Talk:Rorschach test/images

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All 10 imagesEdit

Archived to Talk:Rorschach test/Archive 7#All 10 images
The ten inkblots of the Rorschach inkblot test

Arguments ProEdit

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#01 - The cat's out of the bagEdit

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There are three flaws in this argument. The first is that it assumes that readers have made their choice to see medical information prior to coming to this article. But what about idly curious readers? By clicking on "What links here," we can see that there are over 350 pages that link to the Rorschach test article, including one from a #1 song called Crazy and another about a fictional character in a major motion picture called The Watchmen and the corresponding graphic novel that Time Magazine has called "one of the 100 best novels ever written." We can't assume that readers know anything about the Rorschach test. Some are simply idly curious.

Second, no one searches the web with unlimited time and energy. To say that the levy has broke and there's no stopping the flow of water assumes that the reader won't stop searching until he/she finds the images. But what about a reader who wishes simply to learn about the test from a general perspective as the medical disclaimer describes, without breaking test security or betraying individual test responses? Shouldn't there be a place for such a reader to go and learn about the test without the need to get into such specifics? We are, after all, an encyclopedia. We're not a how-to-manual or a textbook.

Third, there are new children born every day. There will always be a population of people who has not been exposed to the test materials and who may need the test to function at its full potency, so that they may receive an early diagnosis and treatment of their diseases. Danglingdiagnosis (talk) 22:58, 31 July 2009 (UTC)

This is a non-argument, it does not talk about policy or purpose it is simply a cop out to presenting a real argument of why to include or not to include something on the Wikipedia.--Dela Rabadilla (talk) 01:35, 6 August 2009 (UTC)

#02 - No evidence of harmEdit

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The Rorschach has been a controversial tool in psychology since it was introduced. I do not have my sources at this time and will post them later. This type of testing involves the bias of the one grading the test. For example, if a psychologist is told that a patient has a personality disorder, prior to them testing the patient, the psychologist will, because of the "human" factor, use that information while evaluating the responses to the pictures that the patient gives. Hooray that the Rorschach has been published where millions can see it for what it is. . .the unreliable, unscientific, unproven method of trying to see into personality that reflects the psychologists view and not the patient's. July 29, 2009 @2314 hr. —Preceding unsigned comment added by P3rSist (talkcontribs) 05:14, 30 July 2009 (UTC)

Just like the Wikipedia is not the place to discuss whether global warming is true or not. It's not the place to question the validity of the test in any case the question should be if the mental health community thinks the test is valid. We are not supposed to make science breakthroughs here. And that is the direction of this argument--Dela Rabadilla (talk) 01:44, 6 August 2009 (UTC)

#03 - Adds to the pageEdit

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#04 - removing the images amounts to censorshipEdit

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First, I agree that Wikipedia is not beholden to the ethical code of the APA. The APA's code of conduct is not enforceable on us. However, it does inform us. The APA also wrote a Statement on the Disclosure of Test Data. These are all "position statements... by a major health organization" and as such are considered important sources of information according to Wikipedia:Reliable sources (medicine-related articles). And second, censorship is a word that is used to mean many things. Ultimately, it means the removal of information for the purpose of promoting an ideology, much like Stalin did. But this is not the definition used at Wikipedia. Here we apply it to mean any restraint on information except for the following exceptions: and then we list those exceptions. This is a peeling of the onion approach at arriving at a definition. It starts broadly and then works toward the center. So with that approach, it stands to reason that we may not have finished peeling the onion. This is why I proposed a new policy that addresses the unique situation of Rorschach and other articles that have Involuntary health consequences Danglingdiagnosis (talk) 18:21, 24 July 2009 (UTC)
Well, the way I see it though the "no censorship" value is in principle quite absolute, with exceptions being made because unfortunately one must deal with lawsuits and the like (whether or not they're justified). It is not my opinion that harm should be taken into consideration when adding encyclopedic reliably sourced content (when adding content other than that, one really should question why it's being added, and if it's being added to cause harm, that's definitely bad; but that's ultimately another story). --LjL (talk) 18:28, 24 July 2009 (UTC)
A good example is the images that cause epilepsy, following the example of the Rorschach test we should include a video of it so people could see an example. And we should not let the Psychiatrists tell us what to do. These cases show the policy is flawed.--Dela Rabadilla (talk) 02:06, 6 August 2009 (UTC)
If you check the archives, you'll find that has been discussed and that there are indeed articles containing videos that may possibily cause seizures (hardly epylepsy). There used to be a disclaimer in the caption; it has been removed, since a caption of "Video that has caused seizures" is a clear enough hint and we use no disclaimers. --LjL (talk) 13:16, 6 August 2009 (UTC)
No one is offended by the Rorschach images. Neither can they be described as "profane, or obscene." The policy of WP:NOTCENSORED speaks only to things that are "offensive, profane, or obscene." It does not apply to this situation. Danglingdiagnosis (talk) 18:19, 19 August 2009 (UTC)

#05 - Reputable organizations have been showing the images, tooEdit

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#06 - It doesn't matter if we publish. The test is nearly worthless anyway.Edit

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I have just reviewed this discussion and would like to take a moment to review the gist of it for the sake of clarity.
There are essentially three positions here:
1. The test is worthless, so it does no harm to show the inkblots.
2. The test is worthwhile, and showing the inkblots causes harm. Wikipedia should not cause harm. Therefore it should not show the inkblots.
3. Wikipedia is an encyclopedia whose mission is to present knowledge as completely as possible, therefore it should show the inkblots.
I find the first position irrelevant, the second position interesting, but not Wikipedia's concern, and the third position to be correct.
The first position is irrelevant because it brings an irrelevant criterion (validity) to what is essentially an argument about the proper role of an encyclopedia. (It may--I am undecided on this--also bring a non-neutral point of view to the content of the article.)
The second position is certainly interesting, with all the ethical and scientific questions it raises. The discussion it has sparked in itself brings great value to the community, but it is not the role of Wikipedia to protect the interests of any professional group, nor to respect their judgments as to the content and role of Wikipedia.
The third position, as I think Richard Paez has made clear, holds that Wikipedia's primary obligation in this matter are to its own mission. I think that this is the only ethically tenable position. Should Wikipedia give bomb-making instructions? Of course not. Why? Because Wikipedia is not a how-to manual. By the same token, Wikipedia should not give instructions on interpreting Rorschach tests. That should be enough.Mrrhum (talk) 15:32, 29 July 2009 (UTC.

this test isn't actually a test to see if people can get the right or wrong answer but to see how the people see things inside their head. now that people now these answers, they are going to start giving them to psychologist and the determination of whether the person is psychological healty is going to be harder and taking more time

An offer to provide rorschach test resultsEdit

I have the results from my Rorschach test from 1964. these are from my personal medical records. they are in my possession and my property to do with as I wish.

will make available to any! who write and request it. the test are interpreted and therefore mean nothing. the disability is in the observer!

BlueGrass Regional Mental Health and Retardation Board Lexington, Ky.

A Menace to Children and Adults.

I make these available to put an end to their quackery.

-- (talk) 16:55, 30 July 2009 (UTC)

The following is a quote from the home page of the Bluegrass Regional Mental Health and Retardation Board: [1]
"The impact of The Bluegrass Regional Mental Health-Mental Retardation Board upon its valued communities is perhaps best measured at the most basic human level – how we have improved the quality of life for an individual by the direct services we provide, or by the agenda we support, the struggles we assume, or the alliances we establish on behalf of those we serve.
Mental illness, substance abuse, developmental disabilities, and mental retardation present personal obstacles and challenges of an extent that most cannot imagine. The triumph and achievement associated with recovery, growth, independence and progress form the seed for a life journey toward stability in home, community, family and life. These are the journeys in which we are blessed to play a part and which reward us most."
I couldn't agree more with the idea that the impact of any organization is "best measured at the most basic human level." And yet, when we divorce ourselves from the impact of our actions and do not consider the consequences on other people, then we are not fully present here on this earth. The purpose of an encyclopedia is to preserve knowledge for the benefit of people, including that of 74.142.XXX.XX Danglingdiagnosis (talk) 01:26, 10 August 2009 (UTC)

Arguments ConEdit

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#1 - It may harm a psychologist's ability to protect the welfare of his/her patient.Edit

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These are no longer copyrighted images, and to suggest that they comprise a valid psychological assessment is both inane and immaterial. Immaterial because everyone in the general public is quite aware of the inkblot test, and very few administrations of it are objective. The subject invariably knows what kind of assessment is being given to him, and responds not as he truly feels, but with the answer he wants to give, which he thinks will best serve his purposes. Inane because this test is not only subjective on the part of the subject, but also entirely subjective on the part of the administrator. The administrator brings his own sets of ideas, prejudices, preconceived notions and desires to the test, and applies them subjectively as he sees fit. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talkcontribs) 02:56, 30 July 2009

... and you were trained in Rorschach administration where? And you've administered how many Rorschachs?Daveandmicasmom (talk) 22:00, 29 October 2011 (UTC)

#2 - It violates Wikipedia policyEdit

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#3 - It interferes with the workings of another professionEdit

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See response at Talk:Rorschach_test/images/2009-06_Arguments_Pro#.2301_-_The_cat.27s_out_of_the_bag Danglingdiagnosis (talk) 23:05, 31 July 2009 (UTC)

#4 - It violates Wikipedia policy on neutrality.Edit

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I believe that neutrality dictates that we take a less-active posture, one that does not "reproduce" results favorable to any particular point of view concerning the utility of the Rorschach test. (See definition of neutral.) That psychological tests are so easily vulnerable to vandalism (see 1996 APA statement is unfortunate, but does not take away from our responsibility to be neutral. If you pick up a carton of eggs, you have to watch your step more carefully. Danglingdiagnosis (talk) 00:58, 10 August 2009 (UTC)

But we didn't pick up a carton of eggs. A carton of eggs was placed in the middle of the street (the public domain), only to later complain that cars are crushing it. True, it wasn't the psychologists who placed it in the stre- public domain, but the law, but that doesn't change the fact the psychologists have known for decades that was going to happen. --LjL (talk) 13:11, 10 August 2009 (UTC)
I don't accept the premise that we are not responsible for our actions. The problem with your metaphor is that we have spent quite a bit of time next to this carton of eggs. We're not driving 60 miles an hour. We're going quite slow, and our actions are quite deliberate. So, we have to question our neutrality. Danglingdiagnosis (talk) 14:50, 10 August 2009 (UTC)
That is true. However, I'm pretty sure we have questioned it, for quite a long time (length of these discussions testify it), and the prevailing consensus is that we should go ahead and crush the eggs. --LjL (talk) 18:05, 10 August 2009 (UTC)
The definition of neutral is something that does not produce (or reproduce) a desired effect, even if that effect is desired by consensus. Neutrality trumps consensus. It's better to give zero information than non-neutral information. Danglingdiagnosis (talk) 18:31, 19 August 2009 (UTC)
So wrong it verges on ridiculous. Ever read WP:NPOV at all? NPOV is about representing multiple points of view, not suppressing them. --LjL (talk) 19:26, 19 August 2009 (UTC)
I hear you, but I don't think it's ridiculous. Neither do at least five other Wikipedians. Wikipedia's neutrality should not be compromised by information that cannot be presented in a non-neutral manner. By providing the questions and answers to a psychological test, we are, in effect, invalidating the test and validating the point of view of people, like Garb and Lilienfeld, who question the validity of the test and have called for a moratorium on its use. [2] [3] Garb is, of course, welcome to start a Wikipedia account and contribute, but he must not produce results that reproduce his desired outcome. That would be a violation of our neutrality policy. So if you wouldn't mind, some of us would appreciate it if you took this comment seriously. Danglingdiagnosis (talk) 04:42, 20 August 2009 (UTC)
Oh I take the comment seriously, I simply find it appalling that people can be Wikipedia editors and have such absurd censorship ideas all while keeping a straight face. I'm dropping the debate at this point, for reasons including apparent legal threats against James. The consensus is very clear and I'm not willing to discuss it anymore, especially with "five other" editors among which are some who used legal threats, which are now apparently put into action. --LjL (talk) 11:48, 20 August 2009 (UTC)
I hear you, but I don't think the debate we're having here is absurd. I don't think that I am advocating that we violate the WP:NOTCENSORED policy against offensive, profane, or obscene content. Instead, I think we're violating our Wikipedia:Neutral point of view. Neutrality is a core concern of Wikipedia, and to force our readers into a position that limits their ability to choose is non-neutral at the very least. I look forward to discussing possible ways to neutralize this effect on the reader, but I fear the best option is to remove the information. Better to have zero information than information that is non-neutral. Danglingdiagnosis (talk) 16:00, 20 August 2009 (UTC)
By that logic we should delete half the encyclopedia. Scary censoreship logic DD. Garycompugeek (talk) 19:19, 20 August 2009 (UTC)
I think I see your point. Allow me to rephrase: Better to have a blank article than an article that is non-neutral. If, as in most articles, it were possible to neutralize the effect of the information and allow the reader to choose, I'd be for it. Danglingdiagnosis (talk) 01:26, 21 August 2009 (UTC)

#5 - It violates Wikipedia policy on indiscriminate collection of information.Edit

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They are pictures of the subject itself, and there are only 10 of them: the information is important and small in amount, therefore not indiscriminate, as it is highly relevant to the subject. There might be a case here if there were 300 pictures, each individually pictured. But the small number of them shows that this particular bit of information is limited, not excessive and indiscriminate. --Mysidia (talk) 02:27, 15 July 2009 (UTC)
The problem is that you've published the entire test. I don't see similar publications of content on any other cognitive or projective test pages (TAT, WISC, etc), nor a push to do so. A description of the test and a sample non-test blot would be quite sufficient to communicate "what an inkblot is."Mirafra (talk) 06:41, 15 July 2009 (UTC)
The subject of this article though is the test though, and it is not just an article about inkblots. Thus showing just a single inkblot as an example could be considered insufficient. As for the thought that other tests are not included in their entirety, that has more to do with the status of the inkblots used in this test now being in the public domain, as opposed to most other mental health or childhood development tests which are still under some form of copyright protection. --Raukodraug (talk) 17:41, 15 July 2009 (UTC)
Sorry, I wasn't clear -- "what an inkblot is" was a bit flip on my part. I'll be more clear. On the many other pages covering the many other cognitive, academic, and projective tests in common use by psychologists, in every case where I have checked, test security was not apparently violated in any way. I didn't do an exhaustive search, but I checked a whole bunch of the obvious ones. The descriptions of test structure and item type were well within the boundaries of what is generally disclosed by test publishers or professionals who write reports interpreting test data, and would not raise any hackles under the "need to protect test security" requirements of the APA code of ethics. Whether by laziness or accident or intention, WP editors have thus far respected the boundaries of the psychological profession, rather than setting themselves directly in contradiction.
I understand that the specific legal status of the Rorschach (what with the mess that is international copyright law and treaties) is a complicating factor, but there exist copyright-legal and internet-feasible ways to trash the security of other tests in common use today as well, and I don't see any push to do that. In this case, by contrast, the entire Rorschach test has been published -- the fact that it's a test with only ten items doesn't mean that this is not a potential violation of WP:IINFO, any more than the publication of the complete lyrics of a song is dependent upon the number of verses in the song. This is a different standard of disclosure than is applied to other protected psychological tests on WP.
The purpose of explaining the history and structure of the Rorschach and giving an encyclopedia-relevant level of basic information about how the test is administered and interpreted could be just as easily served with an explicitly fake blot. In fact, it might be easier for the expert editors to give *more* useful information by using a fake example, because then we would be less worried about the problem of extensive exposure to the specific blots themselves and would feel more comfortable in clearly explaining what we *can* explain under our ethical guidelines. Mirafra (talk) 19:51, 15 July 2009 (UTC)
I don't believe the Rorschach test has any test security; the pictures are definitely available. Any member of the public can actually buy them and possibly look them up in the library. The fact that other articles don't include pictures of the test elements does not mean it's Wikipedia rules not to publish pictures. Other articles are in different stages of development. Take a look at Talk:Thematic_Apperception_Test, note the questions from editors about whether the images are copyrighted. If they are not, I fully expect in the future, the other articles about projection tests to include images, however I wouldn't expect all 30 cards to be pictured, it would be far in excess of what is useful to explain the subject. (5 to 10 pictures seems plenty). If a popular song were very short, for example: 4 or 5 lines long, it would not be indiscriminate information for the article to simply include its entire contents. --Mysidia (talk) 12:35, 16 July 2009 (UTC)
Actually, not just any member of the public can purchase the Rorschach images. There are security features in place. Psychological Assessment Resources sells the plates for $100/each to only people with certain qualifications. Qualifications level C requires that you have an
"advanced professional degree that provides appropriate training in the administration and interpretation of psychological tests; OR license or certification from an agency that requires appropriate training and experience in the ethical and competent use of psychological tests."
So we can say that the images are protected. You can't just buy them. Danglingdiagnosis (talk) 02:16, 17 July 2009 (UTC)
Just because one seller imposes restrictions doesn't mean others do. Try a google search for 9783456826059. When I performed that search, hit #1 was an online bookseller[4] that has copies of the book listed for sale. --Mysidia (talk) 20:23, 18 July 2009 (UTC)
Those are relatively unusual situations, that a set of plates (it's not a book) is available in that way. What generally happens to create these situations is that a psychologist dies without leaving a professional will, so that the office and such are cleaned out by people who don't know what they've got, and are unaware that these are not supposed to be sold on the open market. There is ongoing concern in the professional community about this problem, because it affects all sorts of tests. They tend to show up on eBay. Now, eBay does have a policy restricting the sale of "teachers editions" of textbooks, but they have not thus far explicitly extended that policy to psychological tests as far as I know -- the APA and the test publishers were talking to them about it. In general, if a professional lists a test for resale on eBay, they check credentials before completing the sale (that's how I bought my own plates, actually) -- many will list the need to check credentials explicitly in the sales listings. So I think Danglingdiagnosis's point stands -- just because someone can get a random copy of something on what amounts to a black (or at least gray) market does not mean that this is a general "sales policy." For all tests covered under section 9.11 of the APA code of ethics, publishers and licensed distributors of the tests check credentials before making a sale. Mirafra (talk) 01:15, 19 July 2009 (UTC)
The qualifications required to purchase psychological test materials come awfully close to the language of things listed in WP:NONFREE. Not for commercial use is a complicated legal status that I don't pretend to understand. But since Wikipedia is already imposing stricter standards on itself than mere copyrights, I wonder if there isn't some form of status that Wikipedia might recognize and be written into this section of policy? Danglingdiagnosis (talk) 08:45, 19 July 2009 (UTC)
I think that's a very good point. The policy says, "free as in cost and free as in freedom are two entirely different things, images freely available on the internet may still be inappropriate for Wikipedia." Perhaps the better thing to do is to propose an edit of the existing WP:NONFREE policy to mention that there is a class of information (restricted-access psychological tests) which should not be posted? Mirafra (talk) 02:34, 21 July 2009 (UTC)
I find this line of argument totally ridiculous. First First-sale doctrine would shoot down any efforts by anybody to control books once they are sold. Second the Rorschach test images have been published before "The Nuremberg Mind" (1975) and Poundstone's "Big Secrets" (1983) Finally nevermind the dozens of websites and online news articles the images are on including the web site the images came from. I even found one that has had them on the internet since 2003. This horse has been out of the barn for a long time.--BruceGrubb (talk) 12:36, 3 August 2009 (UTC)

#6 - It violates Wikipedia policy on non-free content.Edit

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Something that someone else said got me thinking. And I looked back at the page about WP:NONFREE... and noticed the following prominently-placed sentence. "On Wikipedia, our goal is to be a free content encyclopedia, with free content defined as any content granting the right to redistribute, study, modify and improve, and otherwise use the works for any purpose in any medium, even commercially." Protected psychological tests are not freely permitted to be redistributed or used for any purpose in any medium. You have to have an advanced degree with specific training in the use and interpretation of protected tests in order to purchase them. If you are not appropriately licensed, you can do jail time for trying to use them. Even copies of outdated tests are supposed to be kept at least somewhat protected, because there are not infrequently reuses of items or item formats between editions. We're not talking just about the Rorschach here, we're talking about all protected tests. WP accepts that some information is not just happy hippie-dippy information dancing with infinite abandon around the intertubes. We're asserting that protected psychological tests fall within that realm, and we've backed that up with strong sources: policy statements from relevant well-recognized professional societies. That's not censorship, that's WP following its own self-description and holding itself to its own standards. (originally posted elsewhere by Mirafra (talk) 03:31, 21 July 2009)Faustian (talk) 04:30, 21 July 2009 (UTC)

Indeed, Wikipedia's employs standards that are intentionally stricter than just copyright laws. See WP:NONFREE. Danglingdiagnosis (talk) 15:27, 21 July 2009 (UTC)
I think there may be a distinction between "distributing a test" and "distributing the images used in a test". The images are free, although the test, presented in a usable form, may carry restrictions in some jurisdictions under laws other than copyright. — PhilHibbs | talk 19:35, 21 July 2009 (UTC)

#7 - Such vandalism defeats the purpose of an encyclopedia.Edit

I suggest we rename this to "Showing the images defeat the purpose of an encyclopedia"--Dela Rabadilla (talk) 01:30, 6 August 2009 (UTC)

A long time ago, someone defined the purpose of an encyclopedia.

