Semi Projective Tests

PsychologyPersonality Psychology

"Personality assessment is the psychological instrument that seeks to understand and measures individual personality differences. The common techniques used are psychometric tests, self-report measures, projective techniques, and behavior analyses". Personality is a significant characteristic that aids in a deeper understanding of others. It enables one to predict how a person will react and behave in a given situation or set of circumstances. Individuals have unique personalities because their experiences vary, as do their thoughts and reactions to those experiences. Because of their different personalities, some people may act one way in one situation or another. Projective technique assessments are known to be direct techniques because they rely on information directly obtained from individuals aware of their personality being assessed.

What are the Semi Projective Tests?

Semi-projective tests are usually more free-flowing, partly structured, quick, and easy to administer and can be used to assess a wide range of psychological constructs. This method asks individuals to respond to ambiguous stimuli to reveal their unconscious thoughts and feelings. However, these techniques possess some limitations, for instance, the potential for response bias and lack of standardization. Despite that, it provides a more in-depth view of a person's personality

Methods of Semi Projective Tests

Three main methods of this technique include−

  • Sentence completion test

  • Rosenzweig's Picture-Frustration Study

  • Draw a person

These techniques are based on the idea that information about an individual's unconscious can be derived by asking them to complete sentences or answer certain questions. This information is then interpreted using experts' psychoanalytic theory and other psychological principles. Semi-projective techniques are a very effective method of analysis of personality.

Sentence Completion Tests

It is one of the common types of semi- projective tests used widely by psychologists to investigate an individual's needs, inner conflicts, conscious associations to areas like self, relationship with father, mother, opposite sex, etc. These tests usually provide the subject with the beginnings of sentences, termed "stems," and ask the subject to complete the sentences by filling in the specific missing word or phrase in meaningful ways.

Images Coming soon

The Rosenweig Picture Frustration Study

It is a semi-projective study that requires the person being assessed to respond verbally to a semi-ambiguous picture scenario. It is a measure of frustration sensitivity that has been used since the 1960s to assess levels of anxiety and anger in children. This tool aims to see how the participant reacts and responds to frustration and frustrating situations and what implications these responses have on their behavior. Psychologists believe that by observing their reaction to each frustrating situation, one can infer how the individual behaves when faced with frustration. The test offers a series of 24 cartoon-like pictures of situations in which one person frustrates another or requests attention to a frustrating condition. The subject is asked to predict how the other (frustrated) person will respond. The responses given are then used in analysis based on the type and direction of their aggression. The type and direction of aggression are used to analyze responses. The value of this test is built on how the direction of aggression is conceptualized into the following three types.

Draw a Person's Test

Developed by Karen Machover in 1948, the draw a person test (DAP) aims to assess how an individual perceives the people around them, interaction with their family, and other psychological activities on an interpersonal and cognitive level. It was mainly used to evaluate children and adolescents for various dimensions. However, it is now being used for adults too. It asks the structured subject questions like drawing a person on a sheet of paper provided. Upon successfully completing the drawing, the person is instructed to sketch the image of an opposite-gender individual. Ultimately, the participant is instructed to compose a narrative about the character they drew in a short story or play. Experts and trained professionals then make the interpretations based on: gross details, graphics/detailed position of the neck, the size of the head, omission of any feature, clothing, etc.


In the past, psychologists have used a variety of approaches to study personality, including psychoanalysis and behaviorism. Personality evaluation is the measuring of one's attributes. Assessment results from gathering information to further psychological theory and research and increase the likelihood of making intelligent decisions in practical situations. The assessment technique for personality is based on the idea that the majority of the observed behavior differences from one person to the next stems from differences in the extent to which the individuals possess certain underlying personal qualities

The limited choice in personality inventories has led some researchers and clinicians to prefer projective techniques, in which a subject is shown ambiguous stimuli (like shapes or pictures) and asked to infer meaning from them. Such stimuli allow for a great deal of leeway in projecting one's desires and emotions into them and reacting in whatever direction might seem appropriate. Semi-projective tests are usually more free-flowing, partly structured, quick, and easy to administer and can be used to assess a wide range of psychological constructs. Three main semi-projective techniques are the sentence completion test, Rosenweig picture frustration, and drawing a person. They are useful in assessing a child's unconscious feelings, thoughts, and desires, and it helps psychologists and clinicians better understand a person and help predict their behavior and personality.

Updated on 13-Oct-2022 11:19:47