The Rorschach inkblots are ubiquitous throughout culture. They've inspired visual artists from Warhol to Alan Moore, from Gnarls Barkley to Jay Z, to the Watchmen comics. The inkblots have also become a perfect metaphor for today's polarized, relativist world.
The Myers-Briggs test is adapted for pop psychology quizzes on Buzzfeed and Thought Catalog and used in online dating sites to help you find the perfect match. Yet all of these uses distort the purpose of both tests, each created in the early 20th century by people long overshadowed by their creations.
Psychological and personality testing took on new fervor in post-World War II America; industrialization, the Cold War, and a shift from a culture of character to one of personality converged to fuel the rise of Rorschach and the still popular Myers-Briggs test, which both have a dark side we'll explore.
Also, we spend a few minutes with a local visual artist.
- Damion Searls - author of The Inkblots: Hermann Rorschach, His Iconic Test, and The Power of Seeing
- Merve Emre - Assistant professor of English at McGill University. Her book on the Myers-Briggs test will be published in Spring 2018
- Cary Smith - Painter of hard-edged abstract paintings who exhibits his work at galleries in New York City
Colin McEnroe and Chion Wolf contributed to this show, which originally aired on March 8, 2017.