Indeed, the purpose of an encyclopedia is to collect knowledge disseminated around the globe; to set forth its general system to the men with whom we live, and transmit it to those who will come after us, so that the work of preceding centuries will not become useless to the centuries to come; and so that our offspring, becoming better instructed, will at the same time become more virtuous and happy, and that we should not die without having rendered a service to the human race in the future years to come.

— Diderot, editor and publisher of Encyclopédie 1751 - 1772

Three secondary sources, position statements by major health organizations (i.e. the best kind of sources according to WP:MEDRS), have stated that the security of test material is important to the work of psychologists and should be maintained. It follows that Wikipedia would be vandalizing their work by breaching that security. This is the same conclusion reached by Scientific American in its 2001 article on the subject. Such vandalism is contrary to the purpose of preserving "the work of preceding centuries." I want our children to receive the benefit of the Rorschach test. Too many of them may need it. ( 0.7% Schizophrenia, 1-2% bi-polar disorder, etc.)

Is the test perfect? Are there valid criticism of the test? Yes. And we can and should report those criticisms, for to hide such criticism would be censorship. As Denis Diderot said about his encyclopedia, "All things must be examined, debated, investigated without exception and without regard for anyone's feelings." But even he, I'm sure, would draw the line at vandalism. Just because a car parked in front of someone's house isn't the quality vehicle you may wish, that doesn't give you cause to slash its tires.

Many of us have seen and fought against vandalism on Wikipedia. So you should be sympathetic when the tables are turned and Wikipedia becomes the source of vandalism to the work of others. Danglingdiagnosis (talk) 16:31, 24 July 2009 (UTC)

The use of the word vandalism to describe publishing a thing is a flawwed analogy, there is an extreme dissimilarity between the things being compared. Publishing now-freely available images that were used in a test is no more vandalism than investigative reporting, or other publication of information in the public interest. It's not vandalism if other parties publish things about Wikipedia within their own publications, even if they are harmful, even if Wikipedia doesn't want them published, and that applies to any public object: it's not vandalism for Wikipedia to print images like the ones attached to the article. --Mysidia (talk) 04:39, 31 July 2009 (UTC)
Inclusion of the images in fact aids in the collection and dissemination of knowledge, and serves to preserve information about the test. It does not defeat the purpose of Wikipedia. Perfect test security would ensure that no information about the test is published, and the result is, knowledge of the test is lost of the centuries.
Therefore based on the definition above, publishing all details of the test would in effect "transmit it to those who will come after us", and be more inline with that definition than not publishing.
The "definition" of an encyclopedia above contains rationale that is not accepted as part of the definition of an encyclopedia.
There is no robust test security anymore. The images have already been available to the public freely for long enough that even if Wikipedia removes them, they will be freely available at numerous online sources, including public archives that exist of older versions of Wikipedia image files. --Mysidia (talk) 04:39, 31 July 2009 (UTC)
Not really. To the extent that previous norms are damaged wikipedia has destroyed that knowledge. For example, if previous research has shown that only 30% of depressed people see a mouse on the first card (this is not true, I'm making up a much less complex hypothetical here) and wikipedia puts this up, it may be that now 40% of depressed people see the mouse. Wikipedia has rendered the previous findings and whatever benefit they could have given, useless. This is the equivalent of describing a house by tearing it apart in order to catalogue where all the pieces are. By the time you're finished, there is no more house and the description is of course obsolete and false.
To the extent that a test becomes less useful due to its publication, wikipedia destroys the ability of the test to add to more knowledge and renders the previously obtained knowledge meaningless.Faustian (talk) 05:17, 31 July 2009 (UTC)
The average layperson doesn't even recognize the name "Rorschach test". It's an extremely unlikely proposition that a statistically significant percentage of the general public actually reads the article and actually looks at the images; so long as Wikipedia doesn't publish the full details of the test, the methods of interepreting answers, or expected answers for each image, the test has not been rendered useless, and the impact is minimal, except maybe for a small number of individuals who have read the article and studied the images in great detail, so they can make contrived answers. I would expect there to be extroardinary proof that the publication of just the images invalidates the results of the test to justify retracting the images fron an article, and those 3 sources are not extroardinary evidence. As always, professionals utilize multiple tests, not just one, and more information about one test being published can be utilized to assist in developing other tests based on it, a net benefit to the collection of human knowledge. --Mysidia (talk) 22:54, 31 July 2009 (UTC)
Mysidia, I don't see the flaw in my use of the word "vandalism". You're looking at the word through the definition of Wikipedia:Vandalism. I'm using the general definition found in wiktionary:vandalism Vandalism is the impairment of property, even shared property which is in the public domain (such as the Rorschach inkblots), such that it does not look or function as it was intended.
Psychological tests are not designed to be generally published. Wikipedia is. They are designed differently. If you put a boat in the lake, it floats; you haven't harmed it any. If you put a car in the lake, that's vandalism.
I understand you have a personal belief that information is best published for everyone to see. But that's just a general rule-of-thumb, isn't it? I have 3 sources that say otherwise. [5] [6] [7] They're good quality sources that say that psychological tests need to be kept reasonably secure. Publishing in Wikipedia defeats that purpose and is, thus, vandalism. Worse, it vandalizes a base of knowledge, something that Wikipedians, such as yourself, should appreciate. We should be guardians of knowledge, not vandals of it. Like museum curators, we should put as much as we can out for public display, but not in a way that harms or destroys the item. Because we want our children to reap the same benefit as we have. Danglingdiagnosis (talk) 20:13, 31 July 2009 (UTC)
Point one: I see that your definition of "vandalism" is quite valid, but I wonder why some people here (and in other related talk page) insist on using word "not in their Wikipedia-specific definition". I though we were on Wikipedia.
Point two: given that we are on Wikipedia, I am ready and willing to rely on reliable sources to write articles. But nowhere on Wikipedia does it say that any sources should be using for deciding what's ethical for Wikipedia, or what's vandalism. That's up to the community to decide, not sources.
--LjL (talk) 00:24, 1 August 2009 (UTC)
Point one: I agree that some of us are finding the word confusing because we normally use it with reference to Wikipedia policy and not general usage. However, the other options are not very good. I just opened up my thesaurus and found "sabotage." I'm happy to substitute this word, but I don't wish to imply that anyone is intentionally damaging the test. I think what we have here is more a matter of "Oops. Sorry about the problem I caused, but I have other more important things to consider." That sounds to me like vandals who are just doing their thing. Which kind of makes me the old man yelling out the window, "Hey, you kids, get off my lawn!" I swore it would never happen, but it did: I've become that guy down the street.
Point two: If we don't use reliable sources for our information, who do we use? The community? You and me? I think that's just wrong. You can try and make a distinction between information we use solely in our discussion pages and how it trickles up to our articles, but I worry about going down that road. You're saying that policy only applies to what we do on our articles and not to how we discuss them. I think there are plenty of policies for how we are supposed to act in our discussions. Why some and not others? I also think the better we organize our talk pages, the better will be our articles, because one derives much from the other. Think about it... If we don't apply some pretty basic rules to our discussions, like fact checking and attribution, then I shudder to think what will happen as the results trickle up to our articles. At the very least, it will result in articles that change drastically over time, depending on who's doing the talking, which is what is happening here at the Rorschach test.
Which brings me back to the argument in this thread. By going down this road, we've begun to compromise basic principles to the operation of an encyclopedia. I think we need to take a step back and really consider what it is that we are trying to do. I think we should stick to writing an encyclopedia with general articles that inform us about real-world context, (i.e. information that is relevant but not exhaustive) and that does not destroy knowledge or utility. Because, really, what is knowledge without utility? Danglingdiagnosis (talk) 02:56, 1 August 2009 (UTC)
"Why some and not others" - because that is what the guidelines and policies say. You may perhaps like guidelines, policies and talk pages to be reliably sources,[citation needed] but then you're thinking about a different encyclopedia,[citation needed], because that is not how this one works.[citation needed] Is there any reliable source that says that "consensus" is the Most Important Thing Ever? Maybe, but in any case that's not what was used to decide that consensus was important on Wikipedia. Policy here has never been built based on what "sources" said about policy. --LjL (talk) 14:26, 1 August 2009 (UTC)
Talk pages, according to Wikipedia:Talk page are not for discussion personal views. They are for discussing content on the article. In doing so, we are informed by outside sources. This must be so because we are not supposed to rely on our own expertise. Therefore, if a reliable source says that our article is damaging a test, you are not free to disregard this information. You must accept this as verifiable fact, find another source that refutes this, or perform original research. You may hold this fact in dynamic tension with other considerations and apply judgment about weight, but you may not disregard it. Danglingdiagnosis (talk) 00:16, 2 August 2009 (UTC)
Ideally, article talk pages aren't about discussing policy, either. If policy says that something should or should not be in an article, then there is nothing to discuss on a talk page; at best, you discuss on the policy page.
I'm not necessarily saying that we should adhere to the above strictly... but the point is that, while we should "not" disregard infrmation such as a source saying that our article is damaging a test, we should, if anything, use that information to put it in the appropriate article, not to dictate policy. I repeat, not to dictate policy. This seems so obvious to me I never thought I'd have to repeat it... If you want, though, we can bring it to a more appropriate venue. --LjL (talk) 00:25, 2 August 2009 (UTC)
Ah, I see, now, where we are thinking differently: I think policy gives us the freedom to use our discretion. You think you are bound by policy to act in a certain way. Of course, you're free to consider policy or anything else when considering the facts. But Let me free you. From Wikipedia:What "Ignore all rules" means:
"The spirit of the rule trumps the letter of the rule. The common purpose of building a free encyclopedia trumps both. If this common purpose is better served by ignoring the letter of a particular rule, then that rule should be ignored."
So, I wasn't aware that I was discussing policy. I think I'm discussing content and using some pretty basic concepts about how one should speak and use (or not use) references. Regarding content, let me ask you, how do you regard the information that we are damaging the test? Facts are facts, and I don't wish you to ignore them. Are you okay with the idea that Wikipedia is disclosing information that may harm or destroy the utility of the test? ...because I'm not. Who are we to interfere? We are encyclopedists. We're supposed to observe and report, not influence, and certainly not destroy the utility of information. Danglingdiagnosis (talk) 15:18, 2 August 2009 (UTC)
How many times do I have to say it? Yes, yes, YES. It's not Wikipedia's problem whether the information it provides somehow damages the test. Wikipedia isn't sponsored by the APA, it doesn't owe anything to the test. It's not interfering; actually, psychologists are currently interfering with Wikipedia by bringing their conflict of interest with their code of ethics here, and even forcing administrators to full-protect the article.
Wikipedia's purpose is to report, but who said reporting won't have effects on society? I'm pretty damn sure Wikipedia has already had quite an important effect on a lot of people, simply by bringing so much knowledge and information to easy access. Of course that's perfectly fine.
--LjL (talk) 14:08, 3 August 2009 (UTC)
It's your arguments not how many times you say anything. The objective of any encyclopedia is to gather knowledge for the benefit of humankind. It's been shown many times that dissemination of knowledge is a good thing. That is our default notion. What you fail to realize is that even simple ideas like the one I just stated have exceptions. History has also shown that our most basic assumptions sometimes have exceptions. Newton's law was fine for most human experiences for thousands of years, today we know now that at high speeds bizarre things happen. There has never been an encyclopedia like the Wikipedia and the images on this article challenges the basic assumption that all knowledge is good for human kind. Because it hampers the ability of our physicians to take care of us. It's a weird case there are few cases like these.--Dela Rabadilla (talk) 01:30, 6 August 2009 (UTC)
No excuse me, if the question is "are you okay with the idea...?", the answer is "yes, I am". I am being asked for an opinion; and I had given it a number of times.
As to the content of your objections, I'll repeat things I've already said: 1) not all parties seem to agree there's harm in the accidental viewing of the images (more so in deliberate use of the image to "cheat" the test, but it's not up to us to prevent that) 2) no one has demonstrated that disseminating test materials won't encourage scientists to successfully develop other tests that are resilient to dissemination.
What do where do when there are disagreements and incognita? We jump back our "default" stance, which is well documented and which you aren't in general disagreeing with. --LjL (talk) 13:10, 6 August 2009 (UTC)
But Wikipedia does owe something to the test. Every time I write for an article, my responsibility is to the subject. I take great care so that I may pass on knowledge that is correct and useful. I consider my reader and ask, "how will they use the information." But if 5 years from now, nobody can use a Rorschach test, then we will have failed our purpose. Any why? Because we failed to recognize our circumstances. Do you know the fable of The Scorpion and the Frog? You seem to be saying "It's my nature to act a certain way." But there arises special situations in which it is in everyone's best interest if he or she reassesses his nature. The human mind is the most adaptable of any on the planet. Adaptability and ingenuity is the reason for our success as a species and for the failure of other hominid species. But we still get into trouble when we let custom dictate our actions. As the poet Shelly wrote, "But custom maketh blind and obdurate the loftiest hearts." We have a unique situation here. It's best to recognize that and make allowances. Danglingdiagnosis (talk) 07:01, 4 August 2009 (UTC)
That requires believing the test is useful, the test will be unrepairably broken by publishing information about it, and the test cannot be replaced by a more robust test (the typical CS argument against security by obscurity, and people can keep saying it just doesn't apply to psychology, but I have yet to hear a good reason why). That's a lot of things to believe on their face. I don't necessarily believe they are true. --LjL (talk) 22:13, 4 August 2009 (UTC)
I don't think you or I have the authority to force medical professionals to replace the test with another. That you would dare suggest otherwise is interesting, but such opinions don't belong on Wikipedia. Perhaps you could write an article as a commentary and submit it to an on-line magazine. Or if you have a medical license, you could submit it to a professional journal. Danglingdiagnosis (talk) 15:35, 5 August 2009 (UTC)
Everyone who can read can see that is not what I said. --LjL (talk) 20:19, 5 August 2009 (UTC)
What you said was that you have trouble believing that a)the test is useful, b) the test will be unrepairably broken by publishing information about it, and c) the test cannot be replaced by a more robust test. Here's my response: Your understanding about these things is not required. You simply need to accept a source (in this case, a statement by a national health organization) and stop relying on your own understanding or your own original research. We live in a big world; even people with encyclopedic knowledge can be forgiven if they must sometimes rely on others for their information. In this case the information tells us that a) the Rorschach test is considered to be useful, b) we are vandalizing psychological tests, including the Rorschach, by disclosing test data, and c) that doing so may invalidate the results and require the substitution of other tests. I believe that such vandalism defeats the purpose of an encyclopedia and should stop. If you continue to have doubts about the appropriate use of the Rorschach test, then I encourage you to present those arguments in a peer-reviewed psychological journal. Danglingdiagnosis (talk) 18:51, 6 August 2009 (UTC)
Problem is that as much as you may insist otherwise, I still don't believe that it's expected (or beneficial) to use sources to decide what to include on Wikipedia (or otherwise what policies to have). Wikipedia uses sources for its content; it uses editor consensus for its policies. You may not like that but I do, and I'm pretty sure a vast majority of Wikipedians do, as well. --LjL (talk) 20:46, 6 August 2009 (UTC)
I'm using sources to inform my decision about whether content advances the mission of providing a free encyclopedia. If consensus shows that we are harming the subject of the article, then I believe Wikipedia:Ignore all rules applies. Danglingdiagnosis (talk) 22:38, 9 August 2009 (UTC)
You're most certainly absolutely free to base your opinion (which counts, like all opinions do) on. You just can't expect others to do the same, because that's not required. I believe, additionally, that the current RfC quite clearly shows that consensus wants the images to stay. --LjL (talk) 22:47, 9 August 2009 (UTC)
Consensus can change Danglingdiagnosis (talk) 16:40, 11 August 2009 (UTC)
Oh please! The RfC was just created, WP:CCC doesn't exist for you to be able to claim that the consensus of 10 minutes ago isn't valid. --LjL (talk) 17:30, 11 August 2009 (UTC)
Let me back up to something you said earlier. You said you don't believe that it's expected (or beneficial) to use sources to decide what to include on Wikipedia. But I think you're mistaken. We make content decisions on article discussion pages; that is, in fact, the primary purpose of a discussion page. And according the the guidelines for discussion pages, editors are supposed to utilize rules of evidence and verification. "The policies that apply to articles apply also (if not to the same extent) to talk pages, including Wikipedia's verification, neutral point of view and no original research policies." Therefore, it's entirely valid for me to cite a source to support an argument I make on a talk page. Just as it is valid for you to cite policy. Doing either does not end the debate. On the contrary, the debate can then begin. So let us begin, recognizing the both of us have verifiable sources to back up our statements and that neither of us are engaging in personal opinions or viewpoints when we cite our sources. Danglingdiagnosis (talk) 10:20, 12 August 2009 (UTC)
Actually, the primary purpose of a talk page would be to collaborate in the improvement of the article. And the issue here is we're not really discussing that; you could say we're all at fault. What we're really discussing is policy. I think I've been pretty careful to always say "policy" rather than "talk page", and there's a reason for that - you, yourself, have started a policy proposal about this, so you clearly realize yourself that this is really a matter of policy. It shouldn't even belong to this talk page. After all, the very guideline that you cite does also say "[...] it is usually a misuse of a talk page to continue to argue any point that has not met policy requirements". This one clearly hasn't. --LjL (talk) 13:12, 12 August 2009 (UTC)
I believe I am trying to improve the article and bring it more in line with our mission, which is the preservation of knowledge; not the vandalism of public property. Danglingdiagnosis (talk) 17:06, 12 August 2009 (UTC)

#8 - How Dare we Not?Edit

I'm sympathetic to my fellow Wikipedians who find the very idea of withholding information to be distasteful and contrary to the spirit of the free flow of information. I listened to you and heard the visceral disgust you expressed: How dare we decide who should and should not have access to information? How dare we, indeed! I respect the place where that reaction comes from.

Unfortunately, I don't think we have the luxury of avoiding the reciprocal question: How dare we not take responsibility? If not us, then who? Can the reader take responsibility? No, because a) we can't assume they know what a Rorschach test is prior to reading the article, b) the consequences are involuntary, and c) we don't warn the reader about the consequences. Can the psychologists take responsibility? No, because they also have no choice but to substitute an alternative procedure. And parenthetically, whether they should've, could've, or would've anticipated this problem and created a copyrighted, alternative test, one that doesn't rely on the good graces of reporting agencies like Wikipedia, is not something many of us are qualified to second guess and is "water under the bridge" at this point. This means that the people who are most accountable for their actions is us, Wikipedians. We can't shirk the responsibility. Other sites may be publishing the images, but our readers are our readers and no one else's. Let other sites do what they will. We gotta do what we think is right.

I know many of you fear doing anything that seems like censorship. The twentieth century saw enough of that with certain despotic rulers. I argue that withholding images is not censorship because we aren't withholding either criticism or praise. It's simply information: the questions and answers to a diagnostic psychological test. "How dare we withhold information?" you say. To which I reply, "How dare we not." Danglingdiagnosis (talk) 16:40, 11 August 2009 (UTC)

"The twentieth century saw enough of that with certain despotic rulers." I call reductio ad Hitlerum (and Godwin's law). Axl ¤ [Talk] 23:02, 21 August 2009 (UTC)
I wasn't trying to accuse anyone of anything, and I did not mean that sentence in the way that you took it. Please feel free to disregard it. The rest of the post is, hopefully, more to your liking. Danglingdiagnosis (talk) 04:59, 22 August 2009 (UTC)

This would be a new title under arguments: Con: Wikipedia needs to avoid participation in ethical and possible legal violations. I draw attention to the article in today's NYTimes about Wikipedia and the Rorschach test. All of this is most unfortunate. An error initiated by a highly unethical person has been promulgated by highly ignorant people. The terms for purchasing a copy of the test is keeping it under lock and key. My understanding, in part from having purchased my own copy of the Rorschach test many years ago, is that Heilman's disclosure of the ten plates is a violation of professional ethics, and a violation of the [unsigned] terms under which one purchases a copy of the plates. (Ethics requires honor, not a formal signed contract, and yet ethics violations may lead to proper punishments, whether or not there is a signed contract.) Heilman may well be (may I say, should be) de-licensed, and the implications for Wikipedia are significant.

