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'Rorschach' Wikipedia Entry Angers Some Psychologists

Dr. James Heilman of Moose Jaw, Canada recently created a stir in the psychology and psychiatry fields when he posted to Wikipedia 10 inkblot images used in the Rorschach test. Relying on how an interviewee describes what they see in the blots, the blotchy images can supposedly reveal the workings of a human mind. The copyright on the images (published in 1921 by a Swiss psychiatrist of the same name) has expired, meaning the inkblots are in the public domain. Some threatened psychologists, though, believe that Heilman's actions may negate the secrecy and thus the effectiveness of the test, which has become a standard tool of psychological analysis.

According to the New York Times, the College of Physicians and Surgeons in Saskatchewan is now investigating Heilman because of complaints from two psychologists who claim that his actions represent "serious misconduct" and "disrespect." Heilman likened the investigation to "intimidation tactics," adding that the complaining parties are "trying to close the doors on scientific discourse."

A study published in Psychological Science in the Public Interest concluded that the Rorschach test is generally not all that reliable, saying that "clinical evaluations should be based on more dependable assessment techniques, such as structured psychiatric interviews." It seems, then, that the only doctors Heilman may be disrespecting are those who'd rather rely on the results of a possibly outdated and biased test. [From: The New York Times, Wikipedia, and PsychCentral]

Tags: ethics, information, medical, psychology, public domain, PublicDomain, rorschach, top, wikipedia

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