During routine Paper-and-Pencil, Draw-A-Person and other such personality tests, the individual, deliberately or otherwise, tends to suppress information which might impact correct diagnosis and therapy. Moreover, individual behavior is greatly affected by the experiences, fears, complex and anxieties working at unconscious and subconscious levels. They may not be visible to an outside observer but nevertheless they work underground and have significant bearing on one’s present behavior and personality.
A Projective Test is a personality evaluation to draw out significant information related to one’s unconscious mind and its working. In such a test, the individual responds to some vague stimuli, such as pictures, words and the like. Projective assessments are designed to be open-ended and to encourage free expression of thoughts and feelings, thereby revealing how an individual thinks and feels. The response so obtained is analyzed by expert to reveal hidden emotions and internal conflicts. It’s quite different from an "objective test", where the responses are analyzed as per a common standard (for example, a multiple choice exam). The responses are content-analyzed for deeper meanings and interpretations.
These tests originate from psychoanalysis which argues that human behavior is greatly shaped by unconscious attitudes and motivations which are hidden from consciousness.
The best known projective tests so far in which irregular inkblots are used. The responses are later analyzed by a trained expert, based on what was said, the time taken and the part focused on etc.
In Thematic Apperception Test (TAT), an individual views some ambiguous scenes or pictures, which are open to any interpretation. He is asked to describe how this scene developed, and the characters' emotions etc. These descriptions are analyzed to uncover the hidden conflicts, motivations and attitudes.
The CAT is an evaluation, designed specifically for children, to uncover individual variations in their responses to stimuli like animal or human pictures in common social situations. Such family situations could be prolonged illness, birth, death, celebrations, and separations from parental figures.
The CAT is used to assess children's personality, maturity level and psychological health. The test reveals important information on the child's perception of reality, impulse and drive control, defence mechanisms, conflicts and level of autonomy.
It involves completing sentence fragments ("stems") with one's own words. The response reflects hidden attitudes, personal traits, motivations, and beliefs.
It is especially useful in cases involving inadequate language skills such as children, learning disabled or mentally retarded. Those with limited language skills usually rely more on visualization and adjust themselves better to projective techniques.
Such images feature dreams, visual imagery and symbols, the most basic forms of thinking and expression and also the language of repression. The purpose is to make the repressed thoughts accessible to the psychologist.
The Draw-A-Person test requires the subject to draw a person. The drawing is analyzed later based on its psychodynamic interpretation, such as the shape and complexity of the figure.
According to Sigmund Freud, the Father of Psychoanalysis, an individual’s conscious feelings and thoughts are just the tip of the iceberg i.e. a small fraction of the total because a great majority of them (which could be painful, traumatic or embarrassing) are invisible and, thus, inaccessible to normal observation. Nevertheless, they influence and even drive our behavior significantly without our conscious knowledge and it is imperative that they be carefully considered during a psychological diagnosis. All these assessments yield extremely valuable, hidden psychological information regarding the causal factors working at the subconscious and unconscious levels in many cases. These tests, when expertly handled, play a vital role in diagnosis and subsequent therapeutic choices and are, therefore, regarded as the most powerful psychological techniques by psychologists.
A juvenile is a person who has not completed 18 years of age. Anti social or illegal behavior during this phase is termed juvenile delinquency. It can happen due to a variety of reasons, such as family environment, mental disorders, and others. It is a condition which, if not attended to at the right time, can lead to extreme consequences, such as the child resorting crime or committing suicide.
Broadly speaking, this involves neglect, physical abuse, sexual harassment and emotional maltreatment.