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March 1970

The Predictive Validity of Projective Measures.

Arch Gen Psychiatry. 1970;22(3):287. doi:10.1001/archpsyc.1970.01740270095014

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This monograph is a survey of research published between 1950 and 1965 that deals with the validity, reliability, and predictive power of the major and minor projective techniques. In 134 pages of text the authors present brief descriptions and critiques of some 200 hypothesis-testing studies with the aim of finding a "scientific" basis for clinical use of projective tests. Their approach is strictly "sign"-oriented and their findings are largely negative.

It is fashionable today to attack projective techniques for failing to provide cookbook recipes for dealing with the complexities of mind and behavior. Formal signs are useful directional signals analogous to laboratory analyses of body products and tissues. But the ultimate responsibility for evaluating results and predicting further developments rests with the clinician who must integrate objective findings with a variety of other factors. Signs, ie, scores, ratios, determinants, serve as checks

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