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Journal of Projective Psychology and Mental Health: Volume 28, Number 1, Jan 2021 Editorial

1.Editorial: The Case for the COVID-19 Pandemic as a Confounding/Independent Variable: Implications for Psychological Research. Chris Piotrowski, Pages 1-3.

Not surprisingly, the COVID-19 pandemic has attracted extensive research attention, evident by the meteoric rise of scholarly works and commentary already reported in the extant research literature (Farmer et al., 2020; Gruber et al., 2020; Kniffin, 2020; Kofman & Garfin, 2020; Pierce et al., 2020; Piotrowski & King, 2020; Sharma & Borah, 2020). Indeed, an online search, conducted on October 10, 2020 in PsycINFO, highlights emerging seminal research (i.e., scholarly articles), with a focus on COVID-19, across a myriad of mental health topics are analyzed in the paper.

2. Issues to Consider Prior to Using the R-PAS in a Forensic Context. Carl B. Gacono and Jason M. Smith, pages 4-13.

After the sudden death of John Exner (developer of the Comprehensive System; CS; Exner, 1969, 2003), a new scoring system, the Rorschach Performance Assessment System (R-PAS; Meyer, Viglione, Mihura, Erard, & Edberg, 2011) was introduced. While the CS was developed with extensive research over approximately 40 years, this new system has only been studied for approximately fifteen years. When considering its forensic usage, it is essential to understand that CS validity research does not translate directly to R-PAS. One primary reason for the lack of translation is the differing administration procedures. Other factors such as the absence of comparison descriptive group data (non-patient, clinical, & forensic) and internal validity problems with studies utilized in the primary meta-analyses which supports the R-PAS variable selection should be considered in determining the methods admissibility. In this article, we discuss essential issues to consider prior to using the R-PAS in an applied context.

3. Moral Disengagement Moderates the Relationship Between Interpersonal Decentering and Aggression Problems in 12-Year-Olds: A Mixed-Method Study. James Coleman, Sharon Rae Jenkins and Courtney Sanders, pages 14-26.

This study investigated the relationship between social cognitive maturity and aggression in 12-year olds as moderated by moral disengagement. These constructs have often been measured by self-report scales, raising questions of shared method variance, but data from the Berkeley Guidance Study at the Institute of Human Development of the University of California, Berkeley provided three different measurement methods. Interpersonal decentering is a narrative measure of social cognitive maturity akin to perspective-taking and role-taking. Items from the adolescent California Q Sort measured moral disengagement. Aggression ratings were derived from parents‟ reports of the children’s behavioral problems. Interpersonal decentering, moral disengagement, and aggression problems were not significantly correlated. However, moderation analysis showed that children who decentered less maturely, along with those who decentered maturely but were more morally disengaged, had the most severe aggression problems. Those who both decentered more maturely and were less morally disengaged had fewer aggression problems than others.

4. The Complexity of Rorschach Random Protocols: A Fundamental Issue with the Dimensional Approach to the Rorschach. Patrick Fontan and Anne Andronikof, pages 27-37.

Complexity, the Rorschach 1st factor, is one of the most important components of R-PAS interpretation (Meyer et al., 2011). However, this dimension is problematic on conceptual grounds and has been described as tautological (Meyer, 1992b). In that case, this notion would be unfalsifiable and would appear as unscientific(Popper,1959).In order to study this problem empirically, 98 protocols from the Belgian CS reference sample were submitted to the analysis described in R-PAS manual, replicating Complexity main findings. Protocols were then randomly recorded and submitted to the same analysis which yielded very similar results. In addition, the Complexity scores of real and randomly rescored protocols were highly correlated. We conclude that Complexity main findings do not depend on data, and its reliability in clinical practice is questionable. Means to deal with the dimensional approach to the Rorschach are discussed and alternatives are proposed.

