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Wartegg Drawing Completion Test

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The Wartegg test is a psychometric personality test. It is frequently used in the selection of personnel.

This test uses drawings organized in 8 quadrants. Frequently, the test is used to contrast the candidate’s personality with the position requirements to which they aspire.

It was designed by Erik Wartegg in the 1930s. Wartegg was a psychologist born in Dresden, Germany, in 1897. Later, in 1960, the test was improved by Biedma D’Alfonzo. The test is just one page long and takes about half an hour

It is an easy test to be applied, interpreted, and executed. It is simple and aimed at all ages and both genders.

Wartegg personality test

The Wartegg test is a projective type test generally used in personnel selection. Its theoretical focus has its foundations in the concept that human beings are a determining factor in their reality construction based on their individuality and experiences.

This theoretical foundation is attributed to the test of determination and deduction of fears and desires, moods, aspirations, interpersonal relationships, and preferences.

These results are contrasted with the characteristics of the position to be occupied, becoming an important tool for selecting the right candidate.

The test consists of 8 drawings divided into eight sections or quadrants. Likewise, it has eight lines for the “design of titles”, which the subject must fill in by assigning a phrase that describes the content of the drawings.

At the beginning of the test, the subject is instructed to complete the drawings in pencil. The fact that the subject knows how to draw or not is irrelevant.

When the subject finishes completing the drawings, they must number the eight quadrants at their discretion. Finally, the subject must put the title to the drawings in the eight lines described.

The test takes between 25 and 35 minutes, which includes identification, drawing, and answering different questions.

What does the Wartegg Test measure?

In this test, each of the removed quadrants measures a personality factor. For example, quadrant number 1 is related to the subject’s perception of themselves, which can determine if the subject has self-confidence and the conviction of their ability to solve problems.

Likewise, it can infer about the emotional maturity of the subject and if they are a hesitant person in facing everyday events.

Quadrant number 2 has to do with affections. It is related to the level of empathy of the subject. The number 4 is linked to ambitions. It includes desires, objectives, and goals.

While number 4 is related to the unconscious and has to do with the subject’s behavior in facing their anxieties and repressions; and the solution of problems at the level of thought.

Quadrant number 5 is related to how the subject manages their impulses and the so-called vital energy. 

On the other hand, quadrant 6 is related to the subject’s assessment of their intellectuality, analysis, and synthesis capacity. It is associated with the subject’s reasoning and can determine their subjective or goal tendency.

Quadrant number 7 is indicative of the personal relationship at work and the ability to work in a team. Finally, quadrant number 8 identifies the degree of commitment in complying with the rules and regulations.

Benefits of the Wartegg test

Recruiting and selecting human talent, the Wardegg test is widely used. Some authors agree on certain benefits, although others do not consider it that way.

Here are some of the benefits attributed to the Wardegg test:

  • Relatively short application time
  • Widely applicable in men and women
  • Quick evaluation and interpretation
  • Applicable to different hierarchical positions
  • Identifies personality traits, moods, and preference of the candidate
  • Allows knowing about the interpersonal relationships of the subject
  • Its cost is relatively low

Validity of the Wartegg test

Some specialists have questioned the validity of the Wartegg test, including Tamminen and Lindeman.

These authors point out that there are very few studies on this validity, and the results of those that have been done are not definitive.

Besides, they state that the historical background of the test is not known. So, this has given rise to speculation.

From a psychometric approach, the situation of these methods is the same in Brazil, Germany, and Finland, where no empirical validation has been found in tests, and they are based on the intuition and experience of clinicians.

The investigation presents conclusions that show few significant correlations with other instruments frequently used in personnel selection.

On the other hand, Sánchez (2005) has proposed classifying the Wartegg test as a psychomotor expression test.

Other approaches

Sometimes, in selecting personnel, a significant number of applicants must be evaluated, and tests that are quickly applied and interpreted are required. Also, they must be precise, reliable, and versatile.

Some studies agree that the Wartegg test is applicable under these circumstances, and its application covers any position: executive, administrative or technical.

Likewise, they point out that the proper interpretation of the test results is of great help in identifying the profiles most compatible with the position offered.

From the above, we can elucidate that, although the Wartegg test is used in personnel selection frequently, a consensus has not been reached about its actual effectiveness, validity, and accuracy.