Now try a full set of responses from a '60s-vintage University of Michigan undergraduate. What are your impressions of her personality? Would you like to share these with the newsgroup?
Picture 1 "Well, what first struck me was that this poor little boy is really frustrated because he probably has to practice this violin or something, and he dislikes it. And he's got this annoyed look on his face like oh, not again. another good session with the violin. He'll probably pick it up a and fiddle around with it. Probably it reminds me of how I hate to practice things like that too."
Picture 2 "All I see is this cute little scene of a bunch of people. There's this big beautiful man working in the field and some little girl running off to school or someplace; I imagine that's what those books are supposed to be for. And I don't like her looks especially. and I don't see any association between them, I mean the two of them whatsoever. And this lady by the tree--I don't know. she's like in her own world too. I can't see any story concerning them." It looks like this lady by the tree is contented. It looks like she's pregnant or something. She's got sort of this faraway contented look. I don't know how she related to the girl or the man. I guess they're all engrossed in what they're doing. It just impresses me as being this little scene--common little people going about their common little tasks. Just catching them the way the are and I don't relate them really."
Picture 3 (long pause) "It looks sort of like this girl has had a bad experience in the room. I really don't know what that would be but she's staggering out of there in either total grief...or like the way she's bowing her head over and holding it - it could be that she's ashamed of something." (When I probed for more on this one, she said that she was thinking of things and then changing her mind because she was afraid of how it would be analyzed. On further questioning she went back to saying that she just wasn't feeling very imaginative and didn't see anything else)
Picture 4 "Well it looks like this little man is going to be rushing off or something. There's this funny look in his eye, like he has some purpose and he's going to rush away.. It's like this lady is sort of holding him back. Look on his face isn't saying too much. It's probably to say goody. The looks on his face is sort of like -I'm gonna get you- Maybe he's after somebody, like someone has just done something right now. It seems like this, where the woman tries to hold him back. But her look doesn't correspond with this. It's sort of blasé, like 'See you later.' I suppose if this is his purpose he'll run off. Cause he's rather manly. He won't stand for a lot of foolishness that doesn't appeal to him., He'll take care of it his way. Maybe somebody has annoyed him or something has triggered him off." (I asked about the relationship between the man and the woman, and we went off into another discussion about what stories she should be telling me.)
Picture 5 "I thought of another good one for this one. I don't think I'm going to tell you."
Picture 6 "I guess this young lady is just sort of startled by this man, but I don't know why she should be, because he's smoking a pipe and it sort of looks like he's wearing evening clothes so it couldn't be a public place. I think she probably knows him. But I don't know who he is to her. Whether she's annoyed by him startling her or whether this is some relative or acquaintance I don't know. I don't see the connection between them. She strikes me as being sort of a prudish girl. She's sort of annoyed by this big ugly man all of a sudden startling her."
Picture 7 "Could I tell you about this one later, too." (on picture 5 we had agreed that she would try to remember her stories in case she felt like trusting me with them later.)
Picture 8 "I like this one. It looks like this lady has some dreamy look on her face. She's thinking of good things. Maybe she's in love. Maybe she's thinking about some little man of hers, and she's in her own little world. And she'll come to later and be in the same ugly rut as she was before but this is a pleasant dream. Just getting away from it all for a minute." (When I asked her whether the dream would come true, she told me that she had figured out how I was going to interpret this one. If she told me the dream would come true that would mean she was idealistic about love. She left unspecified what I would think if she said it would not come true, and added that she did not know how it was going to come out in the picture. She then asked me what I thought. I gave up trying to administer the TAT at this point; and continued as described under Interview Three.)
The rest of the cards were given later, probably after the fourth or fifth interview, in a separate session.
9GF "It looks like a tropical tree. A beach scene. But the clothes are wrong. She's running away from something. The other one is a maid. The maid is spying on her. She's running away from a rendezvous with a man. She looks angry, because it didn't go well. Angry at self. She thought she'd have a good time and the man didn't see it that way. Maybe the maid has an interest in the man also." (I asked whether it was a rendezvous for sex. "Yes. The girl will probably try to elicit other rendezvous' in the future. She seems to be that type. She seems rather suggestive and will try it again.")
