By having your unconscious mind driven most by Sexuality, it appears that most of the time your erotic self is leading the way. Whether this is because you're presently having a great physical relationship or simply wanting one, an awareness of sexuality and people's bodies is more lit up for you than it is for many other people. This heightened focus, coupled with your vivid imagination, can make you more likely to have original — at times risque- interpretations of things that other people might view as being rather innocent.
It's likely that you're well aware of this inclination towards sexual thoughts. You might even consider yourself something of a hedonist at heart. By being imaginative and full of life, you're probably one who keeps your days interesting and upbeat. So long as your thoughts don't interfere with your daily activities or keep you from appreciating other aspects of life, you shouldn't chide yourself for having them. Instead, appreciate yourself for your creative nature and ability to imagine your own unique visions.
Your responses to the inkblots reveal more than just what drives your unconscious mind. They also uncover some central details about your personality, perspective, and relationships with others. Your unconscious mind colors these characteristics but is different from them. Here's what your responses indicated:
Your Concept of Reality
Your concept of reality is highly similar to that of others but not an exact match. Your perceptions seem to fall in between those who create their own unique realities and those who possess more mainstream perspectives. Because you straddle that middle ground of being in agreement with others and having your own opinions of the world, you can be both a follower and a leader. You can be a follower in the sense that you probably don't have trouble going along with the group most times since others' ideas will usually seem rational to you. You can be a leader because your creative viewpoints may sometimes allow you to guide others in new directions.
The difficulty for people like you is that at times you may feel pulled between taking the popular viewpoint and accepting your own vision of what is right. Because your concept of reality is rarely off the deep end, you can generally feel confident that there's something valid in your perspectives. Even if others don't always share your views, try not to let the masses talk you out of them. There can sometimes be great value in forging your own path. Finding a healthy balance between others' ideas and your own can be key to both your relationships and success.
Gaining confidence in the validity of your perceptions can be very valuable for types like you. When you find yourself doubting an opinion that is uniquely yours, try taking a step back to ask yourself where your uncertainty is coming from. Is it because you truly suspect that you're wrong, because others believe you are wrong, or because you're not clear on what your opinion really is? By honestly reflecting on your views, you can develop stronger convictions and feel less susceptible to others' sway.
Rather than trying to determine whether you can trust your perceptions on a case-by-case basis, over time you'll be able to develop gut instincts about the quality of your views. Here's an exercise to help you test not only what you think, but also how strongly you believe in your perceptions.
Think back to the last time you went to the grocery store. Then, take out a piece of paper and a pen and map out the layout of the grocery store as you remember it. Be as specific as possible, including details of where different food groups are located, how many aisles there are, the number of checkout lanes, and so forth. Mark those things that you are sure about with a star versus those you're just pretty sure about.
Then, on your next trip to the store, take your drawing with you and grade yourself on how accurately you depicted it. Were there certain things you got right but others you were way off on? If so, don't feel discouraged. Some people will get the number of aisles right but will misremember food locations. Others will know exactly where their favorite foods are but won't remember anything else about the store. Doing exercises like this one can help you sort out the quality of your perceptions as well as bolster your belief in yourself.
Your Mental Flexibility
This section looks as the flexibility of your opinions, values, and perspective. To determine your result, Tickle's experts examined both the fluidity of your thinking and the rigidity of your opinions.
Based on your responses, you're reasonably flexible in your thinking and opinions. As a result, when dealing with most topics, you can easily consider other people's views. However, if a conversation centers on one of your core values, you're typically more reluctant to entertain other ways of thinking. This is true for most people. After all, it's good to have strong opinions on issues of importance. These views help create a foundation for what you believe in. Naturally, your ideas can change and develop over time. But particularly in your case, it's unlikely that they'll be radically different from day to day.
Occasionally your certainty can result in missed opportunities. If you're too sure of your values, you might forego the chance to observe a different way of being. You might also fail to imagine a way of life that might actually make you happier. If you find that you are excessively defensive on certain topics, it's likely because of one of the following reasons. Either the area is something you've had extensive experience with, and therefore have personal history to base your views on. Or, your defensiveness could be covering up a deep wound or insecurity that you're afraid will be exposed if you open yourself up to a new way of thinking.
When you find yourself behaving defensively about one of your opinions, instead of escalating the situation or shutting down, take a moment to step back and examine your beliefs. Have you formed your opinion based on sound knowledge and experience, or is it merely convenient for you to think that way? At times, you might be surprised to find that fear or even simple laziness is at the root of some of your views. When trying to uncover what is really bothering you about having your viewpoint questioned, ask yourself: "What would be so bad if my opinion were wrong?" In finding out what you have to lose by changing your opinion you can come to some deep understanding about your true values and motivations.
