Defense Date


Graduation Date

Spring 2010


Immediate Access

Submission Type


Degree Name



Clinical Psychology


McAnulty College and Graduate School of Liberal Arts

Committee Chair

Constance Fischer

Committee Member

Roger Brooke

Committee Member

Jessie Goicoechea


Active and passive, Co-researchers, Movement response, Qualitative Research, Reliability, Rorschach


This study explored the Rorschach Comprehensive System's active and passive (a and p) movement scores and presents revised scoring criteria that reflect both historical commentary and qualitative research. A review of a and p movements included a thorough and reflective reading of historical and contemporary literature on the three movement percepts (i.e., human, animal, and inanimate) and traced the development of the Rorschach active and passive movement superscripts. Active and passive movement responses were then explored through a qualitative research study. Participants took part in a complete Rorschach administration, then wrote vivid descriptions of their movement responses, and finally, engaged in dialogal research as co-researchers. They addressed their experiences of the active and passive aspects of their movement responses in order to identify the themes that seemed to best delineate these two aspects of movement perception. This dissertation then integrated the findings from the literature review with themes derived from the collaborative exploration with co-researchers. Proposed scoring criteria for a and p movement responses, reflecting both experiential and historical understandings, were then developed.

Finally, a second study that investigated inter-scorer reliability was conducted to determine if the proposed scoring criteria improve scoring reliability. Volunteer lay and experienced scorers scored responses in various forms (verbs, full responses, and detailed descriptions following inquiry) as active or passive after they were provided with instructions for scoring. The results of the reliability study and the feedback from participants offer substantive statistical evidence that the experientially and historically grounded proposed active and passive criteria are an improvement upon existing criteria and provide a clear and utilizable scoring structure for clinicians. These results are discussed in terms of how the new criteria are clearer than those for the current Rorschach Comprehensive System and present more conceptually valid interpretive statements for clinical use. This study holds promise for alternative qualitative research approaches to the Rorschach that are suitable for further developing and revising the instrument. Future directions for developing active and passive movement interpretation and their reliability measurement are also addressed.