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The Rorschach Test and its use in Recruiting

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The knowledge of the characteristics of the personality of a candidate for the selection of the personnel of an organization is possible through a projective technique that allows choosing, with certain criteria of success, the appropriate person for a specific position in the company.

Among projective techniques, the Rorschach test stands out. This is a projective method of psychological diagnosis devised by Hermann Rorschach in 1921.

The technique managed to reach a certain diffusion in the psychoanalytic environment and among psychologists and therapists of the time.

This test uses a set of 10 ten bilaterally symmetrical inkblot cards. Some of these are gray or black, and others contain color applications. The test requires qualified personnel for its proper application and evaluation.

The subject is asked to describe his perceptions or perspectives on the ambiguous images presented to him or her. The purpose is the interpretation of the structure of thought and personality of the interviewee.

It is intended to evaluate elements such as cognitive style, emotions, creativity, and impulse control, among other patterns.

The test was originally designed for use within the clinical setting to locate patterns of thought disorder in schizophrenia, although it has evolved into other areas. As is the case of the judicial field for expertise, as well as in personnel selection for organizations.

Evaluation Criteria

The most important evaluation criteria in the Rorschach test for personnel selection are:

  • Latency: time to give the first answer
  • Form: perception of the elements in general or in detail.
  • Location: to see it in detail of the stain, in all of it, or in the blank space.
  • Position: Card placement, at what angle.
  • Movement: is what you see still or does it move? Is it animated by a force?
  • Color: references to color, differentiation of textures, depth, etc.
  • Categories: what you see corresponds to human figures? Are they landscapes, animals, sex objects, or plants?

Is the Rorschach test controversial?

While it is true that the Rorschach test has been known for a long time, an important sector of the scientific community doubts its validity and accuracy. This is not new, since the fifties, many psychiatrists and psychologists affirm that the interpretation of the projective technique is totally subjective.

Consequently, its results are considered not very verifiable both in the area of ​​psychiatry and in the process of recruitment and selection of personnel.

In 1997, a North American court overturned a ruling that had used the Rorschach test as a piece of evidence to deny Supplemental Security Income (SSI) for an applicant suffering from depression.

According to the technique, the applicant was well enough and was not entitled to any application for SSI.

However, the judge ruled that the results did not meet the minimum requirements for standardization, reliability, or validity of the clinical diagnostic and interpretation tests.

Likewise, the lack of validity and doubts about the standards on which the interpretation of the psychogram data is based, has been a matter of controversy.

Its brevity and vagueness are highlighted, as it is the cultural heterogeneity of the samples used when establishing the first standards for the test.

On the other hand, its validation mechanisms are considered insufficient. The ability to identify patterns of expression for the Rorschach response in all its facets and orientations are lacking in the literature, or at least need to be updated.

What is the degree of reliability of the Rorschach test?

Some experts point out that the Rorschach test lacks reliability. This means that the same results can be obtained no matter who is tested.

Reliability refers to how consistent are the results of a given test. That is, a reliable test will have the same results over and over again.

Since in this test the score and evaluation will depend on who interprets it, consequently two examiners can reach very different conclusions when observing the answers of the same examinee.

Many experts agree that the problem with projective tests is that they lack these two key aspects: validity and reliability. Both parameters are critical in any psychological evaluation.

Hence, a significant number of specialists prefer the reliability of online psychometric tests. Such as Big Five or 16 PF, which have the quality of allowing you to get to know the right applicants better.

Psychometric tests are fundamental and habitual tools in the Human Talent Development Management of modern organizations.

These psychometric tests began in 1870 and were limited to the educational environment. Its predecessor was Alfred Binet, of the Sorbonne University, at the request of the French Ministry of Education and its purpose was to identify children students with superior intelligence.

Today, these psychometric tests are used routinely in the personnel selection process of companies.

The fundamental reason for their use is that they are tools that allow organizations to approach in a real and reliable way the necessary characteristics of potential employees. Consequently, they can have a more general picture of the applicant and it can be done online.

Psychometric Tests

Psychometric tests are part of the personnel selection process in modern organizations. These tests are designed by organizational psychologists to provide companies with a reliable method of recruiting.

Among these tests, the following stand out:

The Big Five Test

Considered the only psychometric test and personality model that meets scientific consensus in personality psychology. This is what differentiates it from other types of tests, both psychometric and otherwise.

16PF Test

Another important Psychometric test is the 16PF Questionnaire (personality factors), which measures personality at two hierarchical levels. It includes primary and secondary traits and is the product of deep and extensive factorial analyzes of a wide variety of elements of behavior.

These psychometric tests can be done online.