5. Projective and Psychometric Indices of Suicide Ideation. Manju Rani and Umed Singh, pages 38-46.

Suicide ideation is an important precursor to later attempted and completed suicide (Brent, et al., 1993; GiliPlanas, et al., 2001; Lewinsohn, et.al, 1996; Reinherz, et. al, 1995). National surveys estimate that 11.4% of college students seriously considered attempting suicide in the past year, 7.9% made a suicide plan, and 1.7% attempted suicide (Barrios, et al., 2000). Suicide ideation has been associated with poor psychosocial functioning (Reinherz, et al, 2006), future depressive disorders (Fergusson, et al., 2005; Steinhausen & Metzke, 2004). The present study aimed at the relation between the Rorschach Comprehensive System‟s Suicide Constellation (S–CON; Exner, 1993; Exner & Wiley, 1977) and in a personality inventory (Personality Assessment Inventory: e.g., Suicidal ideation (SUI)and to cross-correlate these indices. The sample consisted of 350 young adult females matched by gender, age and educational level randomly drawn from Kurukshetra University. The age of participants ranged between 21-24 years with the mean age of 22 years. The obtained data were analyzed by Descriptive Statistics, spearman Correlations. Results indicate reliable convergence between the SUI (PAI) and Rorschach S-CON indices.

6. Personality Psychology Research: A Bibliometric Analysis of Investigatory Domain. Chris Piotrowski, pages 47-52.

The subfield Personality Psychology has been a major component of the core structure and knowledge base of the discipline of psychology (Yang & Chiu, 2009). Yet there is a dearth of bibliometric studies regarding the scope of investigatory emphasis reflected in extant research in this field, based on „topical‟ analysis of subject areas or domains across a pool of published literature. The current study addresses this gap by conducting a content analysis of research studies (i.e., articles) published in 2 prominent journals (i.e., Journal of Personality and Journal of Research in Personality) over the past 10 years. The major aim was to determine the scope and breadth of investigatory topical areas that are the major focus of study by researchers. Over this time frame (2010-2019), a total of 1367 articles from both these journals were published; of these, 1340 references were determined to be primary articles (27 comments, replies, erratum, editorials were excluded); thus, these 1340 articles served as the dataset for the current analysis. The author coded each article with a topical descriptor and maintained a scoring template based on frequency counts across subject categories. This analysis identified 45 topical categories which represented at least 1% of the total distribution. The top researched topics were models/theory, interpersonal relationships, Big 5/Five Factor, statistical approaches/methods analysis, personality traits, well-being, narcissism, motivation, emotion, person perception, morals/values, and stability of personality. Moreover, a myriad of subject areas received limited investigatory attention in Personality Psychology, most noteworthy: unconscious processes, defense mechanisms, social desirability, race/ethnicity, somatization, cognitive (IQ) factors, coping mechanisms, creativity, leisure, and meaning of life. Overall, this descriptive analysis confirms that the field of Personality Psychology is robust in scope and reflects varied research interests, yet the breadth of investigatory and/or perhaps editorial topical coverage could be expanded to reflect salient, highly-researched areas noted in the general clinical literature. Several differences in research emphasis between these prominent personality journals were noted.

7. Somatic Imagery Test as a tool for Assessment of Hostility and Aggression: Case Analyses Shubhika Singh and Anand Dubey, pages 53-57.

Somatic Imagery Test (SIT- online version) was administered on two separate clients who had come for therapeutic intervention. The test was done to assess their personality and unique experiences in life. The test also aided the process of rapport formation and helped build a good therapeutic alliance. The inkblot images were helpful in bringing out flared up aggression, relational conflicts and their individual forms of coping (one through spirituality and other through defenses). The responses were analyzed using content analysis and psychoanalytical interpretation.

8. PTSD and ‘Unfinished Business’: Can SIS images lead to Re-experiencing and Gestalt Closure? L.S.S. Manickam and Bankey L. Dubey, pages 58-62.

Animal attack on human beings is a rare phenomenon and those who are living in the forest buffer zone areas are at greater risk. In this paper we present the report of a 21-year-old unmarried lady who was exposed to the mutilated body of her father who was killed in a tiger attack and was diagnosed as having post-traumatic stress disorder. The relational dialogue with her using Somatic Inkblot Test (SIS-II) is described and an analysis of her responses are provided, which led her to being free from her embodied disturbances. Using SIS projective images may facilitate the „contact-full, dialogical-relational nature of gestalt work‟ and can help in processing the painful „unfinished business‟ caused by a traumatic event.

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