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Paper Topic:

The Psychoanalytic Strategy

The Psychoanalytic Strategy


The Thematic Apperception Test (TAT ) is a projective personality test that was designed at Harvard in the 1930s by Christiana D . Morgan and Henry A . Murray . Along with the MMPI and the Rorschach , the TAT is one of the most widely used psychological tests . The original purpose of the TAT was to reveal the underlying dynamics of the subject 's personality such as internal conflicts , dominant drives and interests , motives , etc (Encyclopedia , 2006 )The TAT works on the principle that a subject 's unconscious can be tapped to

reveal repressed aspects of personality motives and needs for achievement , power and intimacy , and problem-solving abilities . The TAT is a projective test in that , like the Rorschach test , its assessment of the subject is based on what he or she projects onto the ambiguous images . Each story created by a subject is carefully analyzed to uncover underlying needs , attitudes , and patterns of reaction

p The TAT uses a series of 31 provocative yet ambiguous pictures that depict a variety of social and interpersonal situations (Encyclopedia 2006 . The subject is asked to tell a story about each picture to the examiner . Of the 31 pictures , 10 are gender-specific while 21 others can be used with adults of either sex and with children . As of 2001 , the TAT is distributed by Harcourt Brace Educational Measurement .The 31 cards are meant to be divided into two "series " of ten pictures each , with the pictures of the second series being purposely more unusual , dramatic and bizarre than those of the first . Suggested administration involves one full hour being devoted to a series , with the two sessions being separated by a day or more . There are several formal scoring systems that have been developed for analyzing TAT stories . Two common methods that are currently used in research are the Defense Mechanisms Manual (Cramer , 1991 ) and Social Cognition and Object Relations (Westen 1991 )scale . The examiner shows the subject a series of story cards taken from the full set of 31 TAT cards . The usual number of cards shown to the subject is between 10 and 14 , although Murray recommended the use of 20 cards , administered in two separate one-hour sessions with the subject . The subject is then instructed to tell a story about the picture on each card , with specific instructions to include a of the event in the picture , the developments that led up to the event , the thoughts and feelings of the people in the picture , and the outcome of the story . The examiner keeps the cards in a pile face down in front of him or her , gives them to the subject one at a time and asks the subject to place each card face down as its story is completed . Administration of the TAT usually takes about an hour . TAT is often a part of personality evaluation tests . It is considered to be effective in eliciting information about a person 's view of the world and his or...

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