July 15, 2009 The ‘Analysis of the structure of language and dynamic of personality' research group of the University of Granada has developed a method to analyse the personality of people with psychopathologic disorders by means of their drawings. It consists of a series of Graphic Projective Tests (TPG) where patients draw what a psychologist requests. Researchers believe that each element of the picture has a meaning and will give information about conscious and unconscious aspects of the analysed person.
With Dr. José María Cid leading the project, psychologists have developed a methodology that systematically categorizes all elements that appear in the drawing. This system makes evaluation and interpretation of the drawings easier.
A study of 7-14 year old children who were asked to draw a tree shows the parallelism of the infantile evolutionary development and the disgraphic problems of the children through their writing and their drawing.
This study may be the first arranged system of variables supported by a psychological theory that is easy to evaluate and interpret. That is why it can be used by professionals as well as all those who wish to know a little bit more about themselves.
Researchers have described this methodology in a book titled "Personalidad y conflictos en el dibujo" (Personality and Conflicts on Drawings), which includes the person test, the person under the rain test and the couple test. This series of graphic projective techniques can be added to the traditional tree drawing test.
The tests include psychopathological indicators related to the making of the drawing, as well as features that allude to emotional, inhibition or aggressiveness-related disorders. Also they provide parameters for measuring social maladjustment, criminal trend, and hysteric and obsessive neurosis. In addition to this, elements of depression, psychotic alterations and melancholy features are evaluated.
On top of applying graphic projective techniques to legal psychology, pedagogy and psychopedagogy, researchers have used this methodology in forensic works in medicine, as well as in work with abused women, children who had been subjected to violence and in evening classes of the University of Granada. In this last case, the evidence shown that students were open to changes and they faced their past, present and future in a progressive manner. Also, tests have been applied in psychological care units of children centres, with autistic children.
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