Sunday, May 31, 2015

Nazi leaders were given ink blot tests

Someday the psychologist profession will be embarrassed thtat they ever endorsed child custody evaluations for the court. But they have a lot else to be embarrassed for. Here is a new one to me:
These medical societies actually concluded their plea with a request that executed Nazis should be “shot in the chest, not the head”, so that their brains could be preserved for autopsy. On that point, they didn’t get their way – the method of execution at Nuremberg was hanging followed by cremation, precluding Nazi neuroscience autopsies. However, another of the psychologists’ requests was granted: the request that defendants should be examined using “psychological tests such as the Rorschach”. ...

According to two Rorschach experts, Miale and Selzer, writing in 1975, the fact that Göring saw dancing figures in this inkblot pattern indicates a psychic pattern of “hypomanic defense” while the fact that he saw the men as having red hats “indicates an emotional preoccupation with status”. Hmm. ...

Disturbing – but what does all this mean? Were the experts just seeing what they expected to see, assuming that the Nazi’s responses were abnormal because they were Nazis? A 1976 study by Molly Harrower suggests so. She gave the Nuremberg transcripts to ten Rorschach experts, mixed up with Rorschach responses from some non-Nazis, including some Unitarian ministers. The records were anonymized (blinded) and the Rorschach experts were asked to work out which set of responses came from the war criminals. They proved unable to do this better than random chance.
This is so stupid that it is funny. But I had court-ordered Rorschach tests for the family court.

While the test used to kept secret by psychologists, you can now see the images on Wikipedia, or take a free online version of the test.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

I've just took a test by the link you provided and I must say that result is surprisinly accurate!