What this leads me to is the conjecture that researchers who study cooperative behavior would do well to state that "collaborative intelligence" has the requirement of some appropriate element of ethics and lawfulness. In my way of seeing things, Wikipedia lost its status as a "collaborative intelligence" instrument by improperly disclosing this information. (As a next step, maybe the study and development of collaborative intelligence needs to address the normative ethical issue of what happens when the process goes astray.) Wikipedia further compromises its integrity and loses my respect by publishing the images at a time when there are more than 56 pages of internal debate about whether it is proper to do so.

This offers an example of how the elders of the organization should have stepped in to control but did not. It is an outstanding case study for researchers to follow in their research. —Preceding unsigned comment added by Carlfoss (talkcontribs) 03:34, 30 July 2009 (UTC)

While you might otherwise have some good points, you seem to be a little sketchy on the details. First, James is not a psychologist. As the NYT article notes, he is "an emergency-room doctor from Moose Jaw, Saskatchewan". He also did not scan or photograph the plates himself. As the files pages note, they came from Finally, the images are already in the article, and while a sizable minority object to this, they are still a minority, and as such cannot unilaterally remove the images themselves.
And I personally doubt anyone higher in the Wikipedia power hierarchy will either. It may in your eyes compromise their integrity and lose respect not to do so, but they'd probably anger far more people by removing it. Without clear and obvious legal issues with regard to their inclusion (where Wikipedia's servers are located, not elsewhere), I don't think there's much chance they could remove it without doing so. If the possibility that something might be considered child pornography in some places isn't enough to get Wikipedia users to budge on their stance, I find it unlikely this will. (talk) 05:21, 30 July 2009 (UTC)

RFC: Should the potential for harm to result inform our editorial decisions regarding encyclopedic content?Edit

Should the potential for harm to result inform our editorial decisions regarding encyclopedic content? –xenotalk 02:00, 5 July 2009 (UTC)

The debate ongoing above centers on a single issue: harm.

It is posited that disseminating Rorschach inkblot images may result in harm, due to pre-exposing the reader to the images and possibly tainting the results of a Rorschach test they may take in the future. Because one can't "unsee" an image, having the image in the lead of the article does not give the reader the opportunity to read about potential harm that may result before seeing it. It is also suggested that we not display all ten images in the article to further reduce potential harm.

Both the American Psychological Association and the British Psychological Society have gone on record that harm may result to the general public as a result of dissemination of test materials (in general). It should also be noted that the (potential) harm is "passively transmitted", i.e., it's not the same type of harm that might result from explaining how pipe bombs are constructed. This is also distinct from a 'content spoiler' - in that while readers should be reasonably expect to find a detailed plot summary about a work of fiction, in this case they may not know ahead of time that pre-exposure to the image(s) may impact potential future test results.

Iff we are willing to accept harm as a possibility, even if slight, should we then heed these concerns and compromise to limit or otherwise restrict our content to reduce the potential for harm? –xenotalk 02:00, 5 July 2009 (UTC)

I think we are talking about a few different forms of harm. Let me give two that concern me:
* Given that the Rorschach is often used in forensic settings, where people might have specific desires to present false information, either to malinger (fitness to stand trial, etc) or to fake-good (custody, etc), giving people the opportunity to carefully mull over the blots has to be considered as a possibility for harm. I don't like raising scare-tactics, but the point is that some of what psychologists do with this test is evaluate potential "bad guys" in order to serve the public good.
* Contrary to popular belief, the test is both a cognitive and a projective test. The cognitive aspects of the test assume that the processing of the information require a certain amount of effort, which is why we want the stimuli to be relatively novel. They don't have to be completely novel, which is why people can be retested without serious loss of validity, but if someone could pore over them carefully for hours, this would remove the novelty and change the nature of the test task for them, thus reducing validity. There are other neuropsychological tests that are vulnerable to this kind of exposure and would suffer similarly in their usefulness as well. Mirafra (talk) 20:16, 15 July 2009 (UTC)

Points of orderEdit

As far as I know the APA has not made a statement about harm resulting from showing these images, I am not sure about the BPS. The APA source only prohibits psychologists from making test material available to the public. It does not mention harm or go into motive at all, nor does it mention the Rorschach test. Beyond these important corrections, I support this debate. Chillum 02:05, 5 July 2009 (UTC)
Sorry, I amended it to say "test materials (in general)" [8]. You are right in that we haven't been presented with any statements about Rorschach images specifically. –xenotalk 02:08, 5 July 2009 (UTC)
It was more my point that the sources presented for the APA have not made mention of harm, or any mention of the motive of this rule. Chillum 02:10, 5 July 2009 (UTC)
The final lead paragraph does reliably source assertions of harm from dissemination of test materials in general: The APA states that the dissemination of test materials "imposes very concrete harm to the general public" as well, in that "there are a limited number of standardized psychological tests considered appropriate for a given purpose"xenotalk 02:12, 5 July 2009 (UTC)
Which source is this? The one I am thinking of is much more limited. Chillum 02:15, 5 July 2009 (UTC)
"^ American Psychological Association, Statement on the Disclosure of Test Data, 1996." quoted in [9]xenotalk 02:19, 5 July 2009 (UTC)
I see. In that case point conceded. Chillum 02:20, 5 July 2009 (UTC)
  • I should probably mention, for both transparency and attribution purposes, that the above RFC statement was drafted in concert with Faustian at User talk:Faustian#RFC. –xenotalk 03:00, 5 July 2009 (UTC)

Does anyone agree this RFC has been superceded by the one running at WT:Involuntary health consequences ? –xenotalk 15:10, 13 July 2009 (UTC)

Someone has taken the RFC tag down. I think Dangling should incorporate the opinions of the people who respond to this RFC and try to make a more refined policy proposal after this one closes. –xenotalk 04:02, 14 July 2009 (UTC)


  • I have thought about this and my answer is no. Wikipedia is not censored directly applies here. We should not hold back relevant, informative and verifiable information from people seeking because we feel it is for their own good. The images in the the form of small thumbnails and the very first section describes the concerns about previewing the images. People don't have to stare at them and interpret them, they don't need to click and see the larger version, but if they want to they should be able to. By the logic given here we should not explain the weaknesses in a polygraph test because a criminal may get loose. We should not explain how Cold reading works because it may prevent a psychic from counseling a customer. The fact is that pretty much any test is invalidated if you look up the questions or the answers ahead of time. We should not reduce our content to avoid this. Chillum 14:46, 5 July 2009 (UTC)
Pretty much any test is invalidated if the answers are shown to you whether you asked to see them or not. Martinevans123 (talk) 19:00, 5 July 2009 (UTC)
Which has nothing to do with this article, as it doesn't show any answers. There is no right answer to inkblot tests anyway. DreamGuy (talk) 19:12, 5 July 2009 (UTC)
Pretty much any test is invalidated if the questions are shown to you whether you asked to see them or not. Martinevans123 (talk) 19:40, 5 July 2009 (UTC)
They're not questions either, even if they were that is why examination boards take a lot of effort to create new standardised questions every exam cycle. It seems either laziness or cargo-cultish to rely on these images when others could easily be produced to serve the claimed purpose, and copyright would then undoubtedly be claimed on those. (talk) 00:27, 15 July 2009 (UTC)
This is ridiculously inaccurate. The current scientific quality of the Rorschach came about as a result of nine decades of research, which today, with a new set of inkblots, would cost hundreds of millions of dollars to produce and would require decades to complete even if every psychology research program in the English speaking world allocated most of its resources to such a project. And even then, there's no guarantee that the end result would be as good or better than the current Rorschach inkblots. This comment epitomizes the profound ignorance of non-expert opinions here. Ward3001 (talk) 00:44, 15 July 2009 (UTC)
In that case, how was the efficacy of these magic pictures ever established in the first place? Please do enlighten me. (talk) 06:03, 15 July 2009 (UTC)
Through 90 years of research. Ward3001 (talk) 14:40, 15 July 2009 (UTC)
Let's see references to that peer reviewed quality research, rather then simply claiming it exists. Especially those papers that show how well this test works across culture backgrounds. Anthropological articles like "Shakespeare in the Bush" show that there problems with that and if this test is based on the cultural bias of 1920 then it will by definition have problems. Plate 4 could be seen as a shambling mound (D&D monster), Plate 6 as a spaceship (Klingon Battlecruiser is you are a Star Trek fan), and Plate 7 as a vase or facemask. I think we would love to see the peer reviewed papers that talk about those interpretations.--BruceGrubb (talk) 06:55, 30 July 2009 (UTC)

"would cost hundreds of millions of dollars to produce and would require decades to complete even if every psychology research program in the English speaking world allocated most of its resources to such a project", that is a rather impressive claim. Is that your opinion or did you get that information from a reliable source? Chillum 01:20, 15 July 2009 (UTC)
How much do you think it would cost to repeat nine decades of research, conduct approximately 2000 studies (which requires getting permission from research policy committees, finding thousands of subjects in the age range of 5 to 90 years old willing to participate, paying each of these research subjects approximately $100 each, get the studies accepted in peer review journals, and then synthesize all of the research into a coherent whole). Then, you must deal with the extremely difficult-to-find research subjects (such as several dozen patients who have suicided and also had a Rorschach administered prior to the suicide), reformulate hundreds of possible variables (and you can't use the old variables because they're from a completely different set of inkblots). How much do you think that would cost, and how long would it take? I said decades. One decade would be an underestimate. Two decades might be possible, with unlimited resources dedicated to the project. Do you suggest that it could be done in a year or two? If so, you are even more naive than the anon who glibly proclaimed that "It seems either laziness or cargo-cultish to rely on these images when others could easily be produced to serve the claimed purpose". And please tell me how you can find reliable sources for hypothetical future events? Do we look in the Journal of Psychological Research That Will Occur? Where could I find that reliable source. The reliable sources are the thousands of previous studies that must be repeated. Ward3001 (talk) 02:43, 15 July 2009 (UTC)
You see I don't know Ward, because I am not here to engage in original research. Do you have any sources for your impressive claim? Chillum 04:50, 15 July 2009 (UTC)
Read the thousands of existing studies accumulated over the past 90 years. Those are the sources. As you have done in the past, you ask for impossible information in insisting on a source for hypothetical future events. John Exner was the most prolific researcher on the Rorschach. He devoted almost all of the last thirty years of his professional life to researching the Rorschach. He completed several hundred studies and wrote a few books. Do you actually think a handful of researchers are going to duplicate that, plus all the previous 50 years of research, plus the research by dozens of other researchers during Exner's lifetime, in a few years at a cost of a few thousand dollars? And you're quite correct: You don't know. No one knows anything about the future. What I'm not sure about is do you know anything about the past when it comes to Rorschach research. I'm basing this on past research. If you want sources I can post the entire bibliography of Rorschach research on your talk page, along with average salaries of the dozens of university professors who will conduct the research, their research assistants, and university budgets that will oversee the research. Ward3001 (talk) 14:40, 15 July 2009 (UTC)
I only ask that you support what you claim. If what you are claiming cannot be verified then it is unverifiable. You are asking me to take several sources and join them into a new idea, that is original research by synthesis. Chillum 15:16, 15 July 2009 (UTC)
No, you ask for the impossible. The only way to estimate the future is based on the past. How do you think anyone prepares a budget? Do they look into the future with their crystal ball and come up with exact figures? It is perfectly legitimate, including on a Wikipedia talk page, to make a reasonable estimate about future events based on accurate interpretation of past events. When an editor (anon makes an outrageous claim about the future ("others could easily be produced") on a Wikipedia talk page, it perfectly acceptable to rebut that argument with an educated estimate that reflects a knowledge of past events. If anon had made his absurd statement in the article, it would have been reverted instantly, and rightly so. If I made my estimate of the future in the article, that also would be reverted. But this talk page is an acceptable place to separate wild speculation from educated estimates, and that's what I did. I have given accurate data about past research, so let's see if others besides you think it can be done in less than "decades" rather "months" or "years", and what they base this estimate on. Otherwise you and I could disagree endlessly about the future. Ward3001 (talk) 16:03, 15 July 2009 (UTC)
As you didn't even attempt to answer my question, this hyperbole looks increasingly like an argument from authority with no actual proof. I see no evidence of commons tragedy as claimed. (talk) 22:31, 15 July 2009 (UTC)
As you apparently cannot understand simple English, this discussion is pointless. Your question was answerered quite sufficiently; you simply cannot or choose not to understand it: ninety years of research. A "year" means 365 days. "Research" means scientific study. Ward3001 (talk) 00:31, 16 July 2009 (UTC)
Let's see some reference to this so called "ninety years of research" The work of Dunnel and Binford in anthropology regarding if style had a function shows many of the assumptions in the Rorschach test may have cultural bias problem. I think we would love to see how well this test worked on the !Kung bushmen, or the people of Haiti, or someone in Japan, China, and I think you get the idea. So where are the reports on those studies?--BruceGrubb (talk) 07:01, 30 July 2009 (UTC)
  • This RFC is pointless, mainly because it's based upon the idea that seeing inkblots somehow harm you, which is complete and utter nonsense. Framing the RFC this way plays right into the hands of some amazingly unrepentant and calculated POV-pushers. Should we consider harm? Yes, but only if that harm can be reliably proven to be a genuine and immediate result, not just asserted and insisted upon in a rather POV way. Their argument goes like this: "Invalidating this test by seeing the images" (unproven and highly unlikely- you still see what you see even if you've seen them before) "means that no other test is usable" (unproven and frankly ridiculous -- these people are acting like inkblots are the end all and be all of clinical psychology, which is absurd) "which means that maybe there'll be some case where someone won't otherwise be able to be treated for a harmful condition" (highly unlikely theoretical situation which flies in the face of contrary POV that the tests are useless and sometimes even harmful -- we could equally argue that invalidating these, even if we could, we be a GOOD thing) "and therefore we should censor this information" (conclusion based upon a series of completely dubious, unproven arguments). DreamGuy (talk) 19:12, 5 July 2009 (UTC)
Please show us the evidence that this claim is "complete and utter nonsense". Martinevans123 (talk) 19:41, 5 July 2009 (UTC)
I don't know about nonsense, but it is all rather unconvincing. Chillum 03:54, 6 July 2009 (UTC)
That was the thrust of the entire post. Refusing to acknowledge it does not mean it wasn't already given. DreamGuy (talk) 19:00, 6 July 2009 (UTC)
And please show us the evidence that "the tests are useless and sometimes even harmful". Martinevans123 (talk) 06:28, 6 July 2009 (UTC)
Why do you keep asking us to present evidence to disprove your claims? It is your claim, it is your burden to convince us. I for one am not convinced. Chillum 13:33, 6 July 2009 (UTC)
Because I am still trying (after over a year, now) to draw your attention to the fact that it is not possible to provide scientific evidence for EITHER side of this argument. I have yet to see your response. Martinevans123 (talk) 19:26, 6 July 2009 (UTC)
Then the point really is moot; content will not be removed from a Wikipedia article because of unproven and unprovable concerns, when such content is encyclopedic and extremely relevant to the article's subject. We know already that Wikipedia is not censored, please don't choose to ignore that. --LjL (talk) 23:42, 16 July 2009 (UTC)
If you were paying attention that was not my argument, it was my argument that that's a valid POV, and that has already been sourced and is (or was -- maybe I should see if a POV pusher afraid to have criticism in the article took it out) in the article itself. The fact that multiple POVs exist mean that we can't follow the opinion of just one side. This is VERY basic NPOV stuff here. DreamGuy (talk) 19:00, 6 July 2009 (UTC)
I'm sorry DreamGuy, I have no idea what you're actually saying. If it's just my level of attention that is to blame, then I apologise. Martinevans123 (talk) 19:31, 6 July 2009 (UTC)
  • I think the answer is a definite maybe. There are currently about the same number of argument Pro as Con, many of them new. Each one is separate. Ethical arguments are valid, as well. If everyone can agree on the ethic then, why not consider it? We shouldn't dismiss all ethical arguments as categorically subjective. That's just not true. Some ethics are nearly universal. I get nervous when people, who are free to express themselves in a forum that encourages collaboration, limit their comments to issues of policy only. Many of us have not responded or provided their opinion about Argument Con #1. I'm not sure why, but I'm guessing it's because they couldn't find a basis in policy. It seems odd to me. People shouldn't allow themselves to disengage so completely from their own ethics. Even soldiers, prior to following orders, can be permitted to speak freely or to lodge a protest. Instead, what's so unworkable by first presenting an ethical argument, and then, if not everyone can agree, falling back on policy to direct the course of consensus? That'll work and it also allows people the freedom to express their ethics. I also cite the following sources:
    [10] [11] [12] [13]
    I'd like to get comments on Argument Con #4, I think a WP:NPOV violation is worse than a WP:NOTCENSORED one. But I can be patient and wait until this RfC is finished. One argument at a time, right? Danglingdiagnosis (talk) 00:09, 7 July 2009 (UTC)
  • Yes, the principle of "harm" should be considered in ordinary editorial decisions like this one. However, that principle is not an absolute. It is held in dynamic tension with other core principles such as NOTCENSORED. The degree of potential harm must be balanced against the potential benefit and the fit with Wikipedia's educational mission. It must considered in the full light of all the surrounding circumstances. In this regard, the analogy to BLP is apt. Disclosing the Social Security Number of a private citizen exposes the person to identity theft and is clearly inappropriate but publishing Todd Davis' is fine. (He's the guy in the LifeLock commercials.) Disclosing other personal details may or may not be appropriate depending on how widely the information has already been disseminated, how easily the information could be exploited, etc. BLP is actually quite nuanced in this regard.
    To apply the principle in this case, an allegation of harm was made. Counter-evidence was presented that the image is already widely disclosed. Considerable discussion drew out the nature, degree and probability of incremental harm. Reading the past discussions, it seems clear to me that the community has already given due weight to the principle of harm and reached a rough consensus that it is negligible in this case. (Perfect consensus is, of course, an unattainable goal at Wikipedia.) Rossami (talk) 23:55, 7 July 2009 (UTC)
Thank you for your wonderful comment. I loved how you seem to appreciate the distinction between laying out all arguments for everyone to see, and then once that's done, assigning weight to them. That's exactly what we need to do. It engaged my thinking very much, and was very welcome indeed. And yet, I might have come to a different conclusion if I were to have attempted to add the following issues to the dynamic tension of arguments of which you wrote. I wonder if your opinion might change after considering the following:
1. Neutrality of the article. This is a core principle of Wikipedia, more important than WP:NOTCENSORED How can we serve the poor reader who says:
"Where? Oh, where can I go to find a balanced article that allows me to make up my own mind about prominent issues surrounding the Rorschach test -- issues such as the one about why psychologists are advocating for the removal of images from the internet. What's that issue about? I see it on so many web-pages; but those pages seem so biased. Where can I go to find the unbiased version -- one that doesn't demonstrate bias by showing me the images. "
It was only 11 days ago that the allegation was made and countered that this important discussion was even occurring outside of Wikipedia, and we're still coming to grips with the idea that we need to show our readers that we are neutral on the subject and not engaging in the controversy or advancing a point of view. (See talk:Rorschach_test#Argument Con #4 - It violates Wikipedia policy on neutrality.)
2. The discussion so far, has also lacked any mention of the flaw in the thinking of many here that readers have already made their choice by coming to this page to see information about a medical subject. By clicking on "What links here," we can see that there are over 350 pages that link to the article, including one from a #1 song called Crazy and another about a fictional character in a major motion picture called The Watchmen and the corresponding graphic novel that Time Magazine has called "one of the 100 best novels ever written." Idly curious readers may have no idea what's coming when they click on the Rorschach wikilink. The same goes for fans of these things who will come to our article using search engines such as Google. All the discussions about harm have made the assumption that the reader knows what they are doing when they come to the article. This thinking is flawed, but no one has yet pointed out the flaw. Perhaps no one here has seen the movie.
3. Plus, I see a disturbing influence that has yet to be challenged. There has often been expressed a valid, but negative opinion about the utility of the test. But this opinion has no place when deciding whether to show the images or not. This thinking is similar to that of someone who vandalizes another's car saying, "Oh well, they won't care. It's a worthless pile of scrap metal, anyway." It's one thing to point at someone else's car and say it's worthless. It's quite another to then go and sabotage it. (See owner's 2009 letter of complaint and owner's 2006 letter of complaint) It's possible that once this is pointed out, consensus may change. (See consensus can change.)
4. I'm optimistic that consensus is movable about the interpretation of the APA and The BPS statement. It hasn't been pointed out, yet, how unreasonable it is to read a code of conduct and expect the authors to list specific tests when general categories will suffice. The Rorschach is a psychological test. Both codes ask that test materials and stimuli be kept secure. The Rorschach, by definition, falls under the category of test material and is thus covered under Section 9.11 of the APA Code. Moreover, it is highly popular test material. In a 1995 survey of 412 randomly selected clinical psychologists, 45 percent said that they use the Rorschach frequently and 89 percent said they use it occasionally. To interpret the APA's and BPS's code as not specific enough to include such a popular test is unnecessarily obtuse. Therefore, I think we can use the APA and the BPS as reliable sources showing that experts feel the need to maintain the security of Rorschach for, as is stated both codes, the purpose of protecting the welfare of the patient. I can't help but think that consensus will change on this. It has yet to be explained to me how any other position can be tenable. This will undoubtedly have the effect of changing the dynamic tension and weight of the arguments in "the final analysis."
So speaking as the new guy to this discussion page, (22 days and counting) I'm wondering if you agree that it's a little premature to draw any conclusions, yet. I think there may be a few things yet to discuss. Danglingdiagnosis (talk) 10:27, 8 July 2009 (UTC)

