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Figure Drawing Test. Nature & History of FD Methods. FIGURE DRAWING METHODS. Figure drawing methods are performance-based measures in which persons being examined draw pictures of people or objects. - PowerPoint PPT Presentation


  • Figure Drawing TestNature & History of FD Methods

  • FIGURE DRAWING METHODSFigure drawing methods are performance-based measures in which persons being examined draw pictures of people or objects. The use of figure drawings in personality assessment is based on the assumption that how people approach this task and the way they draw the figures reflect some of their basic dispositions and concerns and their attitudes toward themselves and other people. This assumption derives from the widely acknowledged extent to which the works of creative artists tend to mirror their moods and personal preoccupations.

  • Frequently used assessment

    TestRankHTP4th after MMPI, RIM, TATDAP 7th KFD14th (Camara, Nathan, & Puente, 2000; Hogan, 2005)

  • Effectiveness with young people

    TestRankDAP 5th HTP6thKFD9th (Archer & Newsom, 2000; Cashel, 2002)

  • Effectiveness in school settings

    TestRankDAP Most frequently usedHTPMost frequently usedKFDMost frequently used(Hogan, 2005)

  • The structural data in figure drawings consist of objective features of what people draw.

    The core structural features of drawings include their line quality (heavy or light, continuous or broken), the size of the figures (large or small), the placement of figures on the page (middle, top, bottom, side), and any emphasis on or omission of basic parts (e.g., person with disproportionately small head or big ears, person with no hands or feet, house with a tiny door, tree with no branches, family with no father).

  • Thematic imagery emerges in figure drawing assessment when people are asked to talk about what they have drawn.

    The behavioral data in figure drawing tests consist of how people approach their task and how they interact with the examiner.

    Behavior and commentary during test are likely to mirror aspects of individuals problem-solving style and their test-taking and interpersonal attitudes.

  • Historically, no one knows when it was first suggested that what people choose to draw and how they draw it might shed light on features of their personality

    The formal application of figure drawings in psychological assessment began with Florence Goodenough under the mentorship of Lewis Terman (publishing the Stanford-Binet Intelligence Scale, 1916)

  • Goodenough became interested in supplementing the Stanford-Binet with a nonverbal measure of intellectual maturity in young people

    She concluded that the amount of accurate detail they include in their drawing of a human figure can provide such a measure

    Goodenoughs pursuit of this belief led her to develop the Draw-A-Man test, which was published in 1926

  • Harris (1963) later revised the Draw-A-Man by expanding Goodenoughs scoring system and enlarging the standardization sample for the test, and he suggested that children should be asked to draw not only a man, but also a woman and a picture of themselves.

  • Shortly after the Draw-A-Man test came into use, psychologists began considering the possibility that childrens figure drawings could reveal differences among them in their personality characteristics as well as their intellectual maturity.

    It was not until 1949, however, that Karen Machover, then a senior psychologist at Kings County Psychiatric Hospital in New York, published the first formal method for assessing personality with a figure drawing task that she called the Draw-A-Person test

  • Machover recommended using the DAP with persons of all ages, not just children, and obtaining drawings of both male and female figures.

    (Machover, 1951), she elaborated the notion that structural features of the human figures people draw are likely to reflect their underlying attitudes and concerns and many of their personality traits.

  • Exp: the drawing of small figures might indicate low self-esteem or timidity, whereas the drawing of large figures could be a sign of self-confidence or grandiosity.

    The placement of figures high on the page might reflect high levels of aspiration and achievement striving, she hypothesized, whereas placement low on the page could identify insecurity and feelings of inadequacy.

  • Machover also formulated numerous hypotheses concerning the specific meaning of various features of how the head, eyes, nose, ears, hair, mouth, neck, and other body parts are drawn and of how the figures are dressed.

    Also include an inquiry procedure in which examinees are asked to make up a story about this person as if he were a character in a play or novel (Machover, 1951, p. 345).

  • The questions concern such matters as the age, education, occupation, and ambitions of the figures; how the figures feel about themselves, their family, and their friends; and what attitudes the figures have toward school, sex, and marriage.

  • Projective uses (Klepsch & Logie, 1982)As a measure of personality: derive information about the uniqueness of the drawer & he sees himselfAs a measure of self in relation to others: when children drew themselves in particular group, their project their view of themselves in relation to the others in the groupAs a measure of group values: exp different cultural and racial groups in drawingAs a measure of attitude: having children draw specific people, reveal their feeling about these particular (professional) people, exp doctor, nurses, teachers

  • Nonprojective usesCan be used to measure a childs developmental or intellectual maturityIn the child study (1900-1915), 2 important findings : the order of development in the drawings of children is constant; and children of lower ability generally make inferior drawingsUsing Goodenough-Harris DAM test, various researchers have found that as children increase in age, so does the details in their drawings

  • Scoring system for estimating IQ:Buck (1948) HTPKoppitz (1968) HFDDunleavy, Hanson, & Szasz (1981) found Koppitzs scoring system useful for identifying kindergarten children who were not ready for schoolHarris views the HFD as a measure of intellectual or conceptual maturity; ability to perceive/ discriminate similarities & differences, to abstract/ classify objects according to similarities & differences, & generalize/ assign a discriminates object to a correct class