Why We Need a Formal Systematic Approach to Validating Psychological Tests: The Case of the Rorschach Comprehensive System Article (Faculty180)

cited authors

  • Mihura, Joni L; Bombel, George; Dumitrascu, Nicolae; Roy, Manali; Meadows, Emily A


  • This article documents and discusses the importance of using a formal systematic approach to validating psychological tests. To illustrate, results are presented from a systematic review of the validity findings cited in the Rorschach Comprehensive System (CS; Exner, 2003) test manual, originally conducted during the manuscript review process for Mihura, Meyer, Dumitrascu, and Bombel's (2013) CS meta-analyses. Our review documents (a) the degree to which the CS test manual reports validity findings for each test variable, (b) whether these findings are publicly accessible or unpublished studies coordinated by the test developer, and (c) the presence and nature of data discrepancies between the CS test manual and the cited source. Implications are discussed for the CS in particular, the Rorschach more generally, and psychological tests more broadly. Notably, a history of intensive scrutiny of the Rorschach has resulted in more stringent standards applied to it, even though its scales have more published and supportive construct validity meta-analyses than any other psychological test. Calls are made for (a) a mechanism to correct data errors in the scientific literature, (b) guidelines for test developers' key unpublished studies, and (c) systematic reviews and meta-analyses to become standard practice for all psychological tests.


published in

start page

  • 374

end page

  • 392


  • 101