Comments - arb break 1Edit

  • I have never before encountered an RfC so disingenuously framed. Besides, hasn't this question already been settled? Repeatedly? Dlabtot (talk) 16:48, 6 July 2009 (UTC)
    • Could you expand on your first point? As for your second, the section below speaks to that. –xenotalk 16:50, 6 July 2009 (UTC)
Why would I need to 'expand' on it? Dlabtot (talk) 17:30, 6 July 2009 (UTC)
Because you're claiming I filed a disingenuously framed RFC. That's a fairly strong claim, I would like you to elucidate what part of the RFC you feel was disingenuous and how I could've better framed it. –xenotalk 17:34, 6 July 2009 (UTC)
I'm not going to be drawn into a repeat of one the pointless arguments that I see on this talk page. You filed a Request for Comments; I commented. I don't think there is anything vague or unclear about my comment. How could you have better framed the question? Let's look at another example question: Should dlabtot stop beating his wife? Certainly this question is disingenuously framed, but does that does not mean a change in phrasing will improve it. Rather it should simply not be asked. Similarly, I see your RfC as a disruptive unwillingness to accept consensus. Though no doubt meant in good faith and with the best of intentions. Dlabtot (talk) 18:02, 6 July 2009 (UTC)
You'll note I did use the construction "Iff" - "If and only if" - we are willing to accept the possibility of harm (...). I have also been trying to remain neutral in this, so I filed, to the best of my ability, a neutral RFC that takes into consideration both sides of the debate. I'm sorry that you feel I was "disingenuous" and that, I think you are confused as to my role here. –xenotalk 18:08, 6 July 2009 (UTC) striking/superscript at 18:27, 6 July 2009 (UTC)
I'm certainly not confused. Please refrain from making any further personal comments about me or what you presume to be my mental state. Dlabtot (talk) 18:11, 6 July 2009 (UTC)
Then I ask the same of you. Perhaps you would like to strike your above comments about disingenuity and disruptive unwillingness. –xenotalk 18:14, 6 July 2009 (UTC)
I certainly will refrain from making personal comments about you or what I presume to be your mental state. Just as I asked you to. Dlabtot (talk) 18:22, 6 July 2009 (UTC)
I've amended my comment. I am still of the opinion that you are confused, since you're trying to say that I am disruptively unwilling to accept consensus. –xenotalk 18:27, 6 July 2009 (UTC)
I'm not at all confused. If I recollect correctly, some weeks or months ago I answered an RfC about whether this article should include an inkblot image. Looking at the talk page, history, and archives, it is apparent that a clear consensus has been formed since then. Despite this, the arguments continue. Dlabtot (talk) 18:34, 6 July 2009 (UTC)
The purpose of this RFC is to determine whether Wikipedians think Rorschach images should be suppressed iff they accept there is a potential for harm. Perhaps you can answer that questions directly rather than complaining about the framing of the same. If the answer is no (i.e. "No, we shall not limit or otherwise restrict encyclopedic content even if it can be demonstrably shown to cause harm"), and the community agrees with you, then (in theory) no further debate on images will need to take place and the talk page can be free of the never-ending debate. My goal here is to bring an end to this long-running dispute. Nothing more, nothing less. –xenotalk 18:42, 6 July 2009 (UTC) (FWIW, you recall incorrectly. You haven't visited this page before today. [14] It may have been an RFC at another forum though)
I can accept that you are unhappy with my response to your Request for Comment. Nevertheless, it is my response. I again repeat that I have no doubt that your filing of the RfC was meant in good faith and with the best of intentions. Dlabtot (talk) 18:52, 6 July 2009 (UTC)
Thanks for your comments. –xenotalk 18:53, 6 July 2009 (UTC)

Comments - arb break 2Edit

potential for harm is a nebuleuos phrase. In this specific instance, prior exposure can result in inaccurate/misleading scores. In this specific instance, the more one looks at the images, the more one sees in them. Unfortunately for test takers, there is a correlation between what one describes, and the degree of pathology that this test claims one has. That is where the harm, for this specific test comes. (Obviously I'm assuming that the test is valid in the first place, and the person who administers it, is competent to do so. On second thoughts, even if only one, or neither of those applied, but it was being given in an "official" capacity, the harm is still present, albeit magnified by the incomptence of the person administring the test, and/or the degree to which the test is invalid.)jonathon (talk) 06:41, 7 July 2009 (UTC)

In short, I don't think potential for harm should be policy, but it might be a factor to consider, in determining the appropriateness of including/excluding specific data.jonathon (talk) 06:41, 7 July 2009 (UTC)

  • Comment. Good lord, all information is seen as potentially harmful depending on who you ask and believe. At one point those who felt the Earth wasn't the center of the universe were risking their lives to state so. So no, whatever this "concern" is really has little bearing on our writing and presenting information. show all the information and present it neutrally, let the reader decide what to think. There will always be good reasons not to use something but I'm afraid this comes down to Wikipedia does not censor as a rule and there doesn't seem to be any compelling reason here to make an exception. -- Banjeboi 09:54, 28 July 2009 (UTC)

New arguments go hereEdit

Since the above section got filled with off-topic content unrelated to presenting new arguments I am roping off this section for people to present new arguments to the debate. Please keep this sub-section on topic by sticking to new arguments here, if you have anything else to say there are plenty of other threads. Chillum 13:20, 9 July 2009 (UTC)

David S Rohde argumentEdit

Archived to Talk:Rorschach test/Archive 8#David S Rohde argument - if necessary, continue discussion below

Argument for general disclosure of testing materials (after an appropriate time)Edit

Archived to Talk:Rorschach test/Archive 8#Argument for general disclosure of testing materials (after an appropriate time) - if necessary, continue discussion below


The first image in particular has a somewhat iconic quality. I saw it some years ago - I don't remember the exact context, but I believe I was reading about Rorschach. Now that image in particular is associated in my mind with Rorschach and symmetric inkblots. Someone with a worse memory than me might see Rorschach mentioned somewhere, not remember who he was or why he was important, look it up here, and see the image and remember "oh, that's who he was". This is one reason to include images in general - not just to show people new to the subject what the subject looks like, but also to jog the memory of those with a vague recollection of the subject. --NE2 04:57, 17 July 2009 (UTC)

A Consideration on Harm, Protection of Test Materials, and the Use of the Images in QuestionEdit

Thanks for all the users who have given their thoughtful comments in the above sections in response to my previous posts.

Up above (in Arguments Pro) I questioned who was harmed and in what manner. I now realized that the two groups I recognized as potentially being harmed (those in need of psychological evaluation and those performing the said evaluation) were both slightly off the mark. In the posts above I see that the harm being done is to the test itself and it's usability and validity in respect to the public availability of the images. With the harm that is done to the test's usability and validity by the images public display, the desire to protect the test materials becomes a very real concern for professional organizations such as the APA and members of those organizations. As such, the concerns presented here are very real and very appropriate.

Here's the grand problem. It is not the posting or presentation of the images that is causing the harm. The harm was inflicted upon the test when the images lost their copyright protected status and entered the public domain. At that moment, the core of the test became freely, and appropriately, available to the public. I'm not sure who the copyright holder was, but in failing to secure the continued protection of the images, the APA and psychological professionals have been place in an unenviable position attempting to censor the appearance of the image in public.

Many of the arguements presented in favor of removing the images make perfect sense in respect to the question of whether the test is useful and whether the test materials should be protected. When approaching the question from that direction I find no real debate. Sadly, a significant portion of the test materials were not protected and now are in the public domain, and none of the arguements I've seen presented have really answered to the copyright/public domain question. And that is the foundation of the usage question.

While it really concerns me that these images were allowed to fall into the public domain (and it worries me that such a useful test has been harmed by neglect/oversite on part of the copyright holder or his designary), the images are directly tied to the article and have value in presenting accurate illustrative information. Therefore, unless an immensely convincing arguement can be presented that challenges the use of the images under the public domain... an argument that, in all reality, would need to be a legal argument challenging the images' current public domain status... then I don't see a point at which the images will be permanently removed. In fact, without legally changing the public domain status of the images, the battle to keep them out of the public eye is one that cannot be won, because the images will always be freely disseminated and those wishing to keep them out of sight will always be a step behind.

Psychological professionals and organizations have a right to be upset and angry about this issue... but the anger and action needs to be in the direction of those that failed to protect the copyright status of the images and not those that use the images to legitimately illustrate and present useful information to the public. --Raukodraug (talk) 20:33, 16 July 2009 (UTC)

Raukodraug, some of your points are accurate, but you yourself are off the mark in some of your comments, perhaps because previous comments from other editors did not adequately explain some of the details. First, regardless of the issue of copyright, the harm isn't just to the test. The harm is to the patients who could be served by the benefits of information acquired from the test. If you have a contaminated medical test, the harm isn't just to the test; you also are harmed. Secondly, the publisher of the Rorschach test has no culpability regarding copyright. The images were created by Hermann Rorschach, and the copyright to the images expired a certain period after his death. The publisher of the Rorschach test has never had a copyright on the images; it only had trademark on the test itself. In other words, I cannot legally sell the Rorschach test without violating the rights of the publisher, but I can legally reproduce the images because they are not copyrighted. There is a difference. (Incidentally, no responsible psychologist would administer the test from images not acquired from the publisher because of the possibility that the psychometric soundness of the test could be compromised in doing so.) Thirdly, it isn't just the professionals and organizations who have a right to be angry because of any harm; it is also the patients who have been deprived of better care that can result from valid test results. And finally, the argument that the damage was done when the copyright expired has some merit, but it does not exonerate Wikipedia (or anyone else) in whatever reponsibility it has for being the vehicle for the harm. There have been legitimate disagreements in this discussion (including in the archives) regarding Wikipedia's ethical responsibilities in that regard, but whatever responsibility Wikipedia has, it is not reduced by the fact that the images are in the public domain. The old saying "two wrongs don't make a right" applies; the fact that other sources may have inflicted harm does not reduce Wikipedia's additional responsibility for adding to that harm (whatever that responsibility might be). Ward3001 (talk) 21:20, 16 July 2009 (UTC)
1. You place the harm to the patient, but that harm comes from using a compromised test. The test was compromised when the images entered into the public domain. That brings me back to the point that the harm is to the test in the form of it being compromised. A patient is only harmed when a practitioner chooses to use a test that has been compromised.
2. I do understand that the copyright to the images were held by the creator, but that copyright can be transferred to a rightsholder (often an heir or a foundation) which can retain the legal right to renew copyright. Because this wasn't done harm came to the test.
3. True, patients can also be angry... but as with the professionals and organizations, their anger should be directed at the entity that allowed the test to be compromised... the original copyright holder.
I understand that some may wish to argue that Wikipedia is doing harm by displaying these images. Those who wish to do so will continue to do so. But I want to point out one very important thing... These images belong to the public. They belong to everyone. No one person, organization or entity has any right to censor the images. Even for the public's own good. (And to head off a discussion of pornography... those images are censored by what amounts to social consensus not any single person, organization, or entity.)
Argue all you want about whether Wikipedia furthers the harm to the test, because it's a moot point. Wikipedia did not and compromise the test, nor did any other site on the internet. This compromise occurred when the images entered the public domain. Some may not like the fact this occurred and may want to blame sites like Wikipedia and accuse them of harming the test and patients, but that is little more that blaming the messenger. Blame needs be laid where blame is due.
Finally, I am truly sorry that the test has been compromised. It was a useful test. But from here forward I will consider the Rorschach test compromised. Any harm to a patient from the use of a compromised test falls on the shoulders of a practitioner choosing to use the compromised instrument. --Raukodraug (talk) 22:16, 16 July 2009 (UTC)
  • "You place the harm to the patient, but that harm comes from using a compromised test": Nonetheless, Wikipedia can cause harm (regardless of whether other sources cause harm) when it exposes the images.
  • "that copyright can be transferred to a rightsholder (often an heir or a foundation) which can retain the legal right to renew copyright. Because this wasn't done harm came to the test."": Only partially correct, and it misses my most important point in that regard. The copyright was held by the Rorschach family until a specific period of time after H. Rorschach's death. There is a limit to renewal of copyright. That's why books go into the public domain at a certain point, even when all the possible copyrights have been upheld as long as possible. The copyright to the images existed until it was no longer legally possible to maintain the copyright. This has been argued repeatedly here and is a simple matter of copyright law that has been confirmed by legal experts who edit here. Copyrights cannot be held indefinitely. Read Copyright (and please keep in mind that Wikipedia must primarily follow the laws of the United States since it's main servers and its corporate structure reside primarily in the United States). The fact that the copyright to the images expired was not due to anyone's negligence, including the Rorschah family or the pubishers of the Rorschach test. To try to shift blame to either of those clouds the issue.
  • "their anger should be directed at the entity that allowed the test to be compromised": That would be the creators of copyright laws that do not allow endless renewals of copyright. That's not exactly an easy target for a patient's anger.
  • "Argue all you want about whether Wikipedia furthers the harm to the test, because it's a moot point": It's a moot point from the point of view that Wikipedia does not violate the law. It is not a moot point regarding whatever responsibility Wikipedia might have not to further any harm. As I said previously, there have been legitimate disagreements about what extent Wikipedia has such a responsibility, but you again have clouded the issue by making a blanket statement that "it's a moot point." It depends on whether you're talking about the law or talking about ethics. If you want to argue that Wikipedia has no ethical responsiblity here, you're entitled to your opinion. But don't try to present your opinion as irrefutable fact. It is a fact that Wikipedia does not violate the law by displaying the images. It is an opinion that Wikipedia has no ethical obligation to exercise some control over display of the images.
  • "Any harm to a patient from the use of a compromised test falls on the shoulders of a practitioner choosing to use the compromised instrument": And prior to that, it falls on the shoulders of those who decide to display the images, including those who do so on Wikipedia. Ward3001 (talk) 22:35, 16 July 2009 (UTC)
This drivel is just a variant of Kusche's parrot kidnapped to teach aliens human language. Unless there is some proof that real harm and not some tarot card nonsense is produced this is going nowhere.--BruceGrubb (talk) 07:17, 30 July 2009 (UTC)
There are three high quality, secondary sources [15] [16] [17] that state that a lack of security of these images could vandalize the test and harm a psychologists ability to protect the welfare of his/her patient. While I appreciate your argument that the work of psychological assessment is more akin to tarot card reading, (indeed, I share it) I cannot in good conscience allow my personal bias to cause me to abandon the rules of attribution and reliable sources. See WP:V AND WP:MEDRS It also violates another rule: never underestimate a good tarot card reader. Danglingdiagnosis (talk) 12:50, 30 July 2009 (UTC)
I present to thee a hypothetical organized religion centered around H. P. Lovecraft's Cthulhu mythos. One of the central tenets of the religion is that those who aren't properly, slowly introduced to the ways of the Great Old Ones by a licensed priest become corrupted - that those who have read central parts of the stories in their native tongue cannot have their eternal soul saved by the church's ministrations. All information offered is restricted in the organization until one has attained the proper level of committment and training. Now, all of Lovecraft's works have entered into the public domain recently, in (death+70 years) countries. Does Wikipedia publish detailed (but forbidden) incantations that are necessary for an ignorant but interested reader to get a grasp of the religion? Even if some consider Wikipedia to do great harm by releasing this information, doesn't Wikipedia have a duty not to restrict access to publicly available, public domain content based on such opinions? The above example could just as easily (given different copyright circumstances) be a set of objects used to divine the next Dalai Llama, the secrets of Scientology, the number of days that marijuana shows up in a drug test, or publicly accessible details of a crime, knowledge of which the police would prefer to use to identify the perpetrator. There are great numbers of things certain people would rather not have on wikipedia, and proving harm to some interested party is frankly immaterial to the mission of wikipedia. Only in the grossest cases of direct danger (such as a kidnapped journalist), and only then in the worst of references (local Afghan sources) is deliberate censorship ever approved of by the userbase. (talk) 23:17, 16 July 2009 (UTC)
Hmmm... a hypothetical argument. Perhaps it might be more constructive if we applied ourselves to the issue at hand. I like agile minds, though. Welcome to our discussion.
As for censorship, how do you feel about a proposed compromise to add a hide/show button that surrounds images? Is that still censorship? Or is that something else for which we have no word? You may be better equipped than I am to explain it. Danglingdiagnosis (talk) 03:26, 17 July 2009 (UTC)
That seems like a really good idea to me. It doesn't make any censorship statement - it's simply quietly doing a little "favor" to some readers - and it doesn't mean adding a WP:Disclaimer, even though it has about the same advantages as one (makes it hard to look at the images by mistake if you didn't mean to). --LjL (talk) 13:04, 17 July 2009 (UTC)
Please see ;Use show/hide mode for Rorschach Test inkblots? For many reasons the community has shot this proposal down.
Archived to /Archive 7#Use show/hide mode for Rorschach Test inkblots? Garycompugeek (talk) 13:36, 17 July 2009 (UTC)
Well, I don't think I've seen any arguments that hold any water in there. Censorship? No, it's not, they can be seen at the click of a button. Spoiler warning? No, it's not, many things are hidden by default on Wikipedia articles, for reasons that can simply be down to compacting the article; this wouldn't be a spoiler warning or a disclaimer. If the original author of this article had decided to hide the images by default (possibly because he thought they'd take up too much space), would anyone have complained? I suspect not. So to question the motives when the end result itself is perfectly neutral is gratuitous. --LjL (talk) 13:56, 17 July 2009 (UTC)
This idea has been shot down both repeatedly and recently. Chillum 13:57, 17 July 2009 (UTC)
Agreed. Trust me, the community is very strongly against hiding content in this fashion. Using the show/hide function to obscure material someone finds offensive has been deemed incompatible with the community's goals. Resolute 14:05, 17 July 2009 (UTC)
Then surely there is a guideline about that? Because I don't think ideas can be "shot down", nor is the consensus very clear from this talk page (perhaps because there's been so much discussion about the whole issue). Most of the more valid points I've seen were about having a disclaimer ("clicking Show may invalidate the results"), not about having a hidebox in itself; I do not propose a disclaimer. Perhaps we should take a WP:straw poll to get an idea what the actual consensus about using a show/hide button might look like? --LjL (talk) 14:24, 17 July 2009 (UTC)
There are also technical issues with browsers that would further complicate it, but know it has been thoroughly considered and repeatedly rejected. Garycompugeek (talk) 14:26, 17 July 2009 (UTC)
Technical issues which, apparently, do not prevent hiding other content when it's done for other reasons...? Since that's something that's quite routinely done. And sorry if I won't just believe you word on this being a "dead horse". I've read what I could find, and I see neither consensus nor convincing arguments. Perhaps I'm not reading the right stuff. --LjL (talk) 14:29, 17 July 2009 (UTC)
Hideboxes don't print properly. The only content we put in hideboxes on articles are navboxes, which are quite useless on paper. –xenotalk 14:31, 17 July 2009 (UTC)
How about collapsible tables? --LjL (talk) 14:36, 17 July 2009 (UTC)
Hideboxes are just an easy way of making a collapsible table. –xenotalk 14:38, 17 July 2009 (UTC)
That's what I was saying, I think: that collapsible tables are similar and aren't merely used on navboxes (or at least, the help page makes no mention of that, and I've seen a number of articles where they're used in other places). --LjL (talk) 14:55, 17 July 2009 (UTC)
Can you point me to an article that puts encyclopedic content in a drop-down? I think this has only very recently achieved consensus for some very lengthy court documents. –xenotalk 14:59, 17 July 2009 (UTC)
Uhm, no, I don't have specific articles in mind, I was just under the impression I had seen a few articles with collapsible tables; I suppose I might be confusing it with other languages Wikipedias. If collapsible tables and hideboxes are generally not supposed to be used at all for almost any reason here, then I agree that they definitely shouldn't be used on this article, either. --LjL (talk) 15:18, 17 July 2009 (UTC)
I have found the guideline you were probably thinking about at MOS:SCROLL. I believe it does apply to the case in question, and therefore I withdraw any support for having a hide/show thingie: it's clearly against guidelines. --LjL (talk) 21:56, 17 July 2009 (UTC)
See Talk:Rorschach_test/Archive_7#Include_Not_In_a_Dropdown_box. We just went through all of this. There was a specific consensus against hiding them in a dropdown box. Chillum 14:39, 17 July 2009 (UTC)
I did not weigh in on that discussion. Perhaps consensus can change. I'm not a javascript expert, but I understand from you that there are technical problems with some browsers. I'm wondering if there are ways around the problem. If not all browsers support this function, then perhaps we could provide directions where people can download a browser that is capable of performing the task, much like is done with PDF files. Or if that seems too burdensome, then we can avoid javascript altogether and simply use a link to a gallery page. Every browser can perform a simple hyperlink function, right? Danglingdiagnosis (talk) 16:58, 17 July 2009 (UTC)
But making a separate article devoid of text and only containing the images would violate various guidelines against such pages. And if User:xeno is right about hidden/collapsed "popups" not being allowed aside from when the text is only navigational, then I really don't think we should make an exception for one article. --LjL (talk) 17:05, 17 July 2009 (UTC)
The seperate article could be about the inkblots. How the creator of the test selected them, made them, etc. while this one could be about the test.Faustian (talk) 17:34, 17 July 2009 (UTC)
That'd be a compromise solution, but you'll have to admit it's a bit contrived... and there is a downside: having detailed descriptions of the inkblots and of the reasons they were designed like that would likely skew the results of the test much more of a test subject came to read that! I'd personally like to have that information included, but I think the don't-disclose "camp" wouldn't... ;-) --LjL (talk) 17:45, 17 July 2009 (UTC)
You're right, it wouldn't absolve any of us of our ethical responsibilities under the APA code of ethics. Mirafra (talk) 02:13, 18 July 2009 (UTC)
Stop thinking about how inkblots are used in a psychologist office. How about an article about inkblots in general, which includes a specific section on Rorschach inkblots. I've long thought that we need to add prose that describes the "real-world" context of the images. I'm thinking about cultural influences. Andy Warhol did some work with inkblots, didn't he? I just love articles that tell me things that I should know but don't. Like how many movies did I see that showed some inkblot in it? I don't know. But I promise you there's somebody in Wikipedia who can fill us in on that cultural item of interest. Danglingdiagnosis (talk) 06:18, 18 July 2009 (UTC)
What? "Our ethical responsibilities under the APA code of ethics"? Speak for yourself, please... I'm not bound by any APA code of ethics; I'm not even American, which is the first word in APA if I'm not mistaken. I consider myself bound by Wikipedia policies, that's all. --LjL (talk) 13:14, 18 July 2009 (UTC)
I thought that was obvious from context. Us = WP editors who are also professionals with expert knowledge of cognitive and projective testing, who are bound by the APA code of ethics, or the codes of ethics of our respective countries' professional associations. The ones with the other consensus.Mirafra (talk) 12:39, 19 July 2009 (UTC)
Our conflict of interest policy makes it clear that it is not appropriate to put personal or professional interests above the interests of Wikipedia when editing here. Where advancing outside interests is more important to an editor than advancing the aims of Wikipedia, that editor stands in a conflict of interest. Chillum 12:52, 19 July 2009 (UTC)
I was going to say something along those lines too. Don't you think that, even though you (as in the group of people are you defined) tend to say "censorship" or this content would be in line with Wikipedia policy, the reality is that it's really against the spirit of them, and you're acting in a conflict of interests between them and the APA code? If that is the case, and the result is that you do not feel like you can contribute to the article while abiding to the APA code, then that is unfortunate, but it is also, in my opinion, the correct course of action to take. --LjL (talk) 13:01, 19 July 2009 (UTC)

