Hermann Rorschach and His Inkblot Test (Video)

Hermann Rorschach Inkblot Test Up on Google


Hermann Rorschach has some of his famous inkblot test up on Google because the search engine is celebrating the psychoanalyst’s 129th birthday by sharing  an inkblot doodle that the doctor created.

The black and white drawing is basically a cartoon of the Freudian psychoanalyst holding a pen and notepad, while just hands are seen holding a piece of paper on which there is one inkblot on the Google screen.

The search engine is wanting users to share whatever their personal idea of the inkblot looks like on Google Plus, Twitter and even Facebook. If one wants to view the entire test, a YouTube video is embedded below:

All this is fine and dandy but who is the person behind these strange black blots of ink on paper that supposedly tell someone if he or she is normal or not so much.

The inkblot creator was a psychiatrist who came into the world on Nov. 8, 1884, in Zurich. Hince, Google’s celebration today. Even as a child he liked to create pictures from ink and it earned him the nickname‘Klecks’ which meant inkblot, to his friends. This hobby is known as klecksography.

Rorschach was only 12 years of age when his mother passed away and his father died a short seven years later. His dad had been an art instructor and wanted his son to be able to allow himself to artistically express how he felt.

But the younger man was unable to choose between a career in science or in art and after he took classes in geology and botany, he decided he wanted to go to Zürich and attend medical school.

While being a medical student Hermann Rorschach decided to try and use the inkblots that he made from childhood to attempt to begin a career. The psychoanalysis beginning was just staring up and the doctor would let children view the inkblot images to see what their various responses would be and it would help start a theory within his mind.

He graduated from medical school in 1909 and within a year he had gotten married to a classmate from his medical schooling. She was a woman from Russia named Olga Stempelin. Rorschach worked for a couple of years inside a Switzerland mental institution. He then went on to his residency at Waldau Psychiatric University.

Hermann Rorschach came to know the studies of the psychiatrist Szyman Hens who lived in Switzerland. He had used blots of ink placed on cards to study mentally ill patients, along with his fellow researcher, Carl Jung. In fact, Hens had been taught under the well-know psychiatrist Eugen Bleuler, who was known to have trained Jung.

Rorschach put together his two interests; art and psychoanalysis, and created his own personal and extremely controversal “Rorschach inkblot test”. He would become the first scientist to take the inkblots and see how patients would force their internal associations onto apparently random stimulus. He had made 7 to 10 inkblot cards, which he showed to patients one at a time. When they talked, Hermann Rorschach penned all of their answers, no matter how strange or bizarre. He used the information to decide about the patient’s mental and social behaviors.

He took these findings and wrote a book in 1921 called Psychodiagnostik. It ended up forming the very idea behind the tests of the inkblot and was extremely successful in a short amount of time. However, since then, newer psychologists have basically discredited all of his theories and believe he was a quack.

Hermann Rorschach did not get to enjoy his book’s success for very long. He died at age 37, only a year after he had completed the book. He passed away from peritonitis because his appendix burst. He left his wife, a son and a daughter, along with the inkblot test legacy.

Hermann Rorshach had no idea his inkblot test would make it all the way to a thing called Google, which may or may not have made him happy.


By Kimberly Ruble

The Independent

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