Thematic Appreciation Test
Thematic Appreciation Test( TAT) is a projective psychological method of testing. This technique was founded by Henry Murray, Christiana Morgan, and their colleagues at the Harvard Psychological Clinic in 1935. The basic idea came from Murray’s undergraduate student who used to narrate stories to her ill son through pictures.
This method is used to analyze a person’s thoughts, attitudes, feelings and emotions by showing him ambiguous pictures using a set of cards with different human pictures in different situations and conditions. The examinee is then told to build stories for each of the pictures shown. It includes the following elements: the event shown in the picture, what are the characters in the picture feeling, what can be the probable causes for these feelings, the outcome of the event.
The subject in this case, builds up stories according to his habits and emotions. Many scientists do not like to call it a test as it is an analysis and there is no “right” or “wrong” in it. It is considered to be a technique to analyze a person’s views about himself and the world around. The personality of the subject is tested. His relationship with others and his expectations from those relations are revealed through this technique. The examiner even keeps track of the body language, voice modulations, hesitations which reflect a person’s emotional response to a story picture.
TAT is generally used for analyzing people with stressful jobs like military positions, diplomatic positions, education to name a few. It is generally done to assess the candidates of their capabilities to work in such stressful conditions. It is also used by forensic department to know the minds of the violent criminals. Some mental hospitals use this technique again and again to know the improvements in the minds of its patients. For example, this method is used for patients suffering from dissociative identity disorder.
TAT takes into consideration the cultural, gender and economic diversities into consideration while analyzing the responses. For example, a picture shown to a man may get a different reaction while the same picture shown to a woman may get a different reaction. This is considered as a general imbalance and not as a disorder.
Subjects usually get TAT tests in closed rooms without interruptions. The TAT examiner sits with a set of full 31 TAT cards. The subject is shown around 12-14 cards and told to relate a story to each of them. The process takes place for an hour. All the responses are recorded and results are interpreted according to the subject’s history, gender, class and culture.
Posted by: Poulomi Paul
Other Members of Group 2, Section A: Abhishek Kumar, Charan Kumar Karra, Naureen Fatima, Pavan Kumar Tatineni, Pittala Priyanka, Ruchi Sao and Sarvesh Singh