1 Department of Educational Sciences, Unit of Psychology, Genoa University, Genoa, Italy
2 Associazione Psicologia Clinica, Genoa, Italy
The diagnostic meaning of the Space response, a Rorschach variable, is far from established. Previous studies on Rorschach Space responses suggested that different figure-ground relationships, shown in the three subtypes of Space responses (Integration, Reversal, and Fusion), could indicate different psychological processes.
The aim of the current study was to investigate the construct validity of Space responses in a nonclinical sample by exploring the association of the three different types of Space responses with (a) the observer-rated motor, emotional, and cognitive components of aggression; and (b) the direction and emotional regulation of aggression in socially frustrating situations.
The Rorschach Inkblot Method and the Rosenzweig Picture-Frustration Study were administered to 151 volunteers from a nonclinical community sample. The Aggression Questionnaire was administered as an observer-rated version to the participants’ mothers. Correlation analyses were performed to investigate the associations between the three different Space responses, the scores reported on the Rosenzweig Picture-Frustration Study, and the observer-reported scores on the Aggression Questionnaire.
This study offers support for differentiating the three types of mutually exclusive Space responses. Space reversal responses were found to be indicative of a propensity to direct aggression outward in the context of frustrating interpersonal situations, whereas Space fusion responses positively correlated with a greater amount of anger feelings and hostile thoughts associated with a deficit in anger and emotional regulation that may contribute to impair reality testing. As with previous studies, no association between S integration responses and anger or aggression was observed.
Keywords: Rorschach, Space responses, Frustration, Anger, Hostility, Self-assertion.
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