Monday, September 19, 2011

Personality through storytelling

If you’ve ever taken a creative writing class, or been fresh out of story ideas, there was probably a time you turned to a picture for inspiration. While it’s common knowledge this often is a helpful creative writing technique, who knew it was also a psychological study as well? 

The Thematic Apperception Test is a projective psychological test where a subject is shown a picture of an individual, asked to describe how the character is feeling and make up a story based on it, that must include a beginning, middle, and end. It’s used for the psychologist to get to know the individual better, as it’s said to reveal personality and outlook on life.

We were shown a few samples in one of my psychology classes, the other day. The professor would randomly call on certain students to try the exercise, and would then show how their answered differed from those that may come from more psychologically disturbed individuals, whose answers would be much darker or "less realistic".

Humm… I wonder where a creative writer would fall in this? Especially someone who, like me, loves to add a bit of fantasy or surrealism to everything. Take this picture for example: 

What is the boy doing? Why, obviously he’s trying to move the violin with his mind. And does he succeed? Well, it wouldn’t be as interesting of a story if he didn’t…

It's probably a good thing my professor didn't call on me. I think this test may be a bit biased against creative writers :P

1 comment:

  1. Either he's trying to move the violin with his mind...or shatter it to bits!