Whatever you do, don't look at them on edge
January 21, 2008 2:27 PM   Subscribe

What to do with a Rorschach ink blot set?

Going through a bunch of crap in my guest junk room, I came across a complete set of Rorschach ink blots. Many years ago, I was a therapist, and though I don't remember the circumstances, I'm sure that I picked them up in relation to that. I've never used them (not trained to) and as far as I know, no one in my office ever used them, either.

So, here I sit with no idea what I should do with them. They are still in the box and include a scoring sheet, but no interpretive information. Should I frame them? Donate them somewhere? Sell them? (Isn't that a big no-no?) Toss 'em in the garbage? Mail them to the Rorschach Society? Note that I'm no longer in the field of psychology.
posted by anonymous to Grab Bag (22 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
Framing them is a nice idea, it's a reference to your past.
Using them as postcards to friends could be neat.
That said, man, I would love to have some.
posted by Heatwole at 2:35 PM on January 21, 2008

With the realease of "Watchmen" in the next year of so, you may want to hang onto them to see if they become more interesting/valuable . you never know....
posted by HuronBob at 2:43 PM on January 21, 2008

I agree that framing would be nifty to do.
If you are wanting to give them up, I, like Heawoie, am willing to take a few off your hands.
posted by itchie at 2:54 PM on January 21, 2008

Why is selling them a big no-no?
posted by Enroute at 2:56 PM on January 21, 2008

I think framing would be neat. It would be an awesome conversation piece to people who come over to your place for parties.
posted by christinetheslp at 2:56 PM on January 21, 2008

Frame them: excellent modern art.
posted by ms.v. at 3:08 PM on January 21, 2008

I would love some. Therefore, you should auction them on EBAY.

Or give them as a gift to someone who would appreciate them.

Or use them as thank-you notes.
posted by sondrialiac at 3:13 PM on January 21, 2008

Definitely frame-worthy, but only if it's the kind of thing you'd like to have hanging on your wall. How do they make you feel?
posted by mumkin at 3:37 PM on January 21, 2008 [2 favorites]

Framing would be cool.. but they are supposed to be kept secret right, so as not to pollute the test subjects?
posted by TravellingDen at 3:38 PM on January 21, 2008

yeah, i would say frame them too and make a grid of them on your wall…but like travellingden said, aren't they supposed to be kept secret?
posted by violetk at 3:42 PM on January 21, 2008

I can't believe this. I was just downloading Rorschach ink blot images, enlarging them in photoshop and prepping to print them. If you're going to sell them, please let me know. I'd buy them and frame them for hanging on my wall. Cool find!

(email in profile)
posted by ArcAm at 3:44 PM on January 21, 2008

My friend is a clinical psychology doctoral student trained in the use of these tests. She says the best thing to do is to send them back to the test developers or give/sell them to a clinical psychologist.

"As with all psychological tests the goal is to keep it as confidential as possible." You shouldn't frame them and put them on the wall (unless nobody else would see them at all).

PAR or http://www.rorschachtraining.com (for places to send them)
posted by cashman at 4:08 PM on January 21, 2008

Party game. Preferably with alcohol involved.
posted by Astro Zombie at 4:10 PM on January 21, 2008 [2 favorites]

My psychotherapist boyfriend says: "Anyone who sees them in a non-test situation can't take the test anymore" -- meaning, the test depends upon seeing the blots for the very first time, so anyone seeing them hanging on your wall will invalidate the (future) test. You may not care, and you may not have anyone visiting the house who will ever be in the position of being given a Rorschach test, but I wouldn't risk it. The test is still in use as a diagnostic tool, however old-fashioned it seems. The "right" thing to do is to give or sell them to a practicing therapist who will use them in their intended way.
posted by chowflap at 4:37 PM on January 21, 2008

Keep in mind, the psychiatric value of the inkblot test is not absolutely certain.
posted by Astro Zombie at 4:43 PM on January 21, 2008

wikipedia says:
Supporters of the test try to keep the actual cards secret so that the answers are spontaneous. This practice is consistent with the American Psychological Association's ethical standards of preserving test security. The official test is sold only to licensed professionals. These ethics were violated first by William Poundstone in his book Big Secrets (1983), which described the method of administering the test and gave outlines of the ten official images. The images have since been leaked to the Internet.[17] This reduced the value of projective testing for those individuals who have become familiar with the material, potentially impacting their care. The Rorschach Society claims the blots are copyrighted; this has been disputed by others who state that the blots are in the public domain under U.S. copyright law based on when they were first created and how long Rorschach has been dead (over 80 years).
It seems to fall under the realm of professional ethics. You are not a member of the profession anymore, but you were when you purchased or received the test kit. It is now up to you how you want to interpret the professional and personal ethics on this.

Personally, if it were me, I would not sell them or otherwise post them some place where other people could see them.
posted by Nickel at 5:08 PM on January 21, 2008

I'd like some. I'm not sure what the ethical considerations are, but I'm sure they'd disappear quickly on ebay.
posted by robcorr at 5:12 PM on January 21, 2008

Warning: You can't take the test if you look at this link. For those that are curious here's what they look like.
posted by bigmusic at 5:24 PM on January 21, 2008 [1 favorite]

They're easy enough to find on ebay. Hell, I just bid on some, inspired by this thread...
posted by mr_roboto at 6:14 PM on January 21, 2008

I guarantee very few people come into my room. Therefore, unlike all these others which have presumably burgeoning social lives, you should give them to me. QED. The information wants to be free, yo.
posted by oxford blue at 6:32 AM on January 22, 2008

Sell them to a grad student--post flyers in a nearby university's psych department. My friend's a student and had to buy a bunch of tests when he first started. They're expensive!
posted by CiaoMela at 8:15 AM on January 22, 2008

Mail them to me! Or frame and hang them, or ebay, or craigslist.
posted by hannahq at 6:05 PM on January 22, 2008

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