Monthly Article Archives: December 2002

Different Mindsets, Different PerspectivesRobert Brooks, Ph.D.

Many years ago, within a span of a couple of weeks, I conducted psychological evaluations of two 10-year-old boys. Both boys were referred to me because of learning difficulties at school. As part of the assessment I used projective instruments such as the Rorschach (the inkblot test), thematic cards (children are asked to create stories to pictures), and the Sentence Completion (children are asked to complete a sentence). I am aware that some psychologists question the validity of these kinds of subjective personality tests. While recognizing the limitation of these tests, I have found that they can provide valuable information about the inner world of the child. I believe that a major goal of a psychological evaluation is to help us to understand the learning and emotional strengths and vulnerabilities of children, their self-image, their sense of competence, their worries, their perception of others, and their optimism or pessimism for the future. As we all know, children or adults looking at the same inkblot or for that matter the seemingly same event will “see” different things. What we see is based on many factors including our temperament, our personality, our values, and our life experiences. A marked difference in perceptions

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