logo logo


Journal of Projective Psychology and Mental Health: Volume 11, Number 1, Jan 2004 Editorial

1. Editorial: The Importance of Cultural/Ethnic Norms: An Example Based on American Individualism versus Japanese Collectivism as Reflected in the Hand Test Dependence Response, Paul E. Panek, Ph.D., Professor of Psychology, The Ohio State University at Newark, University Drive, Newark, Ohio 43055(USA) Email:panek.1@osu.edu, pages 1-3.

Panek (2001) presented five significant issues and challenges facing projective psychology as we begin this new century. One of these issues is that projective psychology needs to address cross-cultural differences, as well as ethnic differences within cultures. As the world becomes smaller through advances in technology and transportation, and industries continue to “Globalize,” projective techniques must be able to adequately measure and explain variance due to cross-cultural and ethnic differences. A specific score or response on a projective test must be interpreted within the context of each culture or ethnic group, rather than an absolute standard derived for that test in another culture/country. If specific responses are interpreted in terms of absolute standards as opposed to appropriate cultural/ethnic group norms, there is the potential for misinterpretation and/or misdiagnosis. Hence, there is a need for projective techniques to develop norms for a variety of countries and ethnic groups within a particular country or culture.

This is of major importance since cultures can differ on a number of dimensions. First, cultures differ in the kinds of information persons from that culture sample from the environment (Triandis, 1999). For example, according to Choi, Nisbett, and Norenzayan (1999), lay theory in the modern West locates the responsibility for behaviors primarily in the individual, while the lay theory in East Asia focuses on the whole context of the behavior. Thus, Westerners focus on the individual, and Easterners focus on the social situation. The contrast between the object focus of the West and the context focus in the East may underlie different thinking styles characterizing the two general cultures that can be termed analytic versus holistic. Westerners are held to be analytic, paying attention primarily to the object and categorizing it on the basis of its attributes. Alternatively, East Asians supposedly reason holistically, attending to the field in which objects are embedded and attributing causality to interactions between the object and the surrounding field. These factors help shape a person’s thinking, attitudes, and personalities within a specific culture and may produce predictable differences in personality characteristics among cultures that are considered either simple (hunters and gatherers) or complex (information societies).

Cultures can also be compared on the dimensions of homogeneity-heterogeneity as well as collectivism-individualism (Diener & Diener, 1995). Homogeneity refers to the degree to which people in a society share the same culture. When a nation is homogeneous, people share important characteristics, such as language, values, and religion. In a homogenous society, the family, friends, and self may not stand out as singular.

There are four defining attributes of the dimensions of the constructs of individualism versus collectivism (Triandis, 1999). These are: 1) Definition of Self. Collectivists view the self as interdependent with others, while individualists view the self as autonomous and independent from groups. Thus, individualists are concerned mostly with their own success, while collectivists are more concerned with the success of their groups. 2) Structure of goals. For collectivists, individual goals are usually compatible with in-group goals, while for individualists individual goals are often not related to in-group goals. Consequently, when individual and group goals are not compatible, collectivists give priority to in-group goals and individualists give priority to personal goals. Hui and Triandis (1986) propose that Western cultures encourage individuals to pursue personal goals and to develop personal autonomy, while Asian cultures encourage individuals to accommodate personal needs to the overall goals of the family and to adhere to social norms. 3) Emphasis on norms versus attitudes. The determinants of social behavior among collectivists are both (a) norms, duties, and obligations, and (b) attitudes and personal needs; while for individualists the determinants are primarily attitudes, personal needs, perceived rights and contracts. Consequently, collectivists tend to be more formal and to depend on rules for social behaviors to a greater extent than do individualists. Thus, according to Ji, Peng and Nisbett (2000) Asian cultures have a tight social structure in which group members need to accommodate each other and strive to regulate one another’s behavior. 4) Emphasis on relatedness versus rationality. Collectivists emphasize unconditional relatedness while individualists emphasize rationality. Relatedness refers to giving priority to relationships and taking into account the needs of others, even when such relationships are not advantageous to the individual.

