So why fund something that was previously discredited? This is true: at one point in time the Rorschach was widely discredited. The story of Hermann Rorschach, his iconic test, the downfall, and the resurgence, was beautifully articulated by Damion Searls, who published the first Rorschach biography in 2017. Searls discusses Rorschach’s conception of the blots, the refinement of the blots due to printing costs, their 1921 publication, Rorschach’s 1922 death, and the separate administration and scoring camps that came into existence after his death. These separate schools of thought created havoc on the test because people were not administering the Rorschach in a uniform manner. This is almost like measuring your weight using different scales: close to accurate, but slight derivations that make it impossible to know if we see a change in our overall weight.

Exner recognized this incongruous administration and developed the Comprehensive System (CS) of administration in the 1970s. This began giving scholars and practitioners the same guidelines for administration and scoring. For decades Exner and scholars worked to remedy the aforementioned havoc and bring credibility, reliability, and validity back to the Rorschach. Progress was made. At the time of Exner’s death, his family opted to preserve his legacy which meant NO changes were allowed to the CS system, even if science demonstrated revision were necessary. This brought about the R-PAS team. A group of known Rorschach scholars who picked up the torch and continues to seek scientifically-based changes in the Rorschach administration, scoring (or coding), and interpretation. To differentiate between evidence-based and evidence-supported outcome variables, the RPAS team has created an output divided into what they call Page 1 and Page 2 variables: the evidence-based and evidence-supported variables; respectively. Page 1 variables have enough of a literature base to stand on their own merit, whereas Page 2 variables are still seeking enough saturation and evidence to be considered an interpretable variable – and are thus viewed as preliminary or supplemental information.

We believe that when extending RPAS norms, the comparative psychopathology continuum guidelines, ALL groups of people should be considered. As the world around us seeks to expand access and training of mental health providers, we do not want folks from Low- and Middle-Income Countries (LMIC) to have their mental health baseline potentially misconstrued due to norms that are rooted in High and Middle Income Countries (HMIC) that may have a different outlook or view than their counterparts.