RECENT literature abounds with studies claiming both the validity and invalidity of the use of figure drawings in differential diagnosis. Extensive summaries may be found in Swenson,1 Zimmer,2 Sloan,3 and Heidgerd.4 Most studies tend to cast doubt on its merit, but a few studies do support the clinicians contention that empirically, "it works." Generally it has been found that sign approaches, are superior to clinical judgments based on the overall impression gained from the drawing.
The two approaches are exemplified by a study of Goldstein and Rawn.5 They investigated the "effects of experimentally induced feelings of aggression, interpolated between two figure drawings." They found that there was a significant increase in specific signs interpreted as representing aggression. However, the subjective judgments of aggression by judges did not significantly differentiate between the control and experimental groups. It
Lapkin B, Hillaby T(, Silverman L. Manifestations of the Schizophrenic Process in Figure Drawings of Adolescents. Arch Gen Psychiatry. 1968;19(4):465-468. doi:10.1001/archpsyc.1968.01740100081012