must be interpreted in the context of the subject’s personal history. and other characteristics that may be important. . occupation. level of education.

and attitudes towards aspects of everyday life). .• The results of the Thematic Apperception Test are difficult to generalize. The results are often subjective and do not use any formal type of scoring system. However. emotional control. a close analysis of the stories told by the subject normally gives the tester a decent idea of the traits mentioned above (personality.

This test can determine (to a certain extent) whether the potential employee is likely to succeed at a certain position For example: Can they handle stressful situations? How will they react to emotional conflicts? Will they fit well with the general atmosphere and attitude of the company? .– Companies sometimes use thematic apperception tests to screen potential employees.

The results can also help the person understand their unconscious self. However. A true understanding of one self can provide over your co-workers and competitors. . which can help them find ways to successfully increase their productivity and efficacy on the job.– Thematic Apperception Tests are less beneficial to individuals. individuals can use the results to determine if an industry or company is right for them.

.Thematic Apperception Test (TAT) Picture 1: A boy is sitting at a table looking at a violin placed on the table in front of him.

In the background. a man is working a field while a woman watches.Picture 2 : Country scene with a woman holding a book in the foreground. .

.General Discussion • This is the only card in the series that presents the group scene and gives information relating to how the individual deals with the challenge of people living together.

Picture 3BM : A boy is huddled next to a couch. . On the floor next to him is an ambiguous object that could be a set of keys or a revolver.

if the object is described as a gun. whether male or female. aggression. For example.General Discussion • This is identified as one of the most useful pictures for it concerns themes of guilt. and impulsive control. or *Extra-aggression-the subject has used it or going to use it to damage or harm another person. because it can reveal important dynamics regarding the manner in which the depression developed and how it is currently being maintained . depression. This picture is particularly important for depressed patients. is it used or intended to used for:*Intra-aggression-the subject is going to use it to damage oneself.

Picture 3GF : A woman is standing next to an open door with one hand grabbing the side of the door and the other holding her downcast face. .

in that both pictures tend to bring out depressive feelings. however.General Discussion • The same general trend that hold for Picture 3BM are also true here. Frequently. Picture 3BM brings out somewhat richer stories and allows both males and females to identify with the central figure. .

Picture 4 : A woman is grabbing the shoulders of a man who is turning away from her. .

and details regarding the male attitudes toward the role of women may be discussed. themes of infidelity and betrayal emerge. Frequently. .General Discussion • This picture typically elicits a good deal of information relating to the feelings and attitudes surrounding male-female relationship.

.Picture 5 : A woman is looking into a room from the threshold of a door.

represented by stories in which the woman is surprised by a burglar . This card elicits paranoid fears of attack or intrusion by an outsider.General Discussion • This picture often reveals information surrounding attitudes about the subjects mother in her role of observing and possibly judging behavior. It is important to note how the woman is perceived and how the situation is resolved.

. He is holding onto his hat.Picture 6BM : An elderly woman is standing parallel to a window. Behind her is a younger man with his face down.

General Discussion • This picture can be important to include when testing males. It usually proves to be rich source of information regarding attitudes and feelings toward their mother or maternal figures in general. . Because the stories usually revolve around a young man striving for independence. the specific manner in which the subject depicts this struggle is important.

.Picture 6GF : A young woman sitting on the edge of a sofa looks back over her shoulder at an older man with a pipe in his mouth who seems to be addressing her.

. When clear father-daughter plots are not discussed. because the two figures are often seen as being about an equal age. However. and it was hoped that it. would elicit attitudes and feelings toward paternal figures.General Discussion • This card was originally intended to be the female counterpart to Picture 6BM.. the picture reflects the subject’s style and approach to instructed heterosexual relationship. too. the card frequently does not accompilsh0 its intended purpose.

who appears to be peering into space. .Picture 7BM : An older man is looking at a younger man.

more specifically the subjects own father. Thus..General Discussion • This card is extremely useful in obtaining information about the authority figures and. more experienced man interacting with the younger. The picture deals with hierarchical Personal relationships and usually takes the form of an older. less experienced one. . the card can clearly show how the subject deals with external demands and attitudes toward authority.

Behind her is an older woman who appears to be reading to her out of a book.Picture 7GF : A young girl is seated on a couch and is holding a doll in her hands. .

General Discussion • The intention here is to bring out the style and manner of mother-child interaction. the picture often elicits feelings and attitudes toward children. either figure is sometimes perceived as rejecting the other. When the older women are the subjects. . and it is important to note how these feelings are resolved. expressed. Sometimes the older woman is described as reading a fairy story to the younger girl. Because both figures are looking away. This. or avoided. the card draws out negative feeling and interactions.

