I propose to discuss the hypotheses underlying projective techniques. I shall discuss the necessary and sufficient conditions which should be fulfilled by a method to justify its being called a projective technique. Then I shall discuss the hierarchic interrelations of several projective techniques with reference to the levels of personality they reflect and with reference to the conscious or unconscious, latent or overt personality trends they indicate. Projective techniques are a relatively young tool in clinical practice. Their underlying principle is, however, identical with that of the case-history, considered indispensable for all clinical work. A case-history is taken on the assumption that from it the personality of the subject, his characteristic adjustment or maladjustment may be inferred, and that based on it, a clinical diagnosis or prognosis may be made. In other words, the life-history is a projective reflection of the personality but by no means a projective technique. Further examples of the principle underlying projective techniques, such as are found in analyzing works of art or facial expression, cannot be dealt with here. I propose to call this principle underlying projective techniques "the projective hypothesis." We are concerned here not with general applications of the projective hypothesis
Journal of Personality – Wiley
Published: Jan 1, 1942
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