It is not the posting or presentation of the images that is causing the harm. The harm was inflicted upon the test when the images lost their copyright protected status and entered the public domain

By that reasoning if you hurt someone in any way that is legal, the harm was done by the law making it legal, rather than by you. That's absurd; people are responsible for the consequences of their own actions. The fact that those actions are legal isn't an excuse. Ken Arromdee (talk) 15:21, 19 July 2009 (UTC)

Regarding conflict of interest: please review the page. There is no conflict of interest, as defined by wikipedia guideline, when psychologist editors seek to bring their ethics into the equation. Read the guideline. It states in bolded words, Where advancing outside interests is more important to an editor than advancing the aims of Wikipedia, that editor stands in a conflict of interest. If the aims of the editor is to imporve wikipedia - which would mean creating conditions in which experts would want to contribute - than incorporating ethical principles into articles would inded be advancing the aims of wikipedia. Moreover, the specific examples cited on the guidline page as conflicts of interests involve self-promotion, autobiography, financial motives, legal antagonism, promotional articles on behalf of clients, campaigning and close relationships. Nothing remotely similar to editors following ethical codes and being informed by ethics.

As in the case of consensus (where people claim there is "consensus" because more people want things doen one way instread of a different way), this seems to be the case in which some editors follow the dictionary definition of the word rather than actual wikipedia usage.Faustian (talk) 15:32, 19 July 2009 (UTC)

That is WP:Wikilawyering, seriously. You claim that since you're making it possible for APA-affiliated "expert" editors to edit the article (while they're really just making a choice by not editing it, assuming they don't), then you're improving Wikipedia even though you're actually removing "neutral, reliably sourced" (WP:COI) information to advance "outside interests" and "the aims of an individual editor" (WP:COI again). You're not improving anything, you're just (in your very debatable opinion) making it more likely that other people will improve it. No, I won't buy that.
As for "consensus", there is clearly no consensus to remove the images. "The community will in general not be prepared to remove content on grounds of being objectionable to some people" (WP:Options to not see an image). That's the consensus. --LjL (talk) 15:49, 19 July 2009 (UTC)
Firstly, I am not calling for removal of material but for presenting it in a different way (i.e., like not in the article's lead). The conflict of interest page is very clear in defining what conflict of interest is. I'll post the definition her ein its entirety for those unwilling to follow the link:
Wikipedia is an encyclopedia, not a forum for advertising or self-promotion, or a vanity press. As such, it should contain only material that complies with its content policies, and Wikipedians must place the interests of the encyclopedia first. Any editor who gives priority to outside interests may be subject to a conflict of interest.
There are no firm criteria to determine whether a conflict of interest exists, but there are warning signs. Adding material that appears to promote the interests or visibility of an article's author, its author's family members, employer, associates, or their business or personal interests, places the author in a conflict of interest. When editors write to promote their own interests, their contributions often show a characteristic lack of connection to anything the general reader might want to consult as a reference. If you do write an article on an area in which you are personally involved, be sure to write in a neutral tone and cite reliable, third-party published sources, and beware of unintentional bias. Neutral point of view is one of Wikipedia's five pillars.
If other editors suggest that your editing violates Wikipedia's standards, take that advice seriously and consider stepping back, reassessing your edits, and discussing your intentions with the community. In particular, consider whether you are editing tendentiously
This definition is followed by examples I provided earlier - self promotrion, autobiographny, etc. None of the examples in the conflict of interest page, nor the definition, resembles this situation. If I was adding material about my private practice, or plugging a book I wrote, onto a wikipedia page, this would clearly be a conflict of interest according to wikipedia's guidleine. If there were an article about me or a company I worked for, and I was editing the article, this would also be a conflict of interest. If I was editing an article about my best friend, this would be a conflict of interest. If I had a particular personal interest in, say the New York Yankees and was making edits that overemphaized this team on baseball related pages, this would be a conflict of interest (promotong personal interests at the expense of nuetrality). OTOH, using my ethical or moral code to inform me as I edit is not a conflict of interest, as defined by the wikipedia guideline. As long as I edit in good faith with the aim of improving wikipedia (rather than promoting myself or my ideas etc.) there is no conflict of interest.Faustian (talk) 16:39, 19 July 2009 (UTC)

Comments from a designated representativeEdit

Split from /2009-06 Arguments Pro#6

As a designated representative for both the Society for Personality Assessment and the International Society for Rorschach and Projective Methods (also know as the International Rorschach Society), I wish to respond to the discussion regarding the decision to include reproductions of the Rorschach plates in the Wikipedia article on the Rorschach Test. Because the web discussion is already lengthy, I shall limit my comments to a few salient arguments that have been raised in favor of the continued publication of the Rorschach inkblot images.

The images are available elsewhere; therefore publishing them on Wikipedia can do no harm. This appears to be a version of the “everyone’s doing it” argument. One of the previous discussants made the point that this argument is like saying that because my neighbor doesn’t recycle, I shouldn’t either. Wikipedia can only control what it publishes, not what is published elsewhere. Given the fact that it is one of the first sites most Internet users consult for information, it does make a significant difference whether the images are made available here or not. Many people who are about to be tested will naturally turn to Wikipedia to get some basic information on the test. As it stands right now, everyone who does so will be exposed to all 10 inkblots whether they intended for this to happen or not.

Assessment professional can just use some other set of plates if these become too familiar to the general public. This particular set of images has been in continuous clinical use since 1921. Decades of research around the world involving tens of thousands of clinical and empirical studies provide the foundation for its use in clinical and forensic practice. Although some of the same scoring and interpretive methods could theoretically be applied to some other set of inkblots, extensive clinical and scientific knowledge concerning how people with different personality characteristics and problems respond to the particular characteristics of these specific set of images could simply not be transferred to any other set of images.

It does no harm to show the images. The crux of this argument is that there is no hard evidence that prior familiarity with the Rorschach images affects the results of testing. Our response takes two forms, one scientific and one ethical. The ethical one has to do with the assessment of risk. The question is whether in the case of potential harm we act to avoid the potential danger or wait until it has been confirmed and it is too late? As an analogy, the Food and Drug Administration requires drug manufacturers to demonstrate that their products are safe before allowing them on the market. They do not allow untested drugs to be sold until they have been “proven” to be harmful. In essence, the prevention of harm is the greater good. In the case of the publication of the Rorschach plates, we believe that the potential harm to those who might be assessed as well as to the practice of assessment professionals by invalidating one of its most important instruments is greater than the loss in information about the specific appearance of the inkblots to the general public.

As for the scientific argument, it is an established principle in psychological assessment that familiarity with test instruments, along with the opportunity to practice responses, renders the interpretation of the results difficult, if not impossible. The test as currently used was developed and normed all over the world in situations where the test taker was encountering the inkblots as a novel stimulus, one at a time in a fixed series and in a professional setting. We know very little about how our normative and diagnostic expectations should shift for people who can identify percepts on the blots based on their prior casual familiarity with the images. More important still, the more people encounter these online, the more likely they are to talk about them and play with them, at which point what basis can we have for assuming that the percepts they report are really their own? Further, while there are no studies that measure the effects of viewing the plates on the Internet, data from the study of malingering has consistently shown that familiarity with test materials is one of the better predictors of an ability to “fake” a psychological test (see: Ganellen, R. (2008) Rorschach assessment of malingering and defensive response sets. In C. Gacono and F.B. Evans, Handbook of Forensic Rorschach Assessment, p. 89-119). In addition, in the same volume, Viglione and Meyer noted that the short-term test-retest reliability of many Rorschach variables was only moderate, owing in large measure to situational variables. It is not hard to extrapolate to the effects of prior exposure to the Rorschach images in ways other than a formal assessment (Viglione, D. and Meyer, G. An overview of Rorschach psychometrics for forensic practice. Op. cit., p. 21-53).

The test is worthless anyway. Leaving aside for a moment the question of whether it is appropriate for lay editors without any expertise in psychology to decide unilaterally the validity or utility of a professional instrument, this statement is clearly unfounded.

To quote from a couple of lines above: "In addition, in the same volume, Viglione and Meyer noted that the short-term test-retest reliability of many Rorschach variables was only moderate, owing in large measure to situational variables." In other words the results are unreliable at best. Rich Farmbrough, 14:10, 5 August 2009 (UTC).

The overwhelming consensus of scientists and practitioners is that the Rorschach is an important tool in the psychological assessment armamentarium, and that it possesses validity comparable to other types of psychological tests and even to many commonly used medical instruments (a summary of these data may be accessed at [18]). The Rorschach has consistently been one of the most frequently used instruments in psychological assessment. To state that its usage is controversial is to misapprehend the nature of scientific controversy. In most scientific fields, there will always be a small minority who disagree with the consensus position. This does not mean that the mainstream position is “controversial.” There are a small number of biologists who still cling to the literal Genesis story and deny the validity of evolution; there are a few virologists who insist that Human Immunodeficiency Virus does not cause AIDS; there is a small, but vocal group of scientists who deny the effect of human release of CO2 on global climate change. This does not mean that any of these remain “controversial.” Indeed, according to the New York Times (July 14, 2009), over 6% of the U.S. population believes that the moon landing in 1969 was a hoax and that photographs and other evidence were doctored. This does not mean that whether or not man has landed on the moon is still an open question.

While we appreciate the value of freedom of information for those who use Wikipedia, it is our contention that the preservation of an instrument that serves a vital function in mitigating human suffering and helping people identify the sources of their mental confusion and emotional pain is a greater good. --SPAdoc (talk) 23:03, 17 July 2009 (UTC)

Look, aside from the fact that I find this whole posting somewhat dubious, especially its claimed origin... have a look at Wikipedia:News suppression. That's just a draft of a proposed guideline, of course (I believe it was started because of a related incident), but have a look: it attempts to define some extremely specific cases where suppressing information from Wikipedia would be acceptable. Why does it? Well, because normally no attempt to suppress information would be considered acceptable by Wikipedians at large. Do you really think this would even remotely meet the criteria? It does not. This doesn't stand a snowball's chance in hell. --LjL (talk) 23:32, 17 July 2009 (UTC)
LjL, although the anonymity of editing on Wikipedia can raise doubts about the claim that someone represents an organization, in this particular case, as a psychologist, I have very little doubt that SPAdoc does, in fact, represent the organizations as he/she describes. But there may be a way to settle that issue. If SPAdoc and an admin (perhaps Xeno since he has graciously devoted much of his energy to this article) can communicate by email, it might be possible to determine if SPAdoc truly represents these organizations. So I ask SPAdoc to indicate if this is acceptable (if an admin will cooperate). That would not settle the other issues you mention, but it at least might give SPAdoc some credibility. Ward3001 (talk) 00:05, 18 July 2009 (UTC)
Well, as you and they wish, but to be honest what irritated me a little was the fact itself of making the claims; I am for bringing forward one's argument, rather than bringing forward one's titles. Therefore, I really don't care, in the end, whether SPAdoc is who he or she claims; I'd let the arguments speak, and I would like to warn that while SPAdoc may have a lot of credibility as far as psychology goes, that doesn't translate into credibility as far as Wikipedia policy goes. And this is Wikipedia. --LjL (talk) 00:18, 18 July 2009 (UTC)
I understand your point and agree that on Wikipedia the argument, not the credential, is the point that matters. That, in my opinion, is the most serious flaw of Wikipedia in science-related articles: unlike other mainstream encyclopedias, expert opinions mean no more than the opinion of the person with the least amount of knowledge in the discussion. That's why Wikipedia, although unsurpassed in breadth and (in some cases) depth of coverage, as a source of accurate, reliable information of some topics related to science it is inadequate. The Rorschach article is a prime example of an article that has much potential but will unlikely ever be more than mediocre. I know that those who disagree with me will tell me that I am free to improve the article, but I have already expressed my opinion in the archives as to why that, in reality, is impossible. Ward3001 (talk) 01:35, 18 July 2009 (UTC)
I'm sure that, even on a "real" encyclopedia, expert opinions matter as far as content goes, not as far as which content should be censored. And even on a "real" encyclopedia, even an expert will have to provide reliable sources (I'd expect that from any decent encyclopedia, "real" or not). On Wikipedia as on other encyclopedias, an expert is advantaged by generally having more reliable sources at their disposal. An expert can also contribute to making the article more readable (knowing the topic easily lets you write better prose about it, all other things being equal), but that can be done on Wikipedia as much as anywhere else. --LjL (talk) 01:40, 18 July 2009 (UTC)
If I understand your point, it's not altogether true that in other mainstream encyclopedias experts have little input about what is "censored" (not a good term, in my opinion, because there is no censorship in deciding where to place an image, but I'll use that term for the sake of discussion). As an example, mainstream encyclopedias (such as Britannica) do not show an actual Rorschach image even though they are just as freely available to those encyclepdias as they are to Wikipedia. I have no doubt that psychologists' opinions led to their decision not to display the images. As a response to another of your comments, experts have more than an advantage of having reliable sources at their disposal. They have the advantage of being able to interpret which of those sources (and which aspects of each source) are more important, and how to integrate the information into something coherent. If non-experts could do that, non-experts would be writing textbooks. Ward3001 (talk) 01:50, 18 July 2009 (UTC)
The issue, LjL, is that a small number of other editors were arguing that the ethical codes of the APA and other professional organizations were irrelevant if those organizations did not come here to WP and make a public statement. Now a statement has been made. I'm glad of that. I'm disappointed that it's posted up here where it's less visible, though. I don't know that much about general code-of-conduct stuff here -- I would like to see that statement (and its accompanying discussion, of course) moved down to a section of its own at the bottom of the page. Is that something I can do ("be bold"), or is it more common practice to defer to the person who posted something?
Regarding "censorship" (aka: "the choice of what to include or not") in encyclopedias, the general practice, as I understand it, in a mainstream encyclopedia, is that they recruit experts in a field to write article content. WP is in some ways wonderful in the sense that the scope of articles can be much broader and many people can be recognized for expertise gained outside of the usual processes (autodidacts, etc). An expert on a psychological test would generally follow the same practice as is done in textbooks on psychological tests, which is to include illustrative sample items that are not present on the test -- that's what I see in every psych-assessment textbook on my personal shelf. Even in Rorschach texts, the blots themselves are not generally presented except when they're presenting the information about which locations are where, and then it's only in outline. (The test publishers control access to protected tests -- you have to present credentials to buy them.)
I understand that in most situations on WP, the experts come in and write great stuff and everyone else says wow and there you go, the process works. If there are a few people with fringe views, they cause some havoc, the experts fix their havoc, and if it gets too messy, people ask for help from admins, and again, the process works. However, it seems to me that this completely-open process has the potential to become error-prone, as in this situation, where it seems that the validity of the expertise of a class of professionals is not well-accepted. (I have some other thoughts about culture and expertise that I'm sort of rattling around and may post lower down when I get them organized). Mirafra (talk) 23:52, 18 July 2009 (UTC)
  • I would be happy to verify the identity of User:SPAdoc; if they could email me from their institute-issued email address (it will need to be linked in preferences) for the purpose of confirming their credentials (I will keep their identity in the strictest of confidence, telling no one). –xenotalk 16:15, 20 July 2009 (UTC)
    Email received, SPAdoc (talk · contribs) identity and credentials have been confirmed. –xenotalk 16:11, 21 July 2009 (UTC)

Thanks for your statements, SPAdoc. Could you please explain how they reconcile with the fact that one of the organizations you represent, the International Rorschach Society, has itself, in the past, made images of all ten cards available on its website for more than nine years? (Not in high resolution, but in a size suffient to prepare answers for the actual testing situation; and after all, this Wikipedia article only contains thumbnails, too.)

As I assume that is also "one of the first sites most Internet users consult for information" about the Rorschach test, I don't see why your "significant difference" argument shouldn't have applied to it, too.

Regards, HaeB (talk) 06:21, 21 July 2009 (UTC)

Response from SPA/ISR RepresentativeEdit

I understand that there was some question of my status. For your information, I am the Director of Public Affairs for the Society for Personality Assessment as well as President of the International Society for Rorschach and Projective Techniques. As such, I have the authority to speak for these organizations, though obviously not for all the individual members. I would like to respond to some comments that have been made, particularly regarding harm and censorship. One comment, in particular, that of LjL, suggests that the standard for removal of information should be "immediate likelihood of death." This standard has two prongs, both of which are in error in my opinion. The first prong is "immediate," suggesting that information that might cause serious harm (or even death)--but not immediately--would be permissible. Publishing the means for making a "dirty" radioactive explosive device, for example, might fit into the "not immediately" category, since it might take some time. The second prong is "likelihood of death." This, too, is far to stringent a standard; there are serious, irreparable harms that are short of death that any socially responsible individual would seek to avoid or mitigate. Ironically, this is the same standard suggested by John Yoo in the infamous torture memos for what constituted torture (actually Yoo's standard was a bit less stringent, as he allowed for "organ failure). As an example, publishing private nude photos of someone without their permission might cause serious emotional harm without actually killing them. In my view, this would be an appropriate area for "censorship." Permanent harm to an important instrument or suffering to individuals who might be helped by the instrument would seem to be worth avoiding. At the same time, freedom of speech or free flow of information is not an absolute good either. As courts have consistently held, there must be limits on free speech in the interests of society or personal safety. As was pointed out by several commentators, neither non-censorship, nor avoidance of harm are absolute principles, rather the relative impact of each must be weighed in order to arrive at a balanced response. In this instance, it is our position that while the potential harm is not grave and unlikely to lead to life-threatening consequences, there is nonetheless a probability that the instrument in question will be compromised in certain instances and this may result in harm to mental health patients and to the legal system that relies upon accurate assessment of defendants and litigants. At the same time, the potential benefit of displaying the images is marginal at best. Let me be clear: I am not suggesting that the Rorschach's utility will be ruined by the publication of the images. Nor is it our position that casual exposure invalidates the test.