Picture 8BM : A young boy in the foreground is staring directly out of the picture. In the background is a hazy image of two men performing surgery on a patient who is lying down.

General Discussion
• The picture can be seen as a thinly veiled depiction of a young man’s oedipal conflicts, with concomitant feelings of castration anxiety and hostility. Thus, it is important to note what feelings the boy or the other characters in the story have toward the older man performing the surgery. If the story depicts a need for achievement expressed by the younger man, it is also likely the he will identify With the older one and perhaps use him as an example, If this is the case, the details of how the identification may be helpful.

Picture 8GF : A woman is sitting on a chair staring into space with her chin resting in her hand.

General Discussion • This picture is difficult to generalize about. . Typically. it produces somewhat shallow stories of a contemplative nature.

Picture 9BM : Four men in a field are lying against one another.

General Discussion
• This picture is particularly helpful in providing information about relation with the members of the same sex. Sometimes, heterosexual tendencies or fears regarding such tendencies become evident in the story plot. Social prejudice often becomes apparent, particularly when the men in the picture are seen as homeless.

Picture 9GF : A woman in the foreground is standing behind a tree, observing another woman who is running along a beach below.

and competitiveness. stories may provide details surrounding paranoid ideation. jealousy.General Discussion • This card basically deals with female peer relations and is important in elaborating on the issues such as conflict resolution. . sibling rivalry. Because the figure standing behind the tree is carefully observing the woman on the bench.

. The gender of the two persons is not defined.Picture 10 : One person is holding his or her head against another person’s shoulder.

. It might be helpful to notice the relative degree of comfort or discomfort evoked by emotional closeness. A story of departure or of termination of the relationship may be reflective of either overt or denied hostility on the part of the subject. particularly those involving some degree of closeness and intimacy.General Discussion • This card often gives useful information regarding how the subject perceives male-female relationship.

several figures are proceeding along a path toward a bridge.Picture 11 : On a road in a chasm. . Above them and against the side of a cliff appears to be a dragon.

. The picture also represents unknown and threatening forces and reflects the manner in which the subjects deal with fear of attack.General Discussion • Because the form of the picture is quite vague and ambiguous. it is good test of the subjects’ imaginative abilities and their skills in integrating irregular and poorly refined stimuli.

.Picture 12M : A man with his hand raised is standing above a boy who is lying on a bed with his eyes closed.

This can be significant in predicting or assessing the current or future relationship between the therapist and the client. In particular. The manner in which the older man is perceived is particularly important. . The picture can represent specifics of the transference relationship and such. can be an aid in interpreting and providing feedback to the client regarding this relationship.General Discussion • This picture often elicits themes regarding the relationship between an older (usually more authoritative) man and a younger one. subjects frequently reveal attitudes toward some external controlling forces.

an older woman holding her chin is in the background.Picture 12F : A portrait of a woman is in the foreground. .

General Discussion • This picture elicits descriptions and conceptions of mother figures. therefore. more safely. these negative qualities are feelings that the subject has toward her own mother but can indirectly. Often. The background figure is frequently seen as a mother-in-law who has a variety of evil qualities. and. project onto the figure of a mother-in-law .

Picture 12BG : A country setting depicts a tree. with a rowboat pulled up next to it. . No human figures are present.

.General Discussion • With suicidal or depressed subjects. More stable and adjusted subjects are likely to discuss the peace of being alone in the woods and perhaps of fishing or having gone fishing further down the stream. there may be an elaboration of feelings of abandonment and isolation). for example: someone has been lost or has been fallen from a boat.

.Picture 13MF : A young man is standing in the foreground with his head in his arms. In the background is a woman lying in a bed.

in particularly attitudes just before and immediately following the sexual intercourse. Because this picture has a relatively large number of details. obsessive-compulsive personalities frequently spend an excessive amount of time in describing and explaining these details. In particular. create an anxiety. This approach may be particularly evident when the picture has a shock effect and may. it provides information on the subject’s attitudes and feelings toward his or her partner. In a general way.General Discussion • This picture is often helpful in revealing sexual conflicts. Stories in which there are overt expressions of aggression or revulsion are significant variations and should be noted as relatively unusual. the relation between a subject’s aggressive and sexual feelings is frequently portrayed. therefore. .

.Picture 13B : A boy is sitting in the doorway of a log cabin.

it frequently elicits reveries involving childhood memories. In adults. .General Discussion • This picture may help both adults and children to reveal attitudes toward introspection or loneliness.

