What if you were asked to describe images you saw in an inkblot?
There is a well-known scene in Woody Allen’s Take The Money And Run (1969) when Virgil Starkwell (Allen) takes a psychological test to join the Navy, but is thwarted by his lascivious unconscious. The psychological measure that proves to be Starkwell’s undoing—rejected, he turns to a life of crime—is the Rorschach inkblot test.*
The Rorschach test is a psychological test in which subjects’ perceptions of inkblots are recorded and then analyzed using psychological interpretation, complex algorithms, or both. Some psychologists use this test to examine a person’s personality characteristics and emotional functioning. It has been employed to detect underlying thought disorder, especially in cases where patients are reluctant to describe their thinking processes openly.**