This is useful comment, although it looks like means of attempting to argue for the continued commercial validity of the tests should the images remain - having ones cake and eating it. Rich Farmbrough, 14:10, 5 August 2009 (UTC).

What we are suggesting, however, is that publication of the images on Wikipedia makes it far easier for those who wish to subvert the assessment to do so because Wikipedia--for better or worse--is the first stop for most people in seeking out information on the Internet.

Actually, I would suggest that Google is the first place people look- and if they are doing an image search they will be sent elsewhere if the images aren't here. Furthermore those who wish to "subvert" the assessment, as opposed to the casual browser, will not likely be be put off by simple absence of the images from WP. Rich Farmbrough, 14:10, 5 August 2009 (UTC).

This fact must be taken into consideration when discussing what can--and should not--be published.

Another thread that has run through this discussion is the point--with which I agree--that the content of arguments rather than the status of an expert should carry the day. Unfortunately, this has, at times, devolved into a distrust of expertise. While appeals to authority are, indeed, the weakest form of argument, it is also true that experts in a field are more likely to be able to evaluate evidence within their area of expertise. I, for one, would have no way of evaluating the relative merits of two different sets of equations for measuring stress tolerances in suspension bridges. Indeed, I would be rather unwilling to drive across such a bridge if I knew it had been designed by a 20 year-old computer science major with no engineering training. Similarly, I believe my expertise--and that of my colleagues--enables me better to evaluate the evidence for and against the utility of the Rorschach as well as the impact of prior exposure to the images on the validity of a Rorschach assessment.SPAdoc (talk) 22:36, 20 July 2009 (UTC)

First, I'd like to make it clear that I don't necessarily support any policy that would mandate censorship of information even if there is "immediate danger of death" involved. I was merely making an example of a proposed policy which is more stringent than what we are discussing here and which nevertheless is, in my opinion, unlikely to pass.
That said, you seem to be asserting that your major worry is not that being accidentally exposed to the test may invalidate it (which you seem to imply is unlikely to be the case)... rather, that people who, for some reason, want to "fake" their test results may achieve that effect by having access to the images and detailed test information. Is that correct?
If so, it was very eloquently put, I'd say, and makes the reason why we should not ever censor information like this clear. If someone actively wants to learn about the inkblots, while perfectly knowing that it may invalidate the test (actually, while doing it on purpose), then who are we - including me and you - to censor information in order to stop that?
We should not do that. Wikipedia is about providing information, not withholding information from people who actively want to obtain such information. It seriously makes me cringe to see people push for the latter option.
--LjL (talk) 22:44, 20 July 2009 (UTC)

The notion that "providing information" is an absolute good or absolute right and that one wouldn't withhold anything even if there was the likelihood that someone would be killed as a result strikes me as a naive and dangerous view. To personalize for a moment: would you be in favor of providing information that allowed terrorists working in Milan access to a nuclear weapon? Of course, this is a farfetched hypothetical, but when ever someone poses a simplistic rule, I am quite leery.SPAdoc (talk) 00:29, 21 July 2009 (UTC)

If it would otherwise be encyclopedic information (which I doubt), yes. It's simply not Wikipedia's job to censor things directly. The law is there for that purpose; it censored Rorschach for 75 years after the death of its author, for example. Also, I'm not claiming that "providing information is an absolute good or absolute right", simply that it is Wikipedia's purpose, and it's a pretty absolute purpose in the context of Wikipedia. I don't blame the APA and other associations, including those which you represent, for striving to keep the test as secret as possible: I'm sure it's in tune with their goals. But it's not in tune with Wikipedia's goals... that's all. --LjL (talk) 00:34, 21 July 2009 (UTC)
Criminal suspects, by necessity, give up certain rights. The rights to speak to jurors (i.e. Jury tampering), rights to bodily fluids (e.g. blood, DNA), the right to leave the country, etc. This would be another. I'm okay with that. I cringe, too, but I understand the need. Danglingdiagnosis (talk) 23:25, 20 July 2009 (UTC)
Oh, but that's just not Wikipedia's job. It's the job of whoever needs to ensure they actually don't speak to the jury, or leave the country, or... read up on the Rorschach test. Wikipedia should inform, not withhold information for whatever reason (or for such a tiny minority as criminal suspects, for that matter... seriously). --LjL (talk) 23:28, 20 July 2009 (UTC)

A compromise informing the reader about health concerns.Edit

In an earlier discussion that veered away on a tangent, I agree with Chillum and LjL. We are encyclopedists, first here. Any expertise we bring should only be applied to the judicious use of outside sources, lest it become WP:NOR original research. And in this case, we have 3 sources that are "position statements... by major health organizations" and thus graded as secondary sources (the best kind according to WP:MEDRS ) These sources all say that exposure to test material can damage the utility of test results. These sources are not contradicted by any other source. Therefore, as encyclopedists, we may treat them as the attributable sources that they are. They are not outside influences. They are sources of information. And they inform our discussion about how we may best serve our readers. What is an encyclopedia? According to encyclopedia:

"Indeed, the purpose of an encyclopedia is to collect knowledge disseminated around the globe; to set forth its general system to the men with whom we live, and transmit it to those who will come after us, so that the work of preceding centuries will not become useless to the centuries to come; and so that our offspring, becoming better instructed, will at the same time become more virtuous and happy, and that we should not die without having rendered a service to the human race in the future years to come.|Diderot[1]

What better service to future generations than to be neutral and allow the reader the freedom to choose his/her own course and not have it be pre-determined by those who went before them? Otherwise the encyclopedia becomes an anchor holding back our children.

So getting back to the issue at hand, I think the guidelines of WP:IG and WP:SCROLL

  1. did not consider situations such as the one in hand and (an article with involuntary health consequences), and
  2. they ask us to use WP:COMMON common sense when applying them.

In looking at the talk pages of these guidelines, I find nothing like the situation we are presented with. So I would submit that we have some latitude in how we apply them to our situation. It is a really good idea that, in this situation, makes good sense. I think we've discovered here, a good use for this technology. Now the only question is, is the technology up to the challenge? If not, when will it be. I'd like a chance to see it in action. Can someone please make two sand boxes, one with scrolling and another with a hide/show box? I want to see if my browser (Firefox) or printer (Brother) fails in any significant way. If my browser fails, then maybe I can download another one that works better. I need special software to read a PDF file. Why not one for Wikipedia? Many of you are already using a special browser specific for Wikipedia. What's it called again? Is it up to the task? Danglingdiagnosis (talk) 16:12, 19 July 2009 (UTC)

However, you also have to consider that Wikipedia is very wary of ad-hoc WP:Disclaimers for various reasons. If it weren't for WP:IG and the technical limitations, I would probably be happy enough with a show/hide box, but it would need not to have a disclaimer to respect the guidelines about disclaimers. Note, however, that having reliably sourced statements (by the APA and/or other relevant bodies) in the article, not as disclaimers per se, but simply as relevant information, to the effect that potential test subjects shouldn't look at the test material beforehand should be fine - and, as a bonus, would probably work as an effective disclaimer for anyone caring to read it. --LjL (talk) 16:26, 19 July 2009 (UTC)
Yes. I see your point. But again, this is only a guideline. The guideline points out the difficulties in allowing exceptions, but it does allow exceptions -- strict ones. The discussion behind WP:Disclaimers considered voluntary health consequences, but not involuntary ones. I can think of no better exception to this guideline than an involuntary health consequence. And we are allowed to use common sense in applying this guideline. Danglingdiagnosis (talk) 17:14, 19 July 2009 (UTC)
I don't think I get the difference you're making between involuntary and voluntary health consequences. Anyway, forget about the medical disclaimer, and check out this one: Wikipedia:Risk disclaimer. I think it's pretty clear when it says "ANY INFORMATION YOU MAY FIND IN WIKIPEDIA MAY BE INACCURATE, MISLEADING, DANGEROUS, ADDICTIVE, UNETHICAL OR ILLEGAL". I'd also say that WP:No disclaimers definitely applies here, and makes good argumentations, and it does "represents a solid and long-standing consensus". --LjL (talk) 22:21, 19 July 2009 (UTC)
Since your health isn't effected at all by looking at these pictures, hiding them is ludicrous. Verbal chat 16:35, 19 July 2009 (UTC)
Verbal, please tell us how you know whether anyone's health is "effected" [sic] by looking at the images, whether this editor or anyone else. Do you have information that the rest of us don't have? Maybe you think you're using logic, but please tell us how any amount of logic let's you know anything about a Wikipedia editor's health, either now or in the future. Ward3001 (talk) 16:45, 19 July 2009 (UTC)
Why is it that this harm from viewing these inkblots that is so obvious to Ward, yet they are never mentioned in the sources? The sources provided refer to the idea of test material in general. If these inkblots are so sensitive then why do we not have sources that describe them?
Most information is dangerous to someone under some circumstance. It is not our place to hold back information because someone may somehow be harmed through learning it. If people want to learn about a subject we let them. Chillum 16:50, 19 July 2009 (UTC)
The harm is obvious to every expert who has contributed to this discussion, but not obvious to a lot of (though not all) of those who know nothing about the subject. Some of these who know nothing about the subject then argue about what the experts have said - i.e. when the APA explicitly stated that distributing test materal results in "concrete harm", Chillum argues that the APA may not have meant the Rorschach because the APA's statements didn't list any specific test whose dissemination would be harmful. This implies that Chillum believes he knows what the APA meant better than psychologists themselves do. Anything to advance his agenda, I guess.
AS for the last comment: "If people want to learn about a subject we let them." Sure. But if they don't want to see the images, do we have to set up the page so they are forced to see them? This argument isn't just about keeping images out. It's about denying people a choice.Faustian (talk) 17:03, 19 July 2009 (UTC)
No choice is being denied, really. There are WP:Options to not see an image, for this as well as for any other article in case "some people wish to not see some images on Wikipedia". Why would this article be holier than other articles where people may not want to see some images? Because the APA says so? As opposed to whom, and we should care because? --LjL (talk) 22:25, 19 July 2009 (UTC)
In this case, some people wouldn't know about the harmfulness of the images until they learned about it. Once can't expect people to reset browsers in order to not see an image that they don't know it is harmful to see.Faustian (talk) 22:44, 19 July 2009 (UTC)
Why - of course you can expect that, if you've provided a clear site-wide WP:Risk disclaimer to people. If people won't read it, or will ignore it, then that becomes their fault, not Wikipedia's. And, you know, your "once you've seen it the harm is done" argument probably applies for just about every image that "some people wish not to see". It doesn't apply to this article any more than it applies to other ones. --LjL (talk) 22:48, 19 July 2009 (UTC)
Well, the situation with the Rorschach is quite a bit more obscure than that of, say, opening up a page about a sex position and being confronted with some graphic scene, or about a battle and seeing something violent, etc. People can't reasonably be expected to assume that seeing a Rorshcach inkblot is going to invalidate the test for them without knowing something about the test.Faustian (talk) 23:15, 19 July 2009 (UTC)
Oh, that's true, it was a surprise for me that only ten inkblots existed. But then again, I avoided looking at the whole article before taking the test, because I did believe my test results would be better off if I didn't, regardless of the inkblots themselves. Other people won't take the same precautions? That's their problem. Wikipedia isn't here to babysit people, but only to provide information. "Babysitting" people "for the greater good" has been the chief excuse for censorship worldwide and throughout history. I won't accept that mindset here. --LjL (talk) 23:25, 19 July 2009 (UTC)
I understand Verbal's preconception that information, by itself, can only be meritorious. However I have 3 sources that say otherwise. [19] [20] [21] These are "position statements... by major health organizations" about psychological test materials (which the Rorschach definitely is) and thus graded as secondary sources (the best kind according to WP:MEDRS ) There is no source that I can find that contradicts them. So I submit that your opinion (and mine, too) is WP:NOR original research. We are not experts on this, so it's best that we not act like ones. It's best to leave that to peer-review journals, of which there are many. They don't need Wikipedia to try and act like another. So yes, Verbal, I understand this flies in the face of our preconceptions, but you can't deny this and call yourself an encyclopedist. Danglingdiagnosis (talk) 17:14, 19 July 2009 (UTC)
Hilarious. No, that doesn't apply. And neither does your failed policy proposal. Verbal chat 17:35, 19 July 2009 (UTC)
Could we please stop the name-calling? Verbal, if you have a substantive argument to make, please make it. Just sticking your fingers in your ears is not very convincing.
Also, note that the Society for Personality Assessment and the International Society for the Rorschach and Projective Methods have made a public statement on this very page (hidden in the labyrinth above -- should I move it down here?), saying the same thing. How much more do you guys need?
The problem that I have with "making it the user's problem" is that there are many situations in which the person who will be harmed by this disclosure of information is not the person who is reading the WP article. Like I said, the Rorschach is often used in forensic contexts, where the person taking the test is being evaluated regarding some risk of harm to other people, and where the test subject is seeking information precisely because they want to learn how to fool the evaluator. (I cited sources for this already.) Sure, we always ask them if they've seen the test before. But someone in that situation would lie. That's why we as professionals don't want to just rely on the honor system, and why we are obligated to make the efforts that we can make to protect test security as much as possible. Yes, I've heard a zillion times, the images are available through other sources, but that doesn't mean that we at WP have to contribute to the problem. Mirafra (talk) 17:38, 19 July 2009 (UTC)

There's no reasonable claim to be made for any health concerns at all, and the claim is just a POV. You can't push POVs onto the article. We don't add disclaimers, we don't let articles get taken over by people who ignore consensus, and how many different ways do you need to be told NO before you'll accept it? This is just plain disruption at this point. DreamGuy (talk) 18:30, 19 July 2009 (UTC)

You keep saying that, but you're ignoring the points that I and others have been making. Please stop the character attacks on anyone who disagrees with you and the random screaming of "shut up!" We've brought reliable sources to support our claims. You can do the same. Please do. Mirafra (talk) 19:16, 19 July 2009 (UTC)
I ask once again, why do none of the sources presented mention Rorschach tests? If this really is such a big issue then where are the reliable sources talking about it? Why is it that slashdot is reporting Wikipedia's debate on this subject when no documentation of such a debate outside of Wikipedia seems to have been presented? Why do those who wish the pictures to be removed have to use sources that don't directly mention the topic at hand? Chillum 20:49, 19 July 2009 (UTC)
I cannot believe how obtuse you're being. I've only been here a few days, and this is at least the second or third time I've heard you making this still-specious argument. First, there was a statement from the Society for Personality Assessment, on this very page, that specifically mentioned the Rorschach. Second, the APA and BPS codes of ethics are by design, general documents. They refer to all psychological tests. They don't enumerate them. The Rorschach is one of hundreds of tests in current use that are covered by that section of the ethics code. New tests are being designed and renormed all the time. If you wanted to create a psychological test of your own and could convince psychologists to use it, then it would be covered under that code, too. It's not original research to say "The requirement to preserve test security covers all tests that psychologists use. The Rorschach is a test that psychologists use. Therefore, the code covers the Rorschach." Mirafra (talk) 22:08, 19 July 2009 (UTC)
Erm, Mirafra, "reliable sources" are what you use to source material in the article. They are not what you use to remove material from the article, not on Wikipedia. You can cite all the sources you want - they don't trump WP policies. --LjL (talk) 22:09, 19 July 2009 (UTC)
No, I'm referring to the fact that Chillum keeps saying, "We don't have to protect test security because we can't be 100% sure that the sources from the APA and the BPS that say that test security is important actually refer to the Rorschach." The question he's asking here, which I'm reminding him of the answer of, is specifically one he's been asking over and over again. Those of the you-can't-remove-anything camp are saying that if we want to support removal of information from the article, we have to prove that there is a darned good reason for it, and have requested multiple times that we cite sources. (and then ignored or attempted to discredit all such sources, sigh).
Of course, this does beg the question of whether any removal of information is ever justified. That seems to me to be something that happens all over the place on WP, when information is incorrect or irrelevant or in violation of policy or just plain dumb. And the discussions that happen about that appear to be themselves ones in which people ask for reliable sources to prove people's statements that the removals are justified.
You have to recognize that no matter how many times you keep asserting that your understanding of policy is the only right one, you are not convincing anyone who does not already agree with you. You're just shouting. Mirafra (talk) 00:11, 20 July 2009 (UTC)
Also, let me point out that WP:NOTCENSORED is not an absolute policy. It lists several exceptions already. In each case, it's a narrowly tailored exception that has good WP:COMMON reasons behind it. Those exceptions appear largely to have arisen because significant problems arose, resulting in edit wars and unresolvable conflicts. Kinda like what we have here. We're proposing a change to policy, because policy can change, and we feel that it should change here. I understand that you disagree with that position, but please stop speaking as if policy were immutable. Mirafra (talk) 00:19, 20 July 2009 (UTC)
Policy is not immutable, but it can really only be changed when there is consensus to do it, and in that case consensus, while not meaning unanimity, does mean darn good consensus. Otherwise, we wouldn't have any policies at all, we'd just work based on more-or-less-consensus in every distinct situation.
Also, I find Chillum's argument as you expose it weak. Mine is that even if we were 100% sure that security is important when it comes to Rorschach, that's no excuse for taking away encyclopedic information. Not excuse at all, unless you do change policy (and basic principles, I'd say).
As to exception to WP:NOTCENSORED, I can only really see ones related to legal issues. Those are damned hard to avoid, so you have to abide. And of course, wrong, offtopic or unencyclopedic content is not kept, but that doesn't have to do with censorship. --LjL (talk) 00:26, 20 July 2009 (UTC)
Question to LjL: although you find the issue of harm no excuse to remov e encyclopedic information, to you feel that it may inform the presentation (though not removsal) of that information?Faustian (talk) 00:35, 20 July 2009 (UTC)
I'm not sure I get what you're saying - is that basically "should we put a disclaimer?"? If so, then personally I wouldn't be so much against it, but there's a policy against that, and while (as you say) it could be changed, there are some valid reasons why that policy exists. I also said I wouldn't mind putting the images inside of a hide/show box, but again, that's against policy and there are technical reasons to. But all in all, I wouldn't be outraged if that were done. --LjL (talk) 00:55, 20 July 2009 (UTC)

Check out this wikipedia page: [22]. The mesaage under the video states "One of the infamous scenes that caused the seizures. People with a history of seizures should be cautious before viewing this file." Nobody seemed hellbent on removing that note warning people; it's common sense that doing so is just the right thing to do.Faustian (talk) 14:42, 20 July 2009 (UTC)

Actually, that article has a painful history of reverts with regards to that video and its caption. I find the disclaimer completely gratuitous: the caption already says, basically, "This is the scene that causes seizure". And then it adds, "But caution, it may cause seizures". Duh, really?! I'm going to remove that. --LjL (talk) 14:57, 20 July 2009 (UTC)
So you agree that some warning is appropriate? Good. We really need to be more aware of the effect we can have. There are some vandals out there who are targeting epileptics. See the news story about the April 2008 attack on epileptics. I found one statement in this story that was chillingly similar to comments I've seen on this talk page:
Hey, don't put words into my mouth :-( I never said that some warning is appropriate, I actually said the disclaimer was gratuitous, and I removed it; and I pointed out that the bare encyclopedic caption (which is, in itself, not at all a warning) can function as a good enough warning. But that's a side effect. I didn't say we should positively strive to include actual warnings. I did and do not state that. --LjL (talk) 22:11, 20 July 2009 (UTC)
"If people are actually vulnerable to such flashing images and yet surf without protection, then I find it difficult to muster up any sympathy for them," one user said.
"It's not like they stabbed these patients to death... They put some flashing images on a messageboard, thats (sic) it. Everyone survived," said another.
I would not wish to be one of those so quoted. Danglingdiagnosis (talk) 21:57, 20 July 2009 (UTC)
Going to a website that's specifically for epileptics and posting flashing images with the intent to cause seizures is significantly different from refusing to remove the images from this article on the basis of them harming the results of a test the reader might possibly later take, which the summary of the article warns of, well above the actual images, because you believe it would be censorship. The comments may be somewhat similar (note: only somewhat; the ones in that article are noticeably more assholeish), but the context they were made in is very different. Your comparison is incredibly disingenuous. (talk) 22:15, 20 July 2009 (UTC)

Sub-pages: policy and argumentsEdit

For those of you just joining us, the previous comments are referring to a proposed policy being discussed over at User:Danglingdiagnosis/Involuntary health consequences#Censorship vs Propaganda. The proposal was submitted by me for review 10 days ago. I immediately invited all interested parties to view it and comment. Many of the people here are doing so now. Feel free to joing us.

