Dissertation: Thematic Apperception Test (Tat)

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[. . .] They had a local artist colorize the cards they had chosen. They projected the newly colorized card onto a wall and ran all or their subjects in a group environment. They tested for word count, emotional lone and Q-sort. Neither one of these studies administered the cards individually (following the manual instructions), tested the stories for depression, or check to see if their subjects were depressed.

Todd (1973) contacted a study to see if he could determine the effects of chromatic vs. achromatic cards on the TAT. He administered each card to each subject individually following the manual guidelines. He did not test his subjects for depression. Instead of having the cards colorized with different colors, he had the whole card in one color, either blue or red. He found that the red cards produced a higher word count than the blue cards.

No researcher has ever put the individual administration, colorization of cards, story content for depression, check each subject for depression, and administration of the cards in all possible sequences to avoid the sequence effect. The purpose of this quantitative research study is to address the variables mentioned above. The hypothesis of this study is that the achromatic cards are more likely to produce depressive narratives and episodes of depression than are the colored ones.

Methodology of the study

Subjects - One hundred and twenty students were selected randomly from the Developmental Psychology classes at Armstrong State College, Savannah, Georgia. Participants were screened to ensure that they have not previously taken the Thematic Apperception Test (TAT).

Materials - The Adult Form of the Beck's Depression Inventory (BDI) was administered to each subject to screen for depression. Two TAT cards were chosen for this experiment - #4 and #5. Both cards were chosen specifically because they could be used on any participant regardless of age or sex. Two copies of each card were made on a copy machine, colorized with crayolas, the reproduced on a color copier. Each packet contained one card in color and one in black and white.

Procedures - As stated previously, the cards included in the packet were chosen because they could be administered to all participants. After an extensive review of the literature noting which cards other researchers used, the decision was made to use card # 4 because of its overall popularity and to use card # 5 because of its unpopularity among researchers.

Each test subject received an appointment in order to participate in this present study. The subjects were randomly given one of four TAT stimuli packets. Packet One consisted of TAT card # 4 (in color) then TAT card # 5 (in black and white). Packet Two was TAT card # 4 in black and white and with TAT card # 5 in color. Packet Three was TAT card # 5 in color followed by TAT card # 4 in black and white. Finally, the fourth packet was TAT card # 5 in black and white and TAT card # 4 in color. The packets were distributed in this manner in an attempt to find out if an effect related to the order in which the subjects received their pictures was existent.

After receiving their packets, each subject was asked to write a story about the first picture in their packet. Group instructions included an admonition to take their time and to write a full, detailed story of what they believed was depicted in the picture. When each subject finished writing, they were instructed to remove the second picture from the packet and follow the same directions. After they had taken the second picture from the envelop, they were not allowed to look at the first picture again. They were instructed again to examine the second picture, take their time and write in detail what was happening in the picture they had. When each subject was finished, he/she was given the BDI (In philosophy, the most standard model of folk psychology is belief-desire-intention, (BDI) psychology, on the assumption that how it is that, as lay people, we understand other people, is in terms of their beliefs intentions and their desires). Each subject was then debriefed individually.

The stories were scored by three upper level psychology majors from Armstrong State College. These assistants had been trained by one of the clinical psychology professors in how to determine if the story is a depressed one. Each scorer received a copy of each story and was asked to assign it the numeral 1 if it is obviously depressed, and a zero if it is not depressed. The scorers worked independently of each other and had no knowledge of what cards were used or what order they were presented in.

The BDI was scored according to the BDI scoring manual. Only non-depressed participants were used in the study. A Pearson-R test was performed on the data to determine if there was a correlation of depressed stories in regard to the chromatic and achromatic cards.

Operational Definitions of Variables anecdotal notes - An anecdotal record is "a written record kept in a positive tone of a child's progress based on milestones particular to that child's social, emotional, physical, aesthetic, and cognitive development," notes the American Association of School Administrators (1992, p. 21). The teacher observes and then records a child's actions and work throughout the day while the activities are occurring. The recording is informal and typically is based on notes or a checklist with space for writing comments. It is done only when appropriate and is not forced; in fact, there may be days between entries. The anecdotal record is positive in tone. It emphasizes "what a child can do and his or her achievements, as opposed to what he or she cannot do," explains the American Association of School Administrators (1992, p. 2). It is useful for reporting a child's progress and achievements during parent-teacher conferences.

Achromatic - a. free from color (Information Please Dictionary Online)

Beck Depression Inventory - (Beck, 1967) measures the level of depression a person in experiencing. It is measured based on the following: (1) mood, (2) pessimism, (3) sense of failure, (4) lack of satisfaction, (5) feelings of guilt, (6) sense of punishment, (7) self-dislike, (8) self-accusation, (9) suicidal wishes, (10) crying, (11) irritability, (12) social withdrawal, (13) indecisiveness, (14) distortion of body image, (15) work inhibition, (16) sleep disturbance, (17) fatigue, (18) loss of appetite, (19) weight loss, (20) somatic preoccupation, and (21) loss of libido.

Construct validity - operationalizations in your study to the theoretical constructs on which those operationalizations were based. I find that it helps me to divide the issues into two broad territories that I call the "land of theory" and the "land of observation." The land of theory is what goes on inside your mind, and your attempt to explain or articulate this to others. It is all of the ideas, theories, hunches and hypotheses that you have about the world. In the land of theory you will find your idea of the program or treatment as it should be. You will find the idea or construct of the outcomes or measures that you believe you are trying to affect. The land of observation consists of what you see happening in the world around you and the public manifestations of that world. In the land of observation you will find your actual program or treatment, and your actual measures or observational procedures. Presumably, you have constructed the land of observation based on your theories. You developed the program to reflect the kind of program you had in mind. You created the measures to get at what you wanted to get at.

A definitive study - Authoritative and complete, Precisely defined or explicit. (The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition

Copyright © 2000 by Houghton Mifflin Company).

Depression - The act of depressing. The condition of being depressed. In Psychology. A psychiatric disorder characterized by an inability to concentrate, insomnia, loss of appetite, anhedonia, feelings of extreme sadness, guilt, helplessness and hopelessness, and thoughts of death. Also called clinical depression.

The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition Copyright © 2000 by Houghton Mifflin Company.Published by Houghton Mifflin Company. All rights reserved..

A false-positives - Medicine. Indicating the presence of a particular disease, condition, or organism: a positive test for pregnancy.

A internal validity - An experiment is internally valid to the extent that it shows a cause-effect relationship between the independent and dependent variables.

Methodology A body of practices, procedures, and rules used by those who work in a discipline or engage in an inquiry; a set of working methods: the methodology of genetic studies; a poll marred by faulty methodology. The study or theoretical analysis of such working methods

The American Heritage® Dictionary of… [END OF PREVIEW]

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