.Picture 13G : A girl is climbing a flight of stairs.

it can sometimes useful in depicting a subject’s attitude toward loneliness and introspection. . Like picture 13 B. It usually produces stories that are highly varied but lacking in richness and details.General Discussion • This picture lacks the specificity and the impact found in other TAT cards.

Picture 14 : A person is silhouetted against a window. .

This type of subject often describes the figure in the picture and. feeling.. and attitudes that led up to the current self-destructive behavior. is essential. . along Picture 3 BM. more importantly discusses the events. It becomes important to investigate. especially if there is evidence of suicidal ideation.General Discussion • If a subject’s presenting problem is depression. this card. during the inquiry phase of examination. the particular methods and styles of problem solving that the story character has attempted or is attempting This picture may also reveal the subject’s aesthetics interest and personal philosophical beliefs or wish fulfillments.

.Picture 15 : A man is standing among tombstones with his hands clasped together.

the themes on Picture 15 can provide useful information as to why this difficulty is being experienced. or. For example death may be viewed as a passive.General Discussion • This reflects the subject’s particular beliefs about. it can be violent. quiet process. The story might also indicate unexpressed and problematic anger directed toward the dead person. in contrast. death and the dying process. because of sense of abandonment. aggressive situation. If the subject is having an extremely difficult time coping with the death of a friend and relative. and attitudes toward. .

.Picture 16 : Blank card.

or noncreative subjects. is helpful to note whether the depiction involves a scene that is vital and optimistic. The card does little to shape or influence the subject’s fantasy material and can thus be seen as relatively pure product of his or her unconscious. However for anxious. From the subjects with vivid and active imaginations. 1986). this card often elicits extremely rich. this card often a little or no value because the stories are usually brief and lack of depth or richness In considering the story. and the amount of detail and complexity in a person’s stories have been found to correlate with different measures of creativity (Wakefield. or one that is desolate or flat. useful stories. .General Discussion • The instructions for this card are: • Imagine a picture and then tell a story about it. resistant.

Picture 17BM : A naked man is climbing up (or down) a rope. .

General Discussion • Because the card depicts a naked man. They in turn may bring out themes of achievement. physical prowess. adulation. attitudes regarding the subject’s personal body images are often revealed. Possible homosexual feelings or anxiety related to homosexuality also becomes evident in the stories of some subjects . and narcissism.

.Picture 17GF : A female is standing on a bridge over water. Above the bridge is a tall building. and behind the building the sun is shining from behind clouds.

As with Picture 3 BM and 14. where the figure on the bridge is perceived as contemplating jumping off. an inquiry into the specific difficulties the story character has encountered and the manner in which she has attempted to resolve these difficulties can often reflect the subject’s manner and style of coping with his or her own difficulties. This card can be particularly useful in cases of suicidal depression. as a last attempt to resolve her difficulties.General Discussion • Attitudes toward a recent separation or the impending arrival of a loved one are sometimes described. .

Picture 18BM : A man dressed in a long coat is being grabbed from behind. . Three hands are visible.

more than any others. Thus. . it is important to note how the subject handles his or her own anxiety as well as how character deals with his or her situation.General Discussion • This picture. is likely to produce anxiety because of the suggestive depiction of invisible forces attacking the figure.

In the background is a flight of stairs. .Picture 18GF : A woman has her hands around the throat of another woman.

and of the manner in which the conflict is or is not resolved Feelings of inferiority. and response to being dominated are also often described. subjects occasionally attempt to deny or avoid this aggressiveness by creating a story in which one figure is attempting to help the other one up the stairs. hostile relationships with the other women is primary type of information this picture elicits. Particular note should be made of what types of events trigger this aggressiveness. .General Discussion • The manner in which the subject handles aggressive. Although the representation of aggressiveness in the picture is quite explicit. This may point to general denial and repression of hostility on the part of the subject. jealousy.

.Picture 19 : A surreal depiction of clouds and a home covered with snow.

General Discussion • Because this is one of the more unstructured cards. . the subject’s ability to integrate disparate visual stimuli is tested. The examiner can then observe how the subject handles his or her anxiety in the context of the story. the ambiguous nature of this picture can create anxiety and insecurity. Often the stories produced deal with impersonal aggression from forces such as nature or the supernatural. For certain subjects.

Picture 20 : A hazy. . nighttime picture of a man leaning against a lamppost.

General Discussion • The picture often elicits information regarding a subject’s attitudes toward loneliness. As with Picture 18 BM. the method of handling these fears and the examinee’s response to physical danger should be noted. . and uncertainty. darkness. Fears may be stated explicitly through gangster stories.

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