Date of Award

6-1986

Degree Type

Dissertation

Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy

Major

Psychology

Major Professor

Leonard Handler

Committee Members

Anne Mc Intyre, Kenneth Newton, F. Stanley Lusby

Abstract

This study examined the Developmental Analysis of the Concept of the Object Scale, a measure of object representation based on the Rorschach human response. The general aim of the study was to investigate the scale’s power as a means of assessing two distinct aspects of object-representational functioning, namely, the internal capacity to relate to others and the cognitive-perceptual complexity and organization of images of self and others.

The Rorschach human responses of 29 subjects drawn from both outpatient clinical and nonclinical populations were scored according to the criteria specified by the Concept of the Object Scale. Independent assessments of the cognitive-perceptual complexity and organization of object representation were also based on Rorschach responses. Criterion ratings of internal capacity for relatedness were obtained by applying the Ryan Quality of Object Relations Scale to Object Relations Technique and Early Memories Test data.

It was found that the developmental level on inaccurately perceived Rorschach human images was predictive of quality of object representation in the sense of internal capacity to relate to others. Developmental level on accurately perceived human responses, by contrast, was not discriminative for this population. These findings, which suggest that the developmental level on inaccurate human responses is the more sensitive barometer of quality of object representation, were, however, interpreted cautiously inasmuch as there were certain problems with the independent measures of internal relatedness used in the study. In addition, the data indicated that an overall summary score derived from the scale did register the degree of cognitive-perceptual complexity and organization implicit in self-other imagery. It was tentatively concluded that, depending on the specific manner in which it is employed, the Concept of the Object Scale does illuminate both of the dimensions of object representation that were examined.

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