Article Summary: Rorschach Measures of Cognition
A group of researchers, Raeanne C. Moore, Donald J. Viglione, Irwin S. Rosenfarb, Thomas L. Patterson, & Brent T. Mausbach, conducted a study on measures of cognition associated with functional disability of the schizophrenics. American Psychological Association published in their journal “Psychological Assessment, (Vol. 25, No. 1, 253–263)” in the year 2013, this study (Rorschach Measures of Cognition Relate to Everyday and Social Functioning in Schizophrenia) with conceptual framework, the rationale, the research, the results and conclusions. The study is a scholarly work with plausible, useful and applicable findings that can help the practitioners and researchers in the management of Schizophrenics.
In spite of the progress in therapeutics, especially the pharmacological treatment of schizophrenia, the patient’s everyday and social functioning do not seem to improve his / her independent and productive living. The study cites that the pharmacotherapy has helped the patients with schizophrenia and the schizoaffective disorders in controlling the psychotic symptoms to a large extent (Slade and Salkever, 2001). Along with psychiatric symptoms, factors such as neurocognitive impairment play a role in the retarded occupational lifestyles of the patients. Researchers argue that the traditional explanation of the causes of functional disability through the variable of neurocognition alone is insufficient; only 5% of the variation in the disability can be attributed to it. They propose three meaningful factors that contribute to the functional disability of the schizophrenic patients i.e. cognitions of thought disorder, psychological complexity and interpersonal representation. The study then progresses to substantiate these assumptions.
The researchers made efforts to test the connections between thought disorder, psychological complexity, and interpersonal representations with the degree of disability in daily and social functioning among schizophrenics. They made four hypotheses..
- Does thought disorder is negatively linked to everyday and social functional ability? i.e. will the presence of thought disorder reduce the levels of everyday function?
- Does the presence of psychological complexity enhance the everyday and social functional ability? Do schizophrenics with higher complexity will be better in everyday functioning?
- Do having healthy interpersonal representations; positively affect the social skills functionality?
- Do the patients having thought disorder in combination with low psychological complexity will display low in functional ability?
Method used in the study
The quantitative methods have the following characteristics. The researches that use surveys, structured interviews, frequency observations, checklists and reviews of records or documents for the purpose of numeric information, is quantitative. When the study uses highly reliable and valid tools to measure the variables, deductive processes, and statistical analysis it is a quantitative study. The qualitative methods include focus groups, depth interviews, content analysis of documents, etc. When the study uses inductive process to formulate theories, depends on the experience of the researcher, does not use statistical analysis and is less generalizable, research is qualitative oriented.
The researchers have utilized the following tools to test their hypothesis. For assessing the everyday functioning and recording the symptoms (dependent variables), researchers used UPSA, SSPA, RBANS, PANSS, PANSS Positive, PANSS Negative, and CDSS. The independent variables chosen for the study are Rorschach variables, EII–2, Complexity, HRV, Human Content, and MAP/MAHP. Though Rorschach is a qualitative tool, over the years various quantitative techniques are built around this tool. The study cites the following to highlight the value of Rorschach, beyond a projective technique, “The Rorschach is a behavioral problem-solving task in which respondents must use reasoning and problem-solving skills to make sense of perceptual regularities and irregularities found in the blots. It also requires the clear communication of how one sees the blot to another person. In creating a response to the ambiguous complex and contradictory stimuli, respondents need to utilize their internal cognitions and underlying schema, which makes it a good method of assessing thought disorder, psychological complexity when problem solving, and interpersonal understanding of human representations (Perry, Viglione, & Braff, 1992).” The study seems to be loaded with quantitative techniques for three reasons. First of all, the study uses the tools that are well established in terms of reliability and validity. Second it uses statistical analyses such as Pearson correlation, regression analysis and bivariate correlations. Third the results seem to be generalizable because of the rigor followed by the researchers.
The study touches upon the branches of psychology such as abnormal psychology, clinical psychology, psychological testing, cognitive psychology and social psychology. It utilizes the principles of behavioral and cognitive schools and attempts to test the hypothesis in scientific rigor. The researchers have been authentic in choosing the right samples, in the right quantity, choosing the right tools and discussing the results in scientific spirit.
Perry, W., Viglione, D., Jr., & Braff, D. (1992). The Ego Impairment Index and schizophrenia: A validation study. Journal of Personality Assessment, 59(1), 165–175.
Slade, E., & Salkever, D. (2001). Symptom effects on employment in a structural model of mental illness and treatment: Analysis of patients with schizophrenia. Journal of Mental Health Policy and Economics, 4(1), 25–34.
Reichenberg, A. (2010). The assessment of neuropsychological functioning in schizophrenia. Dialogues of Clinical Neuroscience, 12(3), 383–392.
Tabachnick, B. G., & Fidell, L. S. (2001). Using multivariate statistics (4th ed.). Needham Heights, MA: Allyn & Bacon.