The Rorschach and Violent Crime: A Literature Review and Case Illustration

Corine De Ruiter*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journal(Systematic) Review article peer-review

26 Downloads (Pure)


Over the years, a significant number of Rorschach studies have been conducted with forensic adult and adolescent samples, partly motivated by the use of the test in forensic psychological evaluations. Could the Rorschach, as a performance-based personality assessment tool, provide unique information that is not as vulnerable to distortion on the part of the examinee as self-report measures are? This article provides a review of Rorschach studies on relevant Rorschach variables, including those with different forensic samples. Empirical findings are mixed; there is not a one-on-one relationship between certain Rorschach variables and forensically relevant traits, such as psychopathy or hostility. This does not mean the Rorschach cannot provide useful information in answering psychological questions before the court. A case illustration of a male college student, who committed a (first) violent offense, illustrates the unique contribution of the Rorschach for understanding the psychological dynamics behind a violent act that was seemingly out of character.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)175-195
Number of pages21
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - Sept 2021


  • aggression coding
  • case study
  • forensic assessment
  • incremental validity
  • Rorschach inkblot method

Cite this