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Course: MCAT > Unit 4

Lesson 1: Foundations of behavior passages

Antisocial personality disorder and inkblot tests


Antisocial personality disorder is characterized by ego-centric behavior that fails to take into account the feelings or rights of others, and is typically associated with unethical, manipulative, and impulsive actions. Individuals with antisocial personality disorder are frequently hostile and aggressive towards others, and fail to exhibit any remorse or concern after those actions hurt another person. Throughout history, sadists and serial murderers have been linked with antisocial personality disorder, but not everyone who has it exhibits overt violent behavior. Instead, they typically act in ways that are more quietly damaging – they may be bullies at work, blame others for their failures, or fail to follow through on agreements.
A psychologist is interested in learning more about the personality characteristics of individuals with antisocial personality disorder. She recruits 50 adults to her study (25 with the disorder; 25 with no history of a personality disorder), and administers a personality test to each participant. The assessment is an inkblot test; participants are shown two inkblots and are asked to report what they see in the picture. The psychologist believes that individuals with subconscious issues related to violence or control will report seeing something violent or disturbing, whereas individuals who are mentally healthy will report seeing something innocuous. The psychologist notes the two most common responses to the inkblot, as well as the number of participants who gave that response; this information is outlined in Table 1.
Table 1
GroupInkblot AInkblot B
Antisocial Personality DisorderMask (10)People fighting (15)
Blood spatter (12)Angry face (5)
No personality disorder diagnosisButterfly (14)Two lovers (12)
Bird (8)Two dolls (11)
What type of personality assessment is an inkblot test?
Choose 1 answer: