Dr. Seth Meyers, Clinical Psychologist

Dr. Seth Meyers, Clinical Psychologist

Friday, June 10, 2011

The Window Technique: A Personality Test

As part of my doctoral training in clinical psychology, I learned how to administer and conduct a wide range of psychological tests. Among them, I studied the Rorschach Inkblot Test, otherwise known simply as the inkblot test, which you may have seen or heard about.

In my final year of graduate school, I taught a testing lab of first-year doctoral students and reviewed with them the complex interpretation of the inkblot test. It is astonishing – the complexity of the variables involved in the test’s interpretation. In training the students how to interpret the test, I noticed that the students were not capturing the essences of the patients whom the students tested. The students had the tendency to get lost in the jargon as they wrote their interpretation reports and lost sight of the patients’ overall personalities.

Ultimately, I had the most success in helping the students to paint a three-dimensional picture of a patient when I asked them to employ a tactic I conceived of called The Window Technique. To encourage them to flesh out their impressions of the personalities they were working with, I told my students to ask themselves the questions listed below about their patients. For the purposes of this exercise, the questions are directed at you.

Questions to Consider

1. If someone looked at you through a window and saw you in a room with someone, what might you be doing?

2. What might this window observer guess your mood is like? Would you likely be laughing and smiling, or appear depressed and angry? Would you be moving about or sitting still?

3. If someone looking through the window were to x-ray your brain and find out what you were thinking, what is an example of a thought you might be thinking?

4. If the person looking through the window were asked how happy or fulfilled you were overall in your life, what might this person say?

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