You Level of Fantasy
Some people fantasize nearly nonstop, others rarely do, and the majority of people fall somewhere in between. Imagination and the ability to create alternate realities are the two factors that determine whether or not a person is capable of having a highly colorful fantasy life. However, not everyone who can fantasize does. For example, if two strangers who were both capable of fantasizing were sitting next to one another on a bus, one might still spend the whole ride thinking about paying their bills and formulating their next to-do list, while the other could be envisioning taking a siesta on a tropical island. For Tickle's Inblot Test, having a high level of fantasy involves both having the mental tools necessary to fantasize and putting them to use.
Being prone to fantasy can be thought of as a spectacular gift. Fantasy can give one the ability to create a made-up world much more captivating and pleasurable than the usual day-to-day realities. This can be a wonderful asset as you go though life - a free form of entertainment that you can use any time.
Some people look at those who are fantasy prone in a derogatory way. They feel that the more realistically a person thinks, the saner they are. Indeed, most definitions of "abnormal" refer to what is "unusual" or "not frequent". Clinical experts sometimes look at fantasy as a means of trying to escape reality, rather that face what's there.
Regardless of how one feels about fantasy, its value is heavily dependent on how it's used. If you use fantasy to visualize improvements in your life without ignoring important realities, then fantasy can be a useful talent. It can help you maintain your optimism and even to devise novel solutions to your problems. However, if fantasy is something you retreat into as a way of denying reality, then you might want to reconsider your use of it.
Tickle's experts found that you can be highly prone to fantasizing. This doesn't suggest that you aren't in the real world. Your ability to see things clearly may be completely unencumbered by your tendency toward fantasy. It all depends on how you use your ability. Your answers indicate that you're able to use fantasy in a way that makes your world more vibrant and imaginative than it is for most people. Just be wary of keeping one eye on how things really are, particularly when they're not as you'd like them to be.
Fantasy is a technique frequently employed by people living under harsh conditions in order to ease their stress. In this way, imagination can be a vital tool for prison inmates who live in depressing, restrictive conditions day in and day out. Using the power of fantasy can also be a profound relief for people living in poverty and in war zones. In fact, there are many people who live in adverse situations or deal with other painful circumstances that could benefit from occasional relief through fantasy.
Fantasy only becomes a problem when you ignore something you need to deal with because you have the ability to fantasize it away. For example, imagine you have a problem with an aunt of yours. Perhaps this aunt says something that upsets you almost every time you talk with her. As a result, after a while you stop listening to her in favor of pretending that you're someplace else entirely. The fantasy you create for yourself might be more exciting - and far less annoying, but it doesn't change this detrimental pattern between you and your aunt. A better response might be to put your fantasies aside for a while to address your aunt's poor communication style head-on.
At it's worst, fantasy can keep you from making important lifestyle choices. For instance, if you fantasize that you have boundless energy and are a wonderful athlete, and in the meantime sit on your couch eating potato chips and playing video games, there will eventually come a time where you won't be able to deny what is really happening to your body and you will have to tend to the reality of your deteriorating health. However, there's no reason that you have to let fantasy affect you in these negative ways. So long as you pay attention to the aspects of your life that need addressing, like your health or your career, you should be able to use fantasy and creative visualizations to bolster your happiness and success, not impede them.
How you relate to others
Your relationships are complex things. One important aspect affecting all of them is the role that you play when interacting with others. Do you typically take an active approach when dealing with the people around you, or do you tend to behave more passively? According to your test responses, you appear to have a balanced approach to interacting. You're not consistently the one who is active or passive. This mixed pattern indicates that, relative to other people, you try to either be sensitive to the needs of a particular situation or the people with whom you're dealing. By being able to adjust your approach depending on how the others are behaving, you can handle most situations with ease. Your friends may see you as a great listener or a savvy communicator because of your gift for reading people.
The overall effect of this balanced approach is that you have more options available to you when it comes to your communication style. The possible downside to this fact is that certain individuals with a balanced approach can get confused about which approach feels most natural to them — not just to the situation. While flexibility is a good thing, if you behave solely according to what's going on around you, it can wear on your sense of self.
Another difficulty you may find yourself running up against is that your balanced style may seem like inconsistency to other people. For example, if one day you take the lead in a group and the next day you choose to follow, this transition can be unsettling to those around you. Also when you're dealing with someone who is also balanced in their approach, your relationship can become an elaborate dance where each of you is trying to figure out who's taking charge. If you find yourself in a situation like this one, consider making your style more consistent — whether active or passive — in order to avoid potential confusion.
History Behind the Test
Hermann Rorschach is the most well known clinician to have worked with inkblots in a clinical setting, but he was not the first. Psychologists have been using inkblots to make inferences about personality since the 1850s.