10 "An elderly couple. They have a gentle, touching type of love. After a hard day, or they're facing a tough problem, it's like he's saying - Martha, everything will be all right. He's comforting her. she looks tired; he doesn't have much expression."
11 "A cave scene. They go wandering around in a cave. Dragon or animal in cave. I don't like this because of dragon. Fairy tale stuff. Giant bee on ledge. I could imaging something nice about it if dragon and bee weren't there. Some kind of adventure. There's a bridge and a man running over it. I like the atmosphere. Man running from ugly creature on ledge. I'd prefer Tom Sawyer and girl friend. He was so nice to her, protective."
12F "Right away I think the older lady is a granny, and a young one. In background the old one is always whispering in the other's ear, not letting the girl make it on her own. I don't like the granny. she's a gossip; has shifty eyes. The younger lady is undecided about what older lady is advising, telling her. She doesn't know whether to believe what mother is saying. The girl is sort of the frumpy old maid type. They live together forever and think men are evil, but they'd kill to have a good time."
13F "Oh, no! Poor little man. I can't figure it out. She's just lying there placid. They've just had a hot time. I don't know if he's mad at self--maybe he respected her. Or maybe he's inadequate in the situation. They're not husband and wife. It's almost like she's dead.....attacked her. Husband or boyfriend found her this way and turns away in grief. he's done it himself, rather. There are two possible stories here, and I can't decide which one....He had violent desire and attacked her and killed her too, now regrets it and is sorry for what he's done. But there doesn't seem to have been any struggle here. It's a pretty poor artist."
14 "Some nice little man. A younger man. He's sort of in an apartment, a creepy room, and is looking out on the moonlit city world. It's a bread from the ugly reality of his life -- a lot of hard work and not too exciting. He's plodding along, and will go on plodding along. The good things are out there in the light. The black is his life, and he's looking out at the good part. This is what they want us to say about this picture."
15 "I don't like looks of man or cemetery. It's not a nice cemetery. His hands are folded as though he's praying, but sinister appearance doesn't go along with that. Can't see anything else. Lots of gloom. No nice association with death."
16 "I want to see a cheery scene here, to make up for that ugly one. Some nice Swiss meadow, something pleasant. Atmosphere Heidi lived in. Just a setting, no people. Cows grazing. Summer going into Fall. Serene little scene."
17GF "These are such funny things. I see a lot of little men working off canal. Someone overseeing here. Little lady on bridge. Sun doesn't touch scene and is off in the distance. Maybe she's thinking of jumping in. She isn't conscious of sun, wants to stare into gloom below. This isn't the type of place to relax, and she's not just going for a walk. It's completely dark where she is. She doesn't care about people -- is in her own little world and will jump if she wants to. Why jump? -- because she's unhappy. I can't decide if she will or not. If she did that would be okay because men would rescue her. This is too obvious. If she really wanted to end it all she'd not do it here."
18GF "How strange. This lady is supporting other person. I don't know if it's a female, male or kid. I think it's a woman. A sister. Same age as other woman. This lady had sad look on her face, is in sympathy with the one she's supporting. But she's clutching the other one in such a strange way. Maybe she's unconscious. I can't see future for this. Don't know what's wrong with the one being propped up. Look on face doesn't go with the rest of it. But funny way hand is clutching doesn't go with it. Stairway has nothing to do with it. "
19 "I see a snow scene. A lot of big drifts alongside cute little cottage. In city..... I don't think it's really there. It's what I want to see. A village. Deep winter. You see into windows. It's warm in there, nice fire, bright. It's a nice fantasy story for childhood. Objects in sky -- a kid would think good things for them. The cloud is an object with eyes. Isolated scene. No action before or after. What do you see?"
20 "This is a big city scene. Some park. Little pest -- not a light. Little man, not nice; a vagrant standing there. Not thinking of good things to do for evening. Just bumming around. I don't identify with him. I don't like him and if I saw him there I'd be scared of him."