Based on these factors, one would expect to observe differences among people from different countries in terms of personality characteristics, based on a country’s placement in these dimensions. A lack of awareness and appreciation of these differences can lead to an incorrect interpretation of projective test responses, producing inaccurate assessments.

We can illustrate these potential problems by comparing the Japanese norms (Yoshikawa & Yamagami, 2001) and the American norms for the scoring category of Dependence (DEP) on the projective Hand Test (Wagner, 1983). DEP responses involve a desire or need for help or aid from another person and signifies deference to authority. Inspection of the norms for these countries indicates that the Japanese gave significantly more DEP responses than the Americans. Thus, this finding suggests that the Japanese are more willing to seek success from others than Americans. In this respect, Americans may be more “independent” than the Japanese. However, it is important to point out that, as discussed by Triandis (1999), “dependence” is a negative concept in individualist cultures and a positive concept in collectivist cultures. Individuals from individualist cultures often feel frustrated if they have to depend on others, and they value self-reliance. Alternatively, individuals from collectivist cultures feel good about interdependence (Triandis, 1999). Yamaguchi (1998) suggests that, in Japan, the concept of “amae” is widely used and reflects the positive value of interdependence, and the cultural ideal that a person can indeed depend on others. It’s meaning includes the idea that even if the other person did not behave correctly, one will accept the dependent person (Yamaguchi, 1998). Thus, the finding that more DEP responses are given by the Japanese is not surprising since Japan is considered a very homogenous and collectivist culture, compared to the United States (Diener & Diener, 1995). This illustrates that, while projective tests are capable of mirroring personality traits across cultures, these traits must be interpreted in a cultural context and based on appropriate normative samples in order to minimize misdiagnosis and “cultural misunderstandings.”

2. Students Attitude Towards the Vital Problems and Somatic Inkblot Images of the SIS -I Test, Anatoly B. Khromov, Kurgan State University, Russia(E-Mail : anatolykh@hotmail.com), Rakesh Pandey and B.L.Dubey, pages 4-10.

The present research makes an attempt to explore the SIS-I correlates of certain attitudes and problems of students (both conscious and unconscious) related to their various interpersonal and intra-personal domains of life. Twenty-two university students (18 females and 4 males) were assessed on two projective measures (the SIS- I and the SSCT) and on one questionnaire measure of the student's attitude and problems. Finding suggests that a greater number of animal and movement responses are associated with little concern for one’s health, and activity/ passivity. High anxiety over one’s own infantilism was found to be related with more Typical, Human, and Heart responses. Non-blaming attitude towards mother, women, friends, and one’s own past was linked with more heart responses on SIS –I. Individuals giving more normative responses were found to have less problems in dialogue with friends. The atypical visual images were more frequently seen in the SIS-I protocols of those who were anxious with their emotional life. These persons more often claim against their mothers, and they are socially dependent. Those who make claims against elderly people reported more pathological contents on SIS-I. The persons producing a lot of verbal responses of the depressive character have problems with health and they are concerned with a problem of innocence and sexual encounters. The persons anxious with the innocence frequently identify images of an eye (paranoid attribute), and make fewer claims against women. The research finding reveals that the SIS-I can be used successfully to reveal the psychosomatic symptoms, and define personality characteristics, interpersonal problems and broken interpersonal relationships.

3. Somatic Inkblot Series: Historical Background and Earlier Projects, Wilfred A. Cassell, & Bankey L. Dubey, E-mail : bldubey@gmail.com, pages 11-18.

The article summarizes three cases using the original 12-card form of the SIS. The first case explored the notion that when the cardiovascular system is activated by exercise or emotional stress, the resultant sensory feedback lowers the perceptual threshold for visualizing SIS cardiac content. The second case introduced the potentially new diagnostic category “Body Phobia” and illustrates how during deep relaxation, SIS stimulated imagery can provide an effective Cognitive Behavioral treatment aide. The third case examined the relationship of body consciousness, and heart rate in newly hospitalized patients who experience Schizophrenic Disorder. It reveals how psychotic patients experiencing high sensory feedback from tachycardia can become unduly conscious of the heart and develop related somatic delusions.

