Introduction Th e Rorschach is a performance-based task or behavioral assessment measure 2 that assesses a broad range of personality, perceptual, and problem-solving characteristics, including thought organization, perceptual accuracy and conventionality, self-image and understanding of others, psychological resources, schemas, and dynamics. Th e task provides a standard set of inkblot stimuli and is administered and coded according to standardized guidelines. In many respects, the task is quite simple. It requires clients to identify what a series of richly constructed and artistically embellished inkblots look like in response to the query, “What might this be?” Despite its seeming simplicity, the solution to this task is quite complex, as each inkblot provides myriad response possibilities that vary across multiple stimulus dimensions. Solving the problem posed in the query thus invokes a series of perceptual problem-solving operations related to scanning the stimuli, selecting locations for emphasis, comparing potential inkblot images to mental representations of objects, fi ltering out responses judged less optimal, and articulating those selected for emphasis to the examiner. Th is process of explaining to another person how one looks at things against a backdrop of multiple competing possibilities provides the foundation for the Rorschach’s empirically demonstrated validity. Unlike interview-based measures or self-report inventories, the Rorschach does not require clients to describe what they are

like; rather, it requires them to provide an in vivo illustration of what they are like by repeatedly providing a sample of behavior in the responses generated to each card. Each response or solution to the task in this overall behavior sample is coded across a number of dimensions, and the codes are then summarized into scores by aggregating the codes across all responses. By relying on an actual sample of behavior collected under standardized conditions, the Rorschach is able to provide information about personality that may reside outside of the client’s immediate or conscious awareness. Accessing information obtained from observing a client’s personality in action can be a considerable and unique asset for clinicians engaged in the idiographic challenge of trying to understand a person in her or his full complexity.