Analyzing Rorschach: Global Answers – they are not all the same

How I mentioned before the apprehension mode is key, essentially fundamental to a better interpretation of a Rorschach test. In this post, we’re gonna talk about the global answers, which means, when the patient look at the ink spots as a single object or image.

Simple Global Answers

The patient does not elaborate much, which normally shows low investment in the test, however, provides us an easy way to read it. The answers are almost immediate and without any cognitive effort, you’ll find the test to be full of banal answers.

This subject is usually well adapted, with good cognitive functioning and a stable identity, based in and inside reality.

Vague Global Answers

Vague global answers can show an unsound approach of the world around the subject, which tells us that the subject doesn’t have his own identity well defined, especially if the answers are made with formal determinant.

However, most of the times, vague answers are used as a defensive process from our subject, who means to avoid the test itself, perceiving it as dangerous or a source of anxiety. It’s important that the therapist assures the patient that they’re in a secure environment.

Impressionists Global Answers

Based on the sensory determinant, these are answers that focused on the color of the inkblots, leading us to affections and emotions the patient experiences. The patient shows himself, most susceptible, intensely sensitive expressing his emotions.

As the former ones, this might be used as a defense mechanism to avoid particular themes or anguishes.

Combined or Elaborated Global Answers

In this type of answers, you can see an effort to combine different parts of the inkblot, there is more investment from the subject and, consequently, more projection. It shows us the existence of very personal psychic space and affectivity and a rich ability to think about them.

However, it’s very important to pay attention to the perception the subject shows. A good perception might tell us that we are in presence of a very creative person, yet, an incorrect perception might tell us that our patient could be unadjusted and have a somewhat severe difficulty in the mental organization.


Interpreting this or any other kind of answers should be done very carefully. The same type can means different things, according to the content and the person we have in front of us, so I’m just giving you global guidelines of what to look for, in order to help you to organize yourself.

As an internal process, global answers means that our patient is trying to look at the whole board and give an answer that might involve everything he’s seeing, a full or global meaning. This might show us, according to what he says, a huge capacity of elaboration (when you get very elaborated answers) or a lack of curiosity, and eventual disinvestment in the test when the subject does not explore the ink blot.

About his own image of the self, again, can also mean two different things. It can mean that your subject recognizes his own integrity and the surrounding objects, or, otherwise, that he is just defending himself from what he could actually see there, facing the test as a dangerous intrusion. Usually, this kind of patient uses the global answers to avoid losing control over the whole ordeal and the test. They provide the easiest way of controlling the whole testing situation.


One thought on “Analyzing Rorschach: Global Answers – they are not all the same

  1. Pingback: Analyzing Rorschach: what to look for? | Psychology in our World

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