X-Rays of The Soul: Rorschach & The Projective Test
Exhibition at the Harvard Science Center
Until 30 June 2012
Beginning in 1921 with the Rorschach Inkblot Test and gaining momentum with the Thematic Apperception Test in 1935, a new breed of psychological probe aimed to reach previously inaccessible layers and levels of the unconscious self: the projective test.
Likened to X-rays of the inner life, these instruments promised to capture what no other tool could access – the secret self. The story of the triumphal rise as well as the periodic setbacks of the projective test movement is evidence of the heady confidence of the Twentieth Century human sciences to be able to extract and access the most human parts of human beings –scientifically.
From the genesis of the tests in passionate personal relationships to the recent Wikipedia furor over posting the Rorschach images, the exhibit seeks to capture this neglected history’s equally utopian and dystopian elements.
Special Exhibitions Gallery, Department of History of Science, Harvard Science Center 251
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