You may disregard any knee-jerk criticism that I was "forum shopping" because that would mean that I was running from my opponents. That is not the case. This "knee-jerk" reaction is merely a wish by many that we can resolve policy issues here on this talk page. I share this belief. I only wanted to write down an idea of how such a policy might look, if we were to enact one. The instructions for how to do so are laid out in WP:POLICY and are there for anyone to see and follow. I simply had an idea and wrote it down.

The question you should be asking yourself is

  • "Does the community generally believe that Wikipedia is better off with, or without, the proposed guideline or policy? What status for this page will best contribute to the main goal of writing an encyclopedia?" (taken from WP:POLICY)

Keep in mind that no one is trying to censor information. By that I mean that no one is trying to undermine or influence public opinion in a way that is favorable to a cause, an ideology, or a government body. There's plenty of valid criticism for the Rorschach test. I just don't wish to be a party to vandalizing the test. Just because I may think that a car is worthless, that doesn't give me permission to scratch it or slash its tires.

I also feel that Wikipedia is betraying a bias by showing the images. This debate is not limited to Wikipedia. It's on the front page of top Google search sites about the Rorschach test. For us to take sides is like a reporter covering a story about animal rights while wearing a fur coat. (See subpage Talk:Rorschach test/2009-06 Arguments Con##4 - It violates Wikipedia policy on neutrality. You may wish to watch this subpage discussion.)

I am in favor of the work Xeno has done in creating these subpages. Feel free to continue to lay down thoughts in chronological order, but if you think you have an argument or a proposal that has not yet been expressed, feel free to add it to the appropriate subpage. And I suggest that you watch these sub-pages, as I do, so that I won't miss any contribution. We don't want anyone years from now asking themselves, "I wonder if they thought of this or that?" Danglingdiagnosis (talk) 21:57, 20 July 2009 (UTC)

We are not exhibiting a bias by showing these pictures other than our bias towards being informative. We are showing the images because that is what we do with all of our articles, not because we are taking sides in any dispute. To go against our normal editorial behaviour and remove these images due to some sort of controversy would be a demonstration of bias.
If we simply ask ourselves "What would we be doing if there was no controversy regarding the display of these images", the answer is that we would display the images like we do in every other article. To do anything else due to some outside controversy would be a departure from neutrality. We can document the controversy as far as sources describe it, but we don't take a side. Chillum 22:02, 20 July 2009 (UTC)
But there is a controversy, and there are plenty of articles about Rorschach that have chosen to not display the images. The reader will understand if we do as Scientific American did and simply say that "the images are protected" (Which is true.) Our neutrality is better protected this way. I think the need is greater for a neutral site that explains controversy without engaging in it. See WP:NPOV Danglingdiagnosis (talk) 22:36, 20 July 2009 (UTC)
They are not protected, that is the point. Rich Farmbrough, 14:23, 5 August 2009 (UTC).
"Censor" does not mean that. Wiktionary defines "to censor" as "To remove objectionable content". defines it as "to delete (a word or passage of text) in one's capacity as a censor". Merriam-Webster defines it as "to suppress or delete as objectionable". Note how none of them say anything about the reasons for which it is censored, of which there are many. (talk) 22:47, 20 July 2009 (UTC)
DD I don't think you understand Wikipedia's concept of neutrality. It is not doing what Scientific America did, on the contrary it is not allowing the opinions and practices of outside groups dictate our style. The very fact that there is a controversy requires that Wikipedia not take a side, and that we do what we would have done in absence of the controversy. Removing the images due to this controversy would be engaging in it, acting as we always do in regards to images without consideration to the controversy is neutral. We should describe the controversy. not take editorial action based on it.
We document that Muslim people often put "pbuh(praise be upon him)" after the name of their prophet, but we don't actually do it in our articles. This is the same thing, we need to document the practice, not engage in it. Chillum 23:35, 20 July 2009 (UTC)
And yet, there is not a single image of Allah on the Islam article. I guess Muslims are more repsected than psycholgists (or the general public) on wikipedia.Faustian (talk) 02:01, 21 July 2009 (UTC)
We don't have any pictures of God Faustian. Perhaps you are thinking of the Muslim prophet Muhammad(who was a human not a deity)? You will notice we do have a picture of him in the article about him. We have pictures of the inkblots in the article about the inkblot test. We don't have inkblots in the psychology article, and we don't show Muhammad in the Islam article. Do you see the pattern here? When the images are on-topic we show them(even when people scream at us for years to stop), then they are not on-topic we don't. Chillum 14:00, 21 July 2009 (UTC)
Muhammad was the founder of Islam. The Rorschach is not nearly as central to psychology as Muhammad is to Islam. You must be desperate to try to make such an analogy. The older term often used for Islam was even "Muhammadism". Type that term into wikipedia and you get redirected to the Islam article. Muhammad is mentioned in the very first sentence of the lead of the Islam article. The first Pillar of Islam, the Shahadah, states the Muslim creed [23]: "I testify that there is none worthy of worship except God and I testify that Muhammad is the Messenger of God." And yup, there is no image of Muhammad anywhere in that article. Not a single one. Even though he founded that religion. Even though there's a section of the article about him. Yet you claim Muhammad is not on topic? OTOH, there are pictures of Jesus throughout the Christianity article. So according to you, Jesus is on topic for Christianity but not on topic for Islam? Are you seriously trying to say that Muslims' opinions weren't taken into account with respect to depictions of Muhammad? Really? So I ask you again, why does wikipedia take into account religious opinions but not scientific ones?Faustian (talk) 14:26, 21 July 2009 (UTC)
First off I am not desperate, I like the state of the images in the articles and my position enjoys consensus. Secondly this is your comparison, not mine, I am just responding to it. Once again I remind you that the article on the subject of the images you refer to does indeed have those images. I am sure we have had this discussion in the past. Let me put this another way, if an article did violate neutrality in favor of a religious position, then that is a bad thing. But that bad thing in no way justifies repeating such a mistake here. Chillum 14:30, 21 July 2009 (UTC)
I don't think your statement that your position enjoys consensus reflects the reality of the situation. There are two consensuses here, the "information wants to be free" position (yours) and the "not all information should be free all the time because there are serious concerns about the effects of such disclosure" position (coming from the psychological professionals). You can keep saying it over and over again, but that doesn't make it true.Mirafra (talk) 19:19, 21 July 2009 (UTC)
You are right, in this article there is no consensus, but two groups - there is no consensus to change Wikipedia policies, which, at the time being, side with the former "group"; and remember that policies and guidelines reflect consensus on a wider scale. --LjL (talk) 20:07, 21 July 2009 (UTC)
Actually the former group reject any compromises with the latter group, even those that meet wikipedia policies. There need not be images of each and every card (no more than an article about an artist need not necessarily include a gallery of every painting). There need not be an image of the card in the lead. Etc. By refusing any compromise the former (majority) group is creating a situation where consensus is not possible.Faustian (talk) 18:29, 22 July 2009 (UTC)
For that matter, there "need" not be an article on the Rorschach test, I'm pretty sure Wikipedia lived without one for a while. Doesn't justify removing content that's perfectly appropriate, though. --LjL (talk) 18:35, 22 July 2009 (UTC)
There isn't even consensus on which content is "perfectly appropriate." Mirafra (talk) 18:40, 22 July 2009 (UTC)
There is pretty much global consensus (the WP:NOTCENSORED, WP:PRESERVE and other policies describe that), there just isn't consensus on this specific article. But global consensus wins over local consensus. --LjL (talk) 18:48, 22 July 2009 (UTC)
Except, apparently, when it comes to the policy requiring compromise in order to achieve consensus (rahter than declaring consensus due to majority vote)Faustian (talk) 19:13, 22 July 2009 (UTC)
Look, policy is policy. It's certainly supposed to be descriptive, but it also means that to override it, you need consensus, and if you don't have consensus, then you don't override it. Otherwise, we'd do without any policies at all, and just gauge consensus every time. That is not the case. --LjL (talk) 19:57, 22 July 2009 (UTC)
No, there is also not consensus among the articles on other protected tests. The Rorschach article is a serious outlier compared to the other test pages. Mirafra (talk) 19:44, 22 July 2009 (UTC)

No policy states that the Rorschach image has to be in the article's lead. No policy states that all ten cards have to be depicted (otherwise, every article of evey artist would have a gallery of all their artwork). No policy states that simulations or illustrations of inkblots rather than the actual ones can't be used instead of the actual images (otherwise, all those articles on sex positions would have to use images from porn videos rather than the illustrations, often from classical art, that they use instead). No policy states that the entire test materials must be displayed. There is a lot of leeway in terms of how we present thr material, which means that there are all sorts of ways that compromises can be made without violating censorship or other policies. But the majority, in this case, refuse to compromise. Indeed, they seem to almost go out of their way to present the most extreme version to maximise the minority's disconent.Faustian (talk) 21:27, 22 July 2009 (UTC)

No policy states that an article about the Rorschach test has to exist, in the first place, and yet you'd be very hard pressed to have it deleted. That's because policies do state that encyclopedic content like that should not be deleted. --LjL (talk) 21:31, 22 July 2009 (UTC)
Nobody is proposing deleting the article. What is encyclopedic and what is not, and what is necessary and what is not, is where decisions can be made. Consider the Willis Tower. Should someone download another 150 picture of the building, put them in the gallery, and cry censorship because encyclopedic content can't be deleted? Should one flood the Pablo Picasso page with tons of images also, for the sake of being encyclopedic? And once that is done, is it against wikipedia policy to delete any of them because doing so is deleting encyclopedic information? The examples are ridiculous but they illustrate the point that maximum exposure isn't policy. The sex position pages don't have actual porn shots. The article on Mozart's Requiem doesn't include the entire thing written out, but only a piece of it. The Rorschahc page doesn't have to include the entire test.Faustian (talk) 22:01, 22 July 2009 (UTC)
I'm sure the article about Mozart's Requiem would include any pieces that are relevant to what the article discusses, at the very least. The rest of what you described falls under WP:NOTMIRROR and WP:IG, which the images in this article hardly can be claimed to fall under, being an instrinsically limited number (ten). --LjL (talk) 22:12, 22 July 2009 (UTC)
There is an intrinsically limited number of painting by Picasso. The Requiem is also intrinsically limited. Why do you draw the line at 10? If there is ten and only ten images of something, do they all have to be depicted according to wikipedia policy, in your opinion?Faustian (talk) 22:22, 22 July 2009 (UTC)
Wikipedia policy tends to avoid "hard limits" by drawing an arbitrary line, but I'm pretty sure if you asked anyone "is a 10 items gallery too big?" (assuming of course the gallery content is encyclopedic, that's a separate issue that may call for removing an even small gallery), they'd all answer "not at all". --LjL (talk) 22:24, 22 July 2009 (UTC)
Just because something is not "too big" does not mean it is necessary. We need not, I think, fill something up until it reaches the threshold of becoming "too big." If nobody objected to the images, then perhaps that threshold might be a goal. But in this case, we ought to look not at "what's the maximum we can use without becoming excessive" but "where can we show what's necessary to illustrate the article while taking onto account everyone's opinion." Is the entire Rorschach test material necessary to describe what the test is about? Can we know about without seeing every image (similarly - can we know about Picasso without seeing every one of his painting? Is it necessary to see Mozart's entire Requiem in order to have knowledge about it? Do we need a gallery of porn shots to know what the missionairy position is? etc.) In other words, as you state, there is no hard limit but a gray area, somewhere. Within that gray area we have room to maneouver. If there's consensus to go for the maximum, why not. But here, on tis article, there is no consensus, so it would seem that we ought to make the most of the gray area.Faustian (talk) 23:24, 22 July 2009 (UTC)
Well, I am not prepared to remove any of the image, or for that matter the more detailed information about test methods. I am pretty confident that, outside of the couple of people discussing this article, the spirit of Wikipedia policy and global consensus backs me up here. You may find a number of (IMO bogus) reasons to remove sourced, relevant and non-excessive content from articles, but that doesn't mean it'll happen, and I think I've had enough of this going around in circles now. --LjL (talk) 23:29, 22 July 2009 (UTC)
As an active editor since 2005, I can say that LjL is correct. Regardless of the lengthy pleas to remove the images, the spirit of Wikipedia is to not censor images with the correct copyright permissions, especially when the images are so relevant to the subject at hand. It's highly unlikely that there will ever be a community consensus to alter our policies on censorship. OhNoitsJamie Talk 23:35, 22 July 2009 (UTC)
Going around in circles is right LjL, this particular argument has been tried a few times in the past. The response from the community remains a constant. Chillum 00:49, 23 July 2009 (UTC)
Hi Ohnoitsjamie, Let me give you something to think about:
  1. If an encyclopedia is supposed to preserve knowledge for the next generation, not vandalize it, and (taken from encyclopedia)
  2. if three high quality, secondary sources [24] [25] [26] state that a lack of security of these images could vandalize the test and harm a psychologists ability to protect the welfare of his/her patient, and
  3. if WP:NOTCENSORED can contain an exception for WP:BOLP which considers harm to living persons as its main reason, then
that's three good reasons to consider more closely how we apply our policy of WP:NOTCENSORED. There's been a too much attention paid to the people in this discussion and not enough to the issues. I thought it might be helpful if I presented just a portion of the Arguments Con. (There are 6 total). There hasn't been a lot of respect shown to them in the current article, so it's hard to see how we can just ignore them. People may come and go, but this problem will be with Wikipedia for quite some time. Cheers, Danglingdiagnosis (talk) 02:24, 24 July 2009 (UTC)
Aren't those the exact same arguments that were just rejected by the community at your policy proposal? Are we really expected to reenact this argument here as well? Chillum 12:39, 28 July 2009 (UTC)
I don't know how you'd respond other than to say that rule #1 in Wikipedia is that revealing information is a good thing and that we should ignore all evidence to the contrary because it violates rule #1. Danglingdiagnosis (talk) 18:03, 29 July 2009 (UTC)

Just so you guys know, this story just hit the Fox News Channel on cable. ObserverNY (talk) 11:43, 29 July 2009 (UTC)ObserverNY

Sigh, why do they wait till the debate is practically over to start all of this coverage? Thank you for letting us know. Chillum 12:55, 29 July 2009 (UTC)
Was this the segment you saw? –xenotalk 16:46, 29 July 2009 (UTC)
For the record, you've also got an NYT article on it today - it can be found [here] Aderksen (talk) 00:40, 30 July 2009 (UTC)

Does the displaying of possible interpretations of each plate constitute bias? Surely it would be preferred to have the interpretations, should Wikipedia choose to continue to have them, not on the main page. (talk) 03:22, 30 July 2009 (UTC)

Not when we reference it to a reliable source. These are not our interpretations, but the documented interpretations of others. Chillum 13:09, 30 July 2009 (UTC)
I have not the vaguest idea why you'd consider it bias, but please do explain. --LjL (talk) 13:15, 30 July 2009 (UTC)

WP:CENSOR againEdit


One of the things I've been thinking about here is how this relates to WP:CENSOR, which appears to be the biggest bone of contention. Some argue this is an exceptional case, some say it isn't.

Now one thing I'd like to point out is that I don't consider, for example, "hiding" the picture, while still making it available, a "censor". I'd like to know why others consider this "censor". I've thought this a good solution for other things, such as the offensive Danish cartoons controversy cartoons, or similar things. Perhaps maybe WP:CENSOR is too strict, as I alluded to in one post here a couple years ago on this same topic, where I asked various questions, such as "Should the same be done on other articles like that about those cartoons I mentioned? Also, how does this jive with official policy that Wikipedia is not censored? Could there be some problems with that policy, and maybe a change in policy is required? " Someone else on the thread in question mentioned that maybe "Wikipedia is either censored or its not" is too strict. This may be a good point, although I'm really really not sure what the best solution here is. One cannot compromise the integrity of the encyclopedia, either. Note that as a part of toying with this idea of middle grounds, I'd also suggest hiding the cartoons on the Danish controversy page too. Hiding or warning is a "middle ground" between complete censorship and complete openness. Though the discussion of that particular topic is something that should be discussed on its talk pages. Bu I wonder if all these issues, when taken together, may raise some questions about WP:CENSOR, as I mentioned.

What I'd be real darn curious about is what the opinion of the overall psychologic community is about this test. Do they consider it, on the most part, valid, useful, and important? If so, then maybe the images should be removed or at least hidden. At least the last 9 images. The first seems to be so common everywhere, I really don't see any point in hiding it or anything. If it is only a small number, however, then I think removing them may be Wikipedia bending too far to interest groups and I'm not sure how good that is. mike4ty4 (talk) 04:40, 30 July 2009 (UTC)

First, hiding but having falls under WP:No disclaimers, not under WP:Censor. Second, if you don't mind, what counts here is the opinion of Wikipedians as a whole, not of the psychologic community alone. --LjL (talk) 13:12, 30 July 2009 (UTC)

Having read this page in full (as of July 30 10:57 pm PST) I don't see a satisfactory consensus. It does not appear to me open to debate whether the professional societies regard exposure of the full Rorschach images on Wikipedia to be harmful to their test; they have stated so clearly. The debate appears to be whether Wikipedia should take this rather exceptional situation into account in policy regarding this page. To me personally, the "right answer" (common sense) is that of course Wikipedia should not be diluting the value of this test by making it so public, and if there is a Wikipedia rule that contradicts that position, then common sense should prevail in this particular, quite exceptional case. It is difficult for me to think of another case in which publicizing specific images have this kind of effect (due to the apparent value of the test and the long research history associated with them). I am not a professional in Psych or in Wiki. That is my opinion and it is all I have to offer. Bealevideo (talk) 06:06, 31 July 2009 (UTC)

"Particular", "exceptional"? The same thing goes for any other similar test (and there are quite a few, they're just less popular than Rorschach I suppose), and things like the Snellen eye charts have been mentioned. This is far from exceptional - it has merely received attention that other otherwise identical situations haven't.
If there is a Wikipedia rule that contradicts something, then it gets ignored only if there is consensus to do so. You said there isn't, and you're right. --LjL (talk) 14:22, 31 July 2009 (UTC)
I believe the attention is a consequence of the Rorschach test having a such a long history and apparently continuing to be often used. So weakening this particular test is more newsworthy than some more obscure test. My thinking is that this case was exceptional in the context of the entire scope of Wikipedia. In my understanding the Wikipedia rules cover the entire body of the work, and so they are necessarily general principles that apply generally. In a very particular, exceptional case, where the generally applicable rules come into conflict with common sense, I thought the rules permit common sense to apply. From my reading of this page, my notion of common sense is not universally shared. Bealevideo (talk) 16:51, 31 July 2009 (UTC)
Well, unless common sense is common, it's not common sense ;-) But jokes aside, it's the same as WP:IAR, which is itself a pretty serious concept, but does not really mean that one can ignore all rules against consensus; it means something else. Likewise, the idea with common sense is that if you find something to be "common sense" and uncontoversial, then do it, and you don't need to check the rules first: you can do it by common sense alone. But when something is controversial, rules are there to be referred to, among other things, and "no, I'll just use my common sense instead" is just not a convincing argument. --LjL (talk) 17:56, 31 July 2009 (UTC)


This discussion has gotten stale, I have been waiting for a fresh argument for weeks. We have a stable consensus and the page has been improving of late, I think we can just agree to disagree with the minority that wishes to put limitations on our coverage. I think instead of arguing we could all benefit by simply pushing forward. It is clear that those who wish the content limited are not going to be swayed and it is equally clear that consensus is against them and going to stay that way. So why keep arguing, lets just stop responding until a fresh idea emerges and concentrate on more productive directions.

I see areas where where we can move forward in a productive manner, areas that have not yet been exhausted. We have the potential for a better lead image. We have several previously unused sources waiting to be explored. We have LjL who has been improving this article and laying the ground work for future improvements. Lets concentrate on productive discussion and start to shun the unproductive discussion.

I know I am as guilty as anyone of getting sucked into this circular drama, but I am ready to try and make a break from it.

Please, nobody use this thread to deny that there is consensus, or to claim that you are being ignored or mistreated, we have every other thread on the page to talk about such things. This thread and hopefully future ones will be about moving forward and improving the article. Chillum 01:44, 29 July 2009 (UTC)

Actually, it's the article that has gotten stale. It's a bit more bloated with the addition of more words, but its overall quality has drifted back and forth between a standstill, with nothing happening, to drop in the relative amount of quality content. And the "groundwork for future improvements" needs lots and lots of work just to get what's already in the article up to encyclopedic standards. I'm sure my comments will be promptly dismissed; that's almost a given whether the comments are made by me, or Faustian, or Mirafra, or a few other brave souls who have dared question the majority. And the "shunning" of discussion has been well underway for some time now. Ward3001 (talk) 02:00, 29 July 2009 (UTC)
More evidence that psychologists are not welcome on this talk page: I got this message on my talk page from Chillum (apparently he did not wish for it to be more widely available on this talk page): "You can continue to criticize in the appropriate venues, but you cannot follow editors about into every thread and belittle their efforts, that crosses the line". I have not belittled efforts. Chillum will say I have, but that's because if others criticize me, it's not considered belittling. If I criticize what others write, it's considered belittling. He's accused me of belittling when I went out of my way to avoid naming an editor and just criticized the edits. I have criticized edits to the article and concepts presented on this talk page. And it's an interesting choice of words by Chillum; he tells me what I can and can't do; he's not communicating with me; he's ordering me. Let me encourage other editors, if you get such private messages discouraging talk page participation, please share them with the rest of us so we get an honest impression of the atmosphere here. Ward3001 (talk) 15:21, 29 July 2009 (UTC)

This and this are belittling and needlessly sarcastic. This discussion belongs on one of our talk pages if anywhere, not here in a thread about moving forward in the article. You can drop me a line there if you want to bicker, but please don't disrupt this talk page. Chillum 16:35, 29 July 2009 (UTC)

Chillum, just because you don't seem to grasp the meaning of a phrase, doesn't mean that it's belittling. It's not belittling. It's a commentary on a proposed addition to the article; no reference to an editor; no usernames identified. And when I criticized edits in the article without naming editors, you accused me of "casting dispersions [sic]" on editors. I was also told by Ljl to go away and find another encyclopedia to edit. It seems that if the two of you sling around false accusations and discouragement, that's acceptable, but if I comment on ideas, edits, or proposed edits, it's "belittling". Your calling it "belittling" doesn't mean it is, Chillum. The bottom line is, psychologists are not welcome here, not just in the article, but on this talk page. Just our mere presence here to you is "belittling". I'm here because I care about the article and the sad shape it's in, and I'm concerned about some of the proposed additions; I'm not belittling. You're simply trying to drive me away. Ward3001 (talk) 16:59, 29 July 2009 (UTC)
Your condescending additude is not welcome here Ward. If your concerned with the article then edit it. Garycompugeek (talk) 19:13, 29 July 2009 (UTC)
Since I don't agree that I have a "condescending additude [sic]", that's a moot point. I'm already quite aware that you don't welcome me or other psychologists here, Gary. But I don't care about your opinion in that regard. Ward3001 (talk) 20:30, 29 July 2009 (UTC)

I believe that Wikipedia is justified in showing the images and thefore I support them. Those who wish to take them down are denying the public their rights to know information which is in the public domain. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 22:22, 3 August 2009 (UTC)

Irrevocable Harm to Authors/Dangerous PrecedentEdit

1. By putting the cards onto a large public forum (yes, it many ways, Wikipedia is more akin to a forum than an encyclopedia), not only is the test technique harmed, but so are the many, many authors who have contributed to the literature. Whatever one thinks of the Rorschach, good or bad, there have been many who have put years into writing books and publishing research on it. So while the Rorschach itself is not completely "copyright," the many years of work done by many authors (Weiner for one) is being slowly being deemed meaningless. By the way, Exner's scoring system is absolutely copyrighted material - and that's where the normative data come from (what "typical" responses are and so forth). By placing so much detail as to the scoring of the measure, I would imagine that violates Exner's copyright, no?

2. I fear that placing the cards onto Wikipedia is setting a dangerous precedent. This is a slippery slope; if Wikipedia allows this, what will keep them from basically reproducing other psychological/neuropsychological material. That would be TERRIBLY HARMFUL to not only psychologists and other behavioral scientists, but to children, families, parents - it would affect our ability to accurately evaluate conditions such as dementia, learning disabilities, developmental conditions, etc. It's akin to publishing a contemporary version of the SAT. While some don't like that test, if it were put onto Wikipedia, we'd lose a vital aspect of measuring a very important predictor of college success. Most of the standardized tests are under clear copyright, but the way some of these individuals are acting in this discussion suggests that the "everything should be free and available" ideology pervades much of Wikipedia. —Preceding unsigned comment added by Takamine45 (talkcontribs) 18:20, 29 July 2009 (UTC)

What other tests have public domain images that will, according to some, damage the value of the test? Your second argument is a complete red herring. Resolute 18:33, 29 July 2009 (UTC)
Actually, the situation is perhaps worse than you realize. The information being used is well within the boundaries of fair use of scientific information and is carefully referenced, so it's not a copyright violation. Precisely the same thing could happen to other tests which are not so freely available -- the scientific process of developing and interpreting tests results in a surprisingly large amount of information being available to those who wish to work hard to find it. When that information is collected and placed in a single easily-findable location -- indeed, the first place most people go these days when looking for information -- that's where the harm you describe takes place. So every test used for psychological evaluation is vulnerable to this kind of destruction. People who believe that these tests are pseudoscience, or who believe that they might have been harmed by the tests, are actively supporting the process. Mirafra (talk) 18:36, 29 July 2009 (UTC)
Takamine45's comments are well intentioned, but their second paragraph is based entirely on false assumptions along with a complete failure to assume good faith. What is to stop us from introducing copyrighted text? Our own policies do. Which is why I asked the question I did. There is a world of difference between a public domain image and copyrighted text. Since Takamine45 has either failed to understand this distinction, or willfully chooses to believe that we have made that failure, the entire argument is invalid. Honestly, I can see no possible way where the posting of copyrighted text in this fashion could pass Wikipedia's non-free content policy, so the slippery slope simply does not exist. Resolute 20:20, 29 July 2009 (UTC)
One of the advocates for keeping the images up stated:
"let's assume that, indeed, the test will be invalidated by this page and that that will cause the death of some 15 year olds. We really shouldn't care (in our capacity as wikipedians) how many 15 year olds commit suicide because of this article; preventing the suicide of 15 year olds is not part of the mission goals, nor any consensus approved guideline I can remember. What IS our goal, however, is to create the best articles possible." Jaimeastorga2000 (talk) 20:49, 23 May 2009 (UTC)
Failing to see how that is relevant to the portion of the argument I have challenged. Resolute 20:47, 29 July 2009 (UTC)
Although posting copyrighted text won't happen (while the Rorschach's methods are fairly new and constantly being updated, the images they rely on are probably the only ones that are old enough to no longer be copyrighted), someone can easily post cheat sheets and discuss techniques that can compromise any psychological test without actually technically violating copyright. And I suspect that someone will try to do this at some point. Interestingly btw, psychological research has shown that wikipedia editors as a whole tend to be less conscientous than other internet users: [27]. This becomes obvious with respect to this debate.Faustian (talk) 20:34, 29 July 2009 (UTC)
That is an entirely different argument though. Posting a cheat sheet would run afoul of WP:NOTGUIDE, and I expect you would find high support for removing such a section - especially given I believe it would likely contain either original research, or be sourced to sites that would not pass our guidelines on reliable sources. This argument can really be summed up as "don't eat these apples because someone else might eat those oranges if you do." Resolute 20:47, 29 July 2009 (UTC)
I tried to argue that with respect to placing popular responces and such on this page, and was told that the WP:NOTGUIDE is purely stylistic and has nothing to do with content. In other words, reword the guide to sound "encyclopedic" and it becomes acceptable. The function of a cheat sheet remains unchanged. Of course, the WP:NOT page has two seperate sections, one on "style and format" and a second devoted to "content" and the WP:NOTGUIDE was clearly in the "content" section. But this did not deter anybody, nor can it be expected to in the future given the precedent set here.Faustian (talk) 20:55, 29 July 2009 (UTC)
I appreciate your concerns Takamine, but I'm sorry to say that you are outnumbered (at least a little) by the majority here, and on this particular article in regard to this particular issue, the majority rules here and the minority are given no consideration. It has even been argued by some among the majority that if death of people was a factor that might be influenced by placement of the images, that is of little relevance to the right of the majority to place the images as they please. But thanks for your efforts. Ward3001 (talk) 18:37, 29 July 2009 (UTC)
But, of course, Ward, this is precisely the strategy I don't think we should be helping with. Looking back through the archives, I see that well-meaning psychologically-savvy folks have been rather consistently run off -- you and Faustian being the two major exceptions. I'm glad that Takamine45 has taken the time to present opinions in such a clear manner. I agree, it's unfortunate that this perspective is unwelcome here. Mirafra (talk) 19:21, 29 July 2009 (UTC)

These assumptions of bad faith are ridicules. This is a wiki that would not exist if not for its volunteers. All are welcome as long as our policies are followed. Garycompugeek (talk) 19:37, 29 July 2009 (UTC)

And your assumption that psychologists are welcome here is ridiculous. And, yes, much of the Rorschach article before the images were added was done by volunteers -- psychologist volunteers. Ward3001 (talk) 20:24, 29 July 2009 (UTC)
Psychologists are welcome, as is anyone else, so long as they respect our policies. One of which is WP:CONSENSUS. If an individual views themselves as being "unwelcome" because they fall on the wrong side of that consensus, that is the individual's issue, not the community's. Resolute 20:34, 29 July 2009 (UTC)
The problem is that in this article's case consensus has been misinterpreted by the majority to mean majority dictatorship rather than what it is according to actual policy: compromise. Originally there was a dispute in which 1/3 wanted to suppress a single image in the article body and 2/3 wanted it in the lead. A compromise was forged in which the image stayed but was put in the middle of the article rather than the top, under test materials. This soort of compromise btw has been made in other articles with similar controverises. The article on the founder of the Bahai religion which opposes depictions of their prophet has his image but not in the article lead. The article on Islam has not a single picture of Mohammad, and even the Mohammad article doesn't have his picture in the lead. But apparently Muslims are more welcome than psychologists.
At some point someone in the majority figured that with enough votes compromise wouldn't matter (there is no mechanism to enforce policy when doing so is against the majority's wishes) so they went ahead and put the image in the lead. And then later, put all the images up. Etc. In this case, psychologists are in the minority. Their opinions are rejected completely. They are often disparaged for their opinions. The talk pages are littered with comments such as, "they just care because they want to make money off the test" or "they have a conflict of interest so their words should be taken with a grain of salt" (hmm would someone object to a biologist's presence on a biology related article by stating that he or she has a conflict of interest?) etc. And after all that it's claimed that it's the psychologists' problem if they feel unwelcome!Faustian (talk) 20:49, 29 July 2009 (UTC)
Sorry, freedom of information. Let the images go up, only fascists withhold data. :D —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 02:57, 30 July 2009 (UTC)
"the many years of work done by many authors [...] is being slowly being deemed meaningless." This is a strange argument. It might be clearer if you indicated how you thought that was so in this case. But in any case, many things people devote many years of work to are in fact meaningless. Шизомби (talk) 03:00, 30 July 2009 (UTC)

From the reading of this page it seems that the Rorschach overdiagnosis people with mental illnesses they do not have. Giving someone a diagnosis of say schizophrenia they do not have and putting them on antipsycotics can increase mortality (ie the chance you will die) Therefore exposing the Rorschach to greater scrutiny will save lives. My ethics rest easy at night.--Doc James (talk · contribs · email) 03:01, 30 July 2009 (UTC)

Your comment reflects some serious confusion about psychiatric diagnosis. And your comment that exposing the Rorschach will save lives not only shows a lack of knowledge of the Rorschach, but a profound misunderstanding of scientific methods. The Rorschach (nor any test) does not diagnose anything. Practitioners make the diagnoses. The Roschach or any other test only serves as a tool in that diagnosis. You apparently missed it when this was said several times earlier on this talk page. Tests do not think for themselves. A competent practitioner is needed for the diagnosis. So to say that the Rorschach "overdiagnoses" anything is equivalent to saying that a stethescope overdiagnoses. And your comment that exposing the Rorschach will save lives is equivalent to saying that because one physician made a fatal misdiagnosis using a stethescope, then destroying all stethescopes will save lives. High school science students know better than that. If there is overdiagnoses, it's the practitioner who is doing it. Your source is written by people who make a living by criticizing the Rorschach. They themselves have never used the test, nor have they been trained in its use. Ward3001 (talk) 04:01, 30 July 2009 (UTC)
And moreover have largely been debunked in the literature. Relying on Wood et al too much for this article is a bit like relying on one of these guysfor an article on Global warming.Faustian (talk) 05:05, 30 July 2009 (UTC)

3) Security by Obscurity? The above arguments sounds very similar to the requests of some that an encryption algorithm should not be published to make attacks harder. Unfortunately, any security that *depends* on the attacker not knowing something that you know is already broken. Similarly, a psychological (or any) test that only works if the tested person does not know the test will intrinsically be of limited value. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 22:42, 1 August 2009 (UTC)

I don't get your point here. Everything has "limited value". Are you saying that a test in which the test items are not available in advance to the test taker has NO value? If so, then the conclusion is that all intelligence tests, all academic achievement tests, all tests that teachers use to evaluate their students, the SAT, MCATs for medical school admission, LSATS for law school admission ... I could go on and on ... all of these tests have no value. Is that what you're saying? Ward3001 (talk) 23:09, 1 August 2009 (UTC)

A few comments
  • This test however is not used by psychiatric's so you must mean psychological diagnosis.
    The following passage has the psychologist in the equation: Mittman found that when psychologists trained by the Rorschach Workshops classified patients based on the Rorschach CS, they misidentified more than 75% of normal individuals as psychiatrically disturbed.
    Interesting your comment that The Rorschach (nor any test) does not diagnose anything. Actually in medicine many test diagnose many thinks. A blood culture diagnosis a blood infection, an appropraite blood sugar and pH diagnosis DKA, a CT diagnosis a spinal fracture and the list goes on.
    When you say the "rorschach does not diagnose anything I completely agree.
  • The comments of "The more the test is known the more possibility there is to game it" and I did not mean that a coached subject could fool the person giving the test into making the wrong diagnosis by Smith sort of contradict each other.-Doc James (talk ·contribs · email) 04:18, 30 July 2009 (UTC)
I'm glad you agree. Too bad, for Wikipedia and those you diagnose, that you completely missed the point that the Rorschach can be an invaluable tool in psychiatric diagnosis. Ward3001 (talk) 04:29, 30 July 2009 (UTC)
More misunderstanding of psychiatric diagnosis, James. The test doesn't have to be used by psychiatrists. Psychiatrists frequently seek diagnostic information from psychologists. I'm asked several times a month by psychiatrists to assist with diagnosis, often with a specific request for psychological testing. In fact, I spend a substantial part of my work schedule consulting with a variety of physicians regarding psychiatric diagnosis. I know in the past you've said the docs in your practice never use psychologists (if I remember correclty), but your neck of the woods is clearly the exception. I know a number of Canadian psychologists who do such diagnostic consultations. Ward3001 (talk) 04:26, 30 July 2009 (UTC)
And I never said that a medical test cannot diagnose. You missed the point (again). I made an analogy with a stethescope. Are you saying a stethescope, absent a practitioner, can make a diagnosis? Ward3001 (talk) 04:31, 30 July 2009 (UTC)

Any justification beyond "Your source is written by people who make a living by criticizing the Rorschach." for dismissing the above paper? Just because someone makes a living doing something they are wrong?

And you did say above that test do not diagnose.--Doc James (talk · contribs · email) 04:59, 30 July 2009 (UTC)

I'm not sure what they teach in medical school (certainly the doctors I've personally gone to do not appear to consider the tests to be the diagnostic agents), but in psychologist school, it's considered a fundamental principle of understanding how to use and not use psychological tests. Read Sattler, Kaufman, or any other Psych Testing 101 text and you'll see it. Tests do not diagnose. Practitioners do. Tests provide us with useful information to inform our clinical judgment. For most psychological tests (the Rorschach being a notable exception), administering and scoring them correctly is really quite simple. The reason we need lots of training is precisely *because* the tests themselves do not diagnose in a vacuum. Diagnosis is a thoughtful process where multiple streams of data (other tests, interviews, questionnaires, observations, etc) are drawn together for interpretation, and each is given careful consideration as to what it is telling us about the specific person in the specific situation and how much weight should be given to each. Tests create diagnostic hypotheses, not diagnostic conclusions. Sure, some folks are less thoughtful than others, and their diagnostic conclusions are perhaps less accurate. There are klutzy folks in the medical world as well. But to say "the Rorschach diagnoses" anyone is a misuse of the term "diagnose." That is a process done by people. Mirafra (talk) 17:42, 30 July 2009 (UTC)
::::: Also, the terms "psychiatric diagnosis" and "psychological diagnosis," at least in my experience, are used more-or-less interchangeably. Some psychiatrists (fewer and fewer these days, I think) do use psychological testing in their diagnostic process. But I agree with Ward that it's far more common for them to refer to a psychologist for an evaluation that doesn't fit into a ten-minute med consult slot. Mirafra (talk) 21:06, 30 July 2009 (UTC)
An entire article online debunking Woods' work by one of the top forensic specialists in the country: [28]. His bio is here: [29]. Contrast his bio with Woods' vita: [30]. Woods is not a clinician but a statistician. Another article debunking Wood: [31] and a few abstrracts of other articles: [32] [33] [34]. The basic pattern: Wood et al selectively cherry pick studies that support their POV and ignore others, misuse statistics, etc. This is why their work, while generating some controversy, never became mainstream in the field as shown by the fact that 80% of clinical psychologists doing assessments still use the Rorschach and 80% of graduate programs still teach it, and why in 8,000 cases where the Rorschach was used in court it was only challenged eight times and the expert testimony based on the Rorschach was rejected once (these facts are all referenced in the article). It's why Wood et al turn to the publishing books that are sold to people like you with little knowledge within the field and who therefore become easily impressed with them. Notwithstanding this fact, even Woods claims the test is useful in some circumstances: [35]. But keep believing that minority viewpoint in order to justify your actions. Faustian (talk) 05:41, 30 July 2009 (UTC)

Four quick points, as I don't have the time so many others here seem to, nor do I foresee any of this debate really going anywhere logical.

1. I would like to repeat my statements about any comments or text that take at all from John Exner's material, which is fully copyrighted. Basically, anything beyond the cards themselves, including descriptions of scoring procedures, normative responses, what is a "typical response" all is found solely within Exner's books. Let me repeat, those books are under a clear copyright protection. So basically, anything that speaks of scoring or the methodology used should not be included. By the way, despite appearing to takes bits and pieces of Exner's and placing into the article, the method itself is not being represented particularly well anyway (as is the entire manner in which some seem to believe the Rorschach, and psychological tests in general, are utilized clinically).

2. Maybe this is one of the inherent problems with an internet forum resulting in an "encyclopedia." I have always liked the idea behind projects like Wikipedia, but I must say that I find it problematic that this is all really a "numbers game" when it comes down to it. Ideally, experts within a particular field SHOULD hold more weight in a particular debate. There is an idiom "a little bit of knowledge is a dangerous thing" that seems to apply quite readily to this situation.

3. Ultimately, this is not just about the Rorschach. While Resolute was correct in that most of the more sophisticated measures are copyrighted and strongly limited by test publishers, there are several, for example, more cognitively based measures that are in the public domain. Many psychologists and neuropsychologists continue to use (in part) many of these measures (with more recent normative data) in evaluating various aspects of cognitive functioning as they relate to dementia, stroke, epilepsy, etc. In fact, many of these "test" are best described as a set of questions/task instructions; which have far greater clinical meaning to those trained in the measures than a wikipedia editor might appreciate. Having those available would do irreparable harm to those test procedures; and they would have real consequence to real people.

4. I guess my last thought is this: what GOOD does putting the Rorschach cards do for the public as a whole. Yes, yes, I understand that this has nothing to do with Wiki policy. But ask yourselves that anyway. Rather than minimizing those of us who argue against your positions or placing upon them the burden of showing that there is "harm" done, ask what good has this brought about beyond piquing somebody's curiosity. The terribly trite phrase "with great power (as in Wikipedia) comes great responsibility" nonetheless seems quite relevant here, no? —Preceding unsigned comment added by Takamine45 (talkcontribs) 06:09, 30 July 2009 (UTC)

point 1. above does not have any merit. Wikipedia cites information from copyrighted sources all the time. Copyright infringement begins only when lengthy portions are copied verbatim.
point 2. shows a poor understanding of how Wikipedia works. Experts in the relevant field do actually hold all weight, not just some, in determining how the topic is represented. This is WP:DUE and WP:RS which essentially says that only publications by experts need be considered in the first place.
ad 3., perhaps it is time for the psychologists to realize that this isn't 1921 anymore and that security through obscurity has been long recognized as a worthless approach by experts.
point 4. is an ideological question. It is Wikipedia's most fundamental postulate, and ideology if you like, that making as much knowledge available to as many people as possible, as openly as possible, will in the long run be beneficial to humanity. You can argue about that, but this is what Wikipedia is here to do.

--dab (��) 11:28, 30 July 2009 (UTC)

~ Just a small comment on the claims that the use of copyright material is prohibited in this article: copyright protects the form