Hermann Rorschach

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Hermann Rorschach
"I want to read people." (The ten Rorschach inkblots)

Hermann Rorschach (8 November 1884 - 2 April 1922) was a Swiss psychiatrist and psychoanalyst. His education in art helped to spur the development of a set of inkblots that were used experimentally to measure various unconscious parts of the subject's personality. His method has come to be referred to as the Rorschach inkblot test, iterations of which have continued to be used over the years to help identify personality, psychotic, and neurological disorders.


  • I want to read people....the most interesting thing in nature is the human soul, and the greatest thing a person can do is to heal these souls, sick souls.
    • Searls, p. 31
  • Hold tight to the conviction that a woman is a human being too, who can be independent....Also realize that equality must exist between men and women.
    • Searls, pp. 58-59
  • I had to get married to learn how to see the world properly.
    • Searls, p. 72
  • [Regarding looking at his inkblots:] Color is the enemy of form.
    • Searls, p. 135
  • [Said as he was dying:] In a way it is a beautiful thing, to leave in the middle of life, but it is bitter. I have done my part, now let other do theirs.
    • Searls, p. 163
  • He said to me [his wife]: "Tell me, what kind of person was I? You know, when you're living your life you don't think much about the soul, about your self. But when you're dying, that's what you want to know." I told him: "You were a noble, faithful, honest, gifted man."
    • Searls, p. 163

Psychodiagnostics: A Diagnostic Test Based on Perception (1921; translated 1942)[edit]

  • The subject is given one plate [inkblot] after the other and asked, "What might this be?"
    • p. 16
  • Almost all subjects regard the experiment as a test of imagination. This conception is so general that it becomes, practically, a condition of the experiment. Nevertheless, the interpretation of the figures actually has little to do with imagination, and it is unnecessary to consider imagination a prerequisite....The interpretation of the chance forms falls in the field of perception and apperception rather than imagination.
    • p 16


Searls, Damion (2017). The Inkblots: Hermann Rorschach and His Iconic Test & the Power of Seeing. Simon & Schuster.

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