Many of us have devoted much of our lives to serve our brief time on this small planet as practitioners of the healing arts and sciences. The power of the SIS to release the “inner cry” can expose us to the intense aspects of human suffering placing us at personal risk for experiencing secondary or empathetic PTSD. In spite of this occupational hazard, we must carry on to combat the excessive influence of the geneticists, psychopharmacologists and other fundamentally important, but yet reductionist thinking scientists. As SIS work expands our basic knowledge of body-mind-spirit, the battle also needs to be waged against the extreme quasi religious-political groups who advocate suicidal violence.

Ideals of using the multiple SIS technical advances in the stimulation of imagery for scientifically exploring dimensions of human mental existence motivate us all. However, we do not confine our work to the pursuit of knowledge, simply for the joy of discovery or ego. Sometimes allowing us to vicariously witness the higher planes of human existence can reward our struggle. Rarely, it provides us with a powerful technological-based imagery window for peering into mysterious spiritual forces. By contrast, it can force us to deal with the more crude and even vulgar aspects of the body gestalt.

Sometimes studying the history of knowledge can be almost as interesting as learning about the new natural phenomenon itself. It is hoped that the reader will view the three following projects primarily from the historical point of view, rather than representing definitive scientific methodology. It should be kept in mind that they are simply early pilot studies.Two of the projects (I & III) represent studies with psycho physiological underpinnings. The remaining one (Project II) reviews an early attempt to apply the SIS mind-body theory in clinical therapeutic work utilizing concepts derived from the early behavior therapy field.

4. Deviation from Right Hand Preference and Increased Likelihood of Mental Health Complaints, Immunological Disorders and Accidents. Rakesh Pandey, S. Upadhyay and N.Singh, Email: rpan_in@yahoo.com, pages 19-24.

Three groups of left, mixed and right - handed subjects (N= 10 in each group) were assessed on SCL – 90- R for various types of psychopathological traits. Results revealed that left handers reported more symptomatic complaints as compared to mixed handers, which in turn scored higher than right handers. This trend was evident on dimensions of somatization, obsession-compulsion, interpersonal sensitivity, anxiety , and paranoid ideation. Though, due to small sample size the main effect of handedness was not found to be significant, statistically significant differences were obtained between left and right as well as mixed and right handers on dimensions of somatization, obsession-compulsion, and anxiety. It was also observed that left handers are at risk for immunological disorders and accidents, as a higher percentage of left handers reported the history of immunological disorders and accidents. Mixed handers were also found to be at risk for immunological disorders but not for accidents (as compared to right handers). Findings have been discussed in the light of relevant theories of cerebral lateralization.

5. Differences in Terms of the Defense Mechanism Technique Modified (DMTm) Between Psychotic and Non-psychotic Drug Abusers, Kristian Aleman, Vidargatan 5, entréplanet, 113 27 Stockholm, SWEDEN. Phone: + 46 8 32 82 08, Email: kristian.aleman@ka-psychoanalysis.se, pages 25-35.

Psychological defense mechanisms and anxiety were investigated in three groups of drug abusers with DMTm (Defense Mechanism Technique modified). One group (n=19) was diagnosed to have a psychosis according to DSM-III-R, but without a diagnosis of uni-/bipolar mood disorder, schizophrenia, schizoaffective or organic psychosis. All but one were mixed drug abusers. The subjects in the other two groups were abusing mainly heroin (n=36) or amphetamine (n=29). Since the two groups were similar in how they differed from the psychotic group in terms of DMTm signs, they were combined to form a single non-psychotic comparison group. The following DMTm signs were found to be more frequent in the psychotic than in the comparison group: (traumatic) anxiety, repression, denial, denial through reversal, splitting and reference. The results were interpreted according to the Andersson psychoanalytic model of the mind. The psychotic drug abusers were more prone to see their projected selves as petrified, inanimate or disguised being in relation to “the threatening mother”; show a deficiency in reality-testing; fail to maintain three emotional barriers, the first dealing with separating from and being different from the other, the second distinguishing the barrier of gender and the third, oedipal position concerned with the generation gap.

