F. Projective Devices

A projective instrument enables subjects to project their internal feelings, attitudes, needs, values, or wishes to an external object. Thus the subjects may unconsciously reveal themselves as they react to the external object. The use of projective devices is particularly helpful in counteracting the tendency of subjects to try to appear in their best light, to respond as they believe they should.Projection may be accomplished through a number of techniques:

1. Association:

The respondent is asked to indicate what he or she sees, feels, or thinks when presented with a picture, cartoon, ink blot, word, or phrase. The Thematic Apperception Tests, the Rorschach Ink Blot Test, and various word-association tests are familiar examples.

2. Completion:

The respondent is asked to complete an incomplete sentence or task. A sentence-completion instrument may include such items as:

My greatest ambition is ————————–

My greatest fear is———————————

I most enjoy ——————————————-

I dream a great deal about———————–

I get very angry when——————————-

3. Role-playing:

Subjects are asked to improvise or act out a situation in which they have been assigned various roles. The researcher many observe such traits as hostility, frustration, dominance, sympathy, insecurity, prejudice – or the absence of such traits.

4. Creative or constructive:

Permitting subjects to model clay, finger paint, play with dolls, play with toys, or draw or write imaginative stories about assigned situations may be revealing. The choice of color, form, words, the sense of orderliness, evidence of tensions, and other reactions may provide opportunities to infer deep-seated feelings.

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