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Rorschach Test Scandal on Wikipedia: Poll

The Rorschach test is used for examining the personality characteristics and emotional functioning of patients as their perceptions of inkblots are recorded and then analyzed.


New York Times had a report about Dr. James Heilman who posted all 10 pictures on the site, along with research about the most popular responses to each. Of course, it led to a heated debate whether this information should be accessed on Wikipedia or not.

The article is protected from editing until 6, August but there are serious debates on the talk page. One example:

All of the pictures of the Inkblot Cards need to be removed. Posting them contaminates this tool, The Rorschach Test. Posting the popular responses further contaminates this test. It is a simple case of scuppering a professional clinical tool and needs to be stopped.  – Comment of Edith Meyers who has PhD in Neuroscience and Clinical Psychology.

It has recently been suggested to use the hide template that would hide the word associations, so only those who want to read them would be motivated to click “show”.

As a medical student and Wikipedia administrator, I believe such things happen. It’s impossible to hide that kind of  information, but revealing these possible answers can really ruin the test itself. Solution? A hide template with a clear warning for possible patients might be one of them. What do you think?

10 Comments Post a comment
  1. Martin #

    Well, as the information is out there, the test is already flawed – it’s simply too late.
    Basically, a test that relies on security by obscurity will not work in our age.
    There are thousands of psychometric tests where the answers and scores are known and there’s never been a debate – so I guess the Rorschach itself is a poor tool that should not be used beyond coffe-table rounds…
    Information is open!

    August 4, 2009
  2. Dr. Robert A. Allen #

    As a professional who has used this test, it has been very helpful especially when used with other tests. The posting of the content by Dr. James Heilman, in my opinion was unethical and serves no purpose except as possibly and angry reaction to something that has occured

    August 6, 2009
  3. A heated debate emerged here, at the Hungarian Wikipedia also, You should check back. My opinion:

    * The tables are easily accessible anywhere else – check Google. Among the first ones there is a site that teaches cheating the tables. Due to copyright, the tables cannot be removed from there.
    * If showing at unethical sites is allowed (by the law), and professionals don’t show the tables, removing them form the Wikipedia simply means that we send interested people to those cheater sites. Do professionals want this?
    * The practice shows that the test is often used more than once, sometimes while testing the process of the cure, or while applying for jobs, by different employers. While it’s said not to be optimal, every asked person said that the test itself works in these cases. The word changes, and old secrets are revealed. A new standard applied to age of the easily available information should be a better solution.

    August 9, 2009
  4. ahier #

    So let me understand – sharing and discussing this information among colleagues is fine, but publishing it where potential patients might see is unethical? I am not sure I agree with that line of thinking…
    If publishing this information ruins truly ruins the tests then they are not much good to begin with in my opinion

    August 10, 2009
  5. myincome #

    what others see in inkblots

    August 23, 2009
  6. @speakingsuppers 1 unfollowed you between 6AM and 7AM. See who:

    October 17, 2011

Trackbacks & Pingbacks

  1. The Buzz - Kikil News
  2. The Trouble with Wikipedia as a Source for Medical Information « Laika’s MedLibLog
  3. 2009 in Numbers and Entries « ScienceRoll
  4. Rorschach Test Scandal on Wikipedia and the Aftermath « ScienceRoll

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