6. Psychotherapy of a Male Patient with Dissociative Convulsive Disorder: SIS II Breaks the Resistance. L.S.S. Manickam., B. T. Suhany, and J. Jasseer, pages 36-44.

Treatment of dissociative convulsive disorder is difficult to manage in outpatient settings. Here we present the case of a 24 year-old male patient who was successfully treated in three sessions through administering SIS-II in the outpatient setting. The projective technique of SIS II was administered to a male patient who was diagnosed to have dissociative disorder. SIS showed severe repression of sexual impulses by rejecting all the images, which are likely to evoke a sexual response. A conscious denial of sexual responses prompted to challenge the patient at the initial and early phase of the therapy without threatening the ego functions. Further interview helped the patient to disclose his unprotected homosexual and heterosexual relationships and his anxiety related to sexually transmitted infections including HIV. A dramatic cessation of the pseudo seizures following the session prompts to make use of the SIS technique at the appropriate time in psychotherapy, in order to reduce the cost of treatment and care of psychological disorders.

7. SIS in a Case of Depressive Neurosis, Pravina Vimal, pages 45-46.

Nineteen years college students with complaints of feelings of sadness, excessive crying, dejection, hopelessness and lethargic behavior were administered Somatic Inkblot Series-II for evaluating underlying psychopathology. SIS responses were able to bring out his aggressive attitude towards parents, suicidal ideation and low self. Therapeutic intervention helped him in developing a positive attitude and hope for a better future.

It’s a case of a nineteen years college student experiencing a long spell of feelings of sadness, excessive crying, dejection, worthlessness, hopelessness and lethargic behavior. He has lost interest in almost all activities. He also complains of poor appetite, disturbed sleep, poor concentration, and suicidal thoughts. The symptoms varied in intensity at different times leaving him completely helpless.

8. A Comparison of Human Figure Drawing Among Schizophrenics, Manics and Control Groups, S.Kumar, V.D. Sharma, S. Mohanty and Rakesh Kumar, Institute of Mental Health and Hospital, Agra, pages 47-51.

Human figure drawings of schizophrenics, manics and normals were compared to identify quantitative and qualitative deviations in the drawings of the patient groups. The sample consisted of 28 schizophrenics and 25 manic patients drawn from OPD of Institute of Mental Health & Hospital Agra. A group of 30 normal persons was also drawn from the general population to serve as control. Draw-A-Person Test (Machover, 1949) was administered on each participant. Quantitative and qualitative analysis of drawing was performed. The results indicated that qualitative aspects differentiated the groups more than the quantitative dimensions.

9. Personality Profile of Siblings of Children with Autism: A Comparative Study. Sreemoyee Tarafder, Pritha Mukhopadhyay, and Saugata Basu, University of Calcutta, Kolkata, .Email:saubasu@cal3.vsnl.net.in, pages 52-58.

The present study attempts to examine the personality profile of ten healthy siblings of the children with autism, in comparison to ten children who do not have siblings with autism (mean age –14.4 years, SD –1.35 years). They were matched in terms of relevant variables including intellectual level (as measured by the Standard Progressive Matrices). The Rorschach Inkblot Test was administered individually to all 20 subjects and protocols were interpreted following Exner (1986). Evaluation of the D-scores and the Four Squares (EA, EB, eb, es, ADJ D and D-scores) indicated presence of ambience, stimulus overload, greater stress tolerance capacity, greater awareness of primitive impulses and adoption of defensive maneuvers, in siblings of autistics in contrast to introversiveness, balance between stimulus demand and coping resources, prevalence of situational stress and lesser reactivity in the normal controls.

Subscribe For Download
© All rights reserved by dubay business services