Draw a Person Test
A projective test is one in which a test taker responds to or provides ambiguous, abstract, or unstructured stimuli, often in the form of pictures or drawings.
While other projective tests, such as the Rorschach Technique and Thematic Apperception Test, ask the test taker to interpret existing pictures, figure drawing tests require the test taker to create the pictures themselves. In most cases, figure drawing tests are given to children. This is because it is a simple, manageable task that children can relate to and enjoy.
Some figure drawing tests are primarily measures of cognitive abilities or cognitive development. In these tests, there is a consideration of how well a child draws and the content of a child's drawing. In some tests, the child's self-image is considered through the use of the drawings.
In other figure drawing tests, interpersonal relationships are assessed by having the child draw a family or some other situation in which more than one person is present. Some tests are used for the evaluation of child abuse. Other tests involve personality interpretation through drawings of objects, such as a tree or a house, as well as people.
Despite the flexibility in administration and interpretation of figure drawings, these tests require skilled and trained administrators familiar with both the theory behind the tests and the structure of the tests themselves. Interpretations should be made with caution and the limitations of projective tests should be considered.
It is generally a good idea to use projective tests as part of an overall test battery. There is little professional support for the use of figure drawing, so the examples that follow should be interpreted with caution.
- The picture of the house is supposed to conjure the child's feelings toward his or her family.
- The picture of the tree is supposed to elicit feelings of strength or weakness. The picture of the person, as with other figure drawing tests, elicits information regarding the child's self-concept.
Evaluation of Indirect Methods
The major criticism of indirect methods is their lack of objectivity. Such methods are unscientific and do not objectively measure attitudes in the same way as a Likert scale.
There is also the ethical problem of deception as often the person does not know that their attitude is actually being studied when using indirect methods.
The advantages of such indirect techniques of attitude measurement are that they are less likely to produce socially desirable responses, the person is unlikely to guess what is being measured and behavior should be natural and reliable.