Movement responses in the Rorschach test. Part 1 Testing healthy and schizophrenic individuals

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Abstract

Introduction: The theoretical basis for the present article is Zygmunt Piotrowski’s concept of prototypal role. This role is understood as a self-concept and as a mechanism guiding and stabilizing relations with the environment. The concept of prototypal role can be regarded as similar to the concept of self.

It is possible to assess the prototypal role by analyzing the movement responses obtained during an examination using the Rorschach test. Empirical data suggest that patients with schizophrenia have an insufficiently developed or peculiarly formed prototypal role and experience certain difficulties in expressing this role.

Material and method: The number of 32 individuals with schizophrenia and 21 healthy individuals were examined using the Rorschach test. Apart from the analysis of movement and posture responses; responses interpreting the shading (chiaroscuro) visible in the inkblots were taken into consideration. Responses of the latter kind are considered to be a measure of anxiety.

Results: There found no differences in the most significant variables, the number of human movement responses was not lower in the group of subjects with schizophrenia, and the number of human movement responses not adequately reflecting the form of the inkblots was not higher in schizophrenic individuals. Some of the movement qualities distinguished by Piotrowski were significantly correlated with anxiety, but these associations were not always consistent with the predictions.

Discussion: Data analysis revealed no specificity in the development of prototypal role in schizophrenic individuals; difficulties in the expression of this role were not frequent and occurred mainly in schizophrenic women as compared to healthy ones. More differences occurred between schizophrenic women and schizophrenic men, what may attest to the influence of gender on the experience of adaptation to disease.

Conclusions: The analysis of movement responses and shading responses provides the basis not so much for differentiating health and disease as for better insight into the very psychological significance of movement and shading responses.

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