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Narratives as Projective Techniques Among Psychology Students – A Content Analysis

By Daniel Kramer-Moore

Abstract

This study is based on the writing of a short, potentially projective narrative, and sharing it in small peer groups. There is a close relationship between narratives and projection; readers‘ enjoyment may in fact depend on their ability and readiness to project their own agendas unto the protagonists (see, for example, Sullivan‘s 1994 analysis of Onetti‘s 1990 novella). Yet the more obvious connection between narratives and projection lies in the act of producing the former while achieving the latter: The act of narrating is, almost by definition, a potential projective test. Projection itself is based on the hypothesis ‗that individuals will project their own perceptions, attitudes, feelings, and needs in assigning meaning to relatively ambiguous stimuli‘ (Esquivel et al., 2007, p.358; see also Esquivel and Flanagan, 2007, and Wiggins, 2003). Projection is not without its dangers: When they use it as a psychological defence mechanism, projecting individuals fail to acknowledge their own motives and emotions, and thus are hindered from effectively coping with them. At the same time they fail to correctly perceive others, since they attribute to them their own, projected characteristics. In an analysis, which again connects narratives and projection, Parker (1995, p.159) argues that ‗to avoid misrecognition of others I need to attend both to their otherness and to elements of human continuity between us‘. (This issue is further discussed and analyzed in Serpell, 2008.

Topics: BF, H1, LB2300
Publisher: University of Huddersfield
Year: 2010
OAI identifier: oai:eprints.hud.ac.uk:9595

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