During Rorschach's work in the early 1900s, he noticed that certain types of patients responded to inkblots in similar ways. Through years of empirical testing, Rorschach was able to determine patterns between how people responded to the inkblots and certain personality traits. For more than a decade, Rorschach continued to develop his theories and the Rorschach Inkblot Test until his death in 1922.
In the years following Rorschach's death, there were several different scoring methods presented by different researchers. However, having all these different methodologies made scoring and interpretation of the test confusing. Then in the late 1960s and early 1970s, John Exner took on the formidable challenge of putting together the different systems of thought to come up with a standardized scoring methodology. Exner's work, along with the contributions of other researchers such as Weiner (see reference list below), has created a foundation for how the Rorschach is used today. A study published in 1995 confirmed that about 82% of mental health clinicians regularly use the Rorschach in their practices, indicating that use of inkblots is still alive and well.
To use the Rorschach test properly, it needs to be administered in a clinical setting where the clinician allows the subject to say whatever is on their mind. Given this is not possible to do in a widely administered online assessment, Tickle took on the challenge of using the concepts and findings of Rorschach research to create its own online Inkblot test. Tickle's Inkblot Test is designed as an online psychological instrument with strong psychometric properties of its own. One major difference between Tickle's Inkblot Test and the Rorschach Test is that Tickle developed its test to reflect the tendencies of the normal population. The Rorschach was designed to detect psychopathology, such as schizophrenia. To make the wisdom gained through Rorschach available to the public, Tickle translated it so that it is relevant to all people and simultaneously more accessible because of the ease in administration.
Tickle's test provides a modern interpretation of inkblot testing based both on years of careful clinical work, as well as on the responses of thousands of Tickle members who gave us their impressions of a series of inkblots. The methodology behind Tickle's Inkblot Test consisted of three steps:
Tickle created online inkblots and gathered open-ended feedback from thousands of users about what the inkblots meant to them.
Tickle's research team used the collected responses to develop a survey consisting of multiple-choice questions about the inkblots. The survey questions were designed based on themes that appeared in people's open-ended inkblot responses. The types of questions included those assessing patterns identified through classical theory, and by asking questions about the inkblots and correlating those questions to other information Tickle's test gathered about users' behaviors and psychological characteristics.
Tickle analyzed the survey responses to select the most reliable inkblots and questions, as well as analyzing the data to determine clusters of responses that became the different types of people the test segments. The clusters were used to give primary results at the end of the test.
In order to elaborate on what each cluster meant, Tickle's researchers looked at associations with other questions in Tickle's database. In addition, they examined the dimensions measured in traditional Rorschach methods. They then concluded which of those classic dimensions could be confirmed through empirical associations. The resulting dimensions were used to create multi-faceted descriptions of what the inkblot responses indicated.
If you're interested in learning more about the Rorschach method and inkblot testing, Tickle suggests the following resources.
Beck, S. J. (1937). Introduction to the Rorschach Method. New York: American Orthopsychiatric Association.
Exner, J. E. (1993). The Rorschach: A comprehensive system, Volume 1: Basic foundations, 3rd Edition. New York: John Wiley & Sons.
Exner, J. E. (1991). The Rorschach: A comprehensive system, Volume 2: Current Research and advanced interpretation, Second edition. New York: John Wiley.
Exner, J. E. (Ed.) (1995). Issues and methods in Rorschach research. Mahwah, NJ: Lawrence Erlbaum Associates.
Hertz, M. R. (1934). The Reliability of the Rorschach inkblot test. Journal of Applied Psychology, 18, 461-77.
Hertz, M. R. (1936). The method of administration of the Rorschach Inkblot Test, Child Development, 7, 237-54.
Klopfer, B. (1937). The present status of the theoretical development of the Rorschach Method. Rorschach Research Exchange, 1, 142-47.
Piotrowski, Z. A. (1957). Perceptanalysis. New York: Macmillan.
Rapaport, D., Gill, M. & Schafer, R. (1946). Diagnostic psychological testing, Version 2. Chicago, IL: Year Book Publishers.
Rorschach, H. (1921). Psychodiagnostics. Bern, Switzerland: Bircher.
Rose, T., Kaser-Boyd, N., & Maloney, M. P. (2001). Essentials of Rorschach Assessment, John Wiley & Sons, Inc.
Watkins, C. E., Jr., Campbell, V. L., Nieberding, R., & Hallmark, R. (1995). Contemporary practice of psychological assessment by clinical psychologists. Professional Psychology, 26, 54-60.
Weiner, I. B. (1997). Current status of the Rorschach Inkblot Method, Journal of Personality Assessment, 68(1), 5-19.
Weiner, I. B. (1998). Principles of Rorschach interpretation. Mahwah, N.J.: Erlbaum Associates.
Weiner, I. B., & Exner, J. E. (1991). Rorschach changes in long-term and short-term psychotherapy. Journal of Personality Assessment, 56, 453-465.