Analysis of the personality of psychopaths by means of their drawings

Jul 14, 2009

The ‘Analysis of the structure of language and dynamic of personality' research group of the University of Granada, Spain, 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 says. Each element of the picture has a meaning and it will give information about conscious and unconscious aspects of the analysed person.

With Dr. José María Cid leading the project, have developed a methodology that systematically categorizes all elements that appear in the drawing. This system makes the evaluation and interpretation phase easier when making the personality profile of subject by means a technical card. Also, it is possible to foresee a diagnosis whose therapeutical action guidelines will be indicated for that person specifically. In this way, recently, it was presented a novel study on a test of lecto-writing and verbal understanding and the drawing of a tree in 7-14 children years, in which one shows the parallelism of the infantile evolutionary development and the disgraphic problems of the children through their writing and the graphical expression.

This study is the first arranged system of variables supported by a psychological theory easy to evaluate and interpret. That is why it can be used by professionals as well as all those who whish to know a little bit more about themselves. Recently, Dr. Cid has communicated a quantitative and qualitative investigation of the "Test of Pair", about the importance of the surroundings, concretly in the city of Granada Enviroment.

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 test. There is a similitude between the morphology of the drawings and the psychological system of the person in all these tests.

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 ill-treated women, children violence and in the ‘Aula de Mayores' (evening classes) of the University of Granada. In this last case, the evidence shown that students were opened 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. Actually, Dr. Cid through his continuous travellings, has been able to gather an ample sample of drawings of the of the Tree to students of Degree, Pos-degree and Master, and of included/understood ages of 17-24 years, and others, pertaining to different Universities in Italy, Belgium, France and, lately, Greece,... and Spain, which in the future allows to design and to construct an investigation of transculturales characteristics.

Source: Andalucía Innova

Explore further: Boys will be boys? Yes, neuroscience now shows

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