Analyzing Rorschach: Major Details

When a patient talks about what he sees on the board they don’t always ‘use’ the whole entirety of the pattern to do it. Sometimes they just pick a significant part of it, focus in on it and start describing by what they interpret there. This is what we call major details and it can say a lot about your patient.

To be considered as a ‘major details’ answer, your patient has to pick a part of the board that is a frequent clipping in their population. Those details belong to the record of the factors implied in the cognitive functioning and its interpretation is based on the associated determinants (shape and color).

Perception of the shape

The way your patient perceives the shape he chooses is fundamental to the interpretation. It reveals his ability to control and adapt to reality without becoming disorganized. This kind of patient shows a strong ego, is an objective person and with some need for control over his life (in extreme cases, this might be a defense mechanism).

If your patient shows an inadequate perception (perceptive control of low quality), he might be unable to accomplish the defense mechanism he intended to. This might mean some adaptive problems, the affectivity overlaps everything else.


If you are facing a tremendous amount of ‘major details’ answers, this could mean that your patient is in a state of withdrawal from reality, sometimes showing a fragmented representation of himself. Sometimes, this is a necessary defense mechanism this person is using to help themselves stay within the confines of reality.

If your patient gives you a lot of ‘major details’ answers, but it’s not exaggerated, and sometimes he or she can actually give global answers as well, you’re probably in the presence of a person inside reality, that uses concrete, known objects to face their psychological emergencies, theirs being conflictual or affective.


One thought on “Analyzing Rorschach: Major Details

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

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