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Guidelines for the Use of Rorschach® Test Plates

Based on articles 1 and 2.2 of the bylaws of the International Society of the Rorschach and Projective Methods (ISR), the ISR Executive Board issues the following guidelines:

Recently, the ISR has noticed that products referred to as “Rorschach Diagnostics Plates” or similar have been appearing in increasing numbers on the market. These products are not the original Rorschach® Test plates, but instead are imitations produced and sold by commercial operations that do not comply with our quality standards. To assist Rorschach users in avoiding the risks and potential consequences of using such unauthorized stimulus materials and in order to preserve the long-time reliability and reputation of the Test, the ISR Executive Board has decided to publish the following guidelines:

  • The only Rorschach® Test plates authorized by the ISR for use in Rorschach diagnostics are produced exclusively by the Swiss publisher, Hogrefe AG (formerly Verlag Hans Huber).
  • The original Rorschach® Test plates can easily be identified by the registered trademark symbol ® printed alongside the word “Rorschach” and the imprint of the authorized producer “Verlag Hans Huber, Hogrefe AG” on the packaging of the plates and on the back of each plate.
  • The original test plates are available directly from Verlag Hans Huber, Hogrefe AG or through a variety of approved and reputable distributors worldwide.
  • Unauthorized, imitation inkblot test plates sold by other publishers are not and cannot be considered reliable by the ISR and the scientific community for the following reasons:
    • the lack of special, historical printing know-how based on the Rorschach archive and Hermann Rorschach’s original instructions for production of the plates;
    • the lack of equivalent, uniform quality control process, based on the same historical printing know-how;
    • the short-term risk of unreliable results if used for diagnostic purposes and research and the long-term risk for the overall comparability of test results and the reputation of the Rorschach® Test due to variations in the appearance of the inkblots.

These guidelines have been issued for publication by decision of the Executive Board of the International Society of the Rorschach and Projective Methods.


New ISR Guidelines for the Use of Rorschach® Test Plates

Statement of ISR President Noriko Nakamura


Background:

Due to the increased appearance of imitations of the original Rorschach® Test plates that do not comply with our quality standards, the Executive Board of the International Society of the Rorschach and Projective Methods (ISR) has decided to publish guidelines  on how and why to keep authorized Rorschach® Test plates apart from imitations. You will find these guidelines attached below. However, let us explain in detail why this issue is of special concern to our society.  

Explanation:

As experienced Rorschach users know, the precise coloring and shading of the inkblots and their consistency and constancy over a period of decades are core characteristics of the test, characteristics that are absolutely essential both to the validity of results obtained now and also to the long-term scientific reliability and reputation of the test. All validations of the test have been carried out using original Rorschach® Test materials that were produced by Hogrefe and its legal predecessor. Unauthorized, imitation inkblots produced by other organizations are not and cannot be considered reliable by the ISR and other members of the scientific community, because they were not produced using the same processes and know-how as the original Rorschach® Test, are not subject to the same rigid, uniform quality control tests, and their quality, colors, and shading may therefore differ from those of the originals.

When the inkblots and plates Hermann Rorschach designed and created were first printed, he and Verlag Hans Huber (now part of Hogrefe AG) developed special printing processes and techniques to achieve the precise colors and shades he had conceived. Hogrefe, with the collaboration and advice of the ISR, continues to produce the Rorschach® Test plates based on this highly specialized, historical know-how and on information contained in a vast archive of original documents and instructions from Hermann Rorschach. This archive and know-how is not available to any other organization. Strict quality controls ensure that the plates produced today continue to have precisely the same quality and appearance as when Herrmann Rorschach himself oversaw their production.

Without the historical and technical knowledge mentioned above, it is impossible to reproduce plates in the quality and to the standards that are required for a reliable, reproducible test. For this reason, the original Rorschach® Test plates produced by Hogrefe are the only ones approved by the ISR for use in Rorschach diagnostics.

In order to help Rorschach users identify authorized Rorschach plates and materials, the name “Rorschach” ("Rorschach Test," "Rorschach Cards," "Rorschach Plates," etc.) was registered some years ago as a trademark. Unfortunately, imitation plates are now being marketed under names and descriptions that are confusingly similar to the original. The ISR therefore strongly urges all Rorschach users to check carefully that the plates they are using indeed bear the name “Rorschach” and the registered trademark symbol ®, as shown here. The use of any other plates for Rorschach diagnostics would be a violation of our ethical principles and of ISR by-laws - and above all will be detrimental to our efforts to preserve the reliability and reputation of the Rorschach® Test for generations to come.

Please find the text of the ISR guidelines above. Thank you for your attention to and for raising further awareness of this important issue.
 
Noriko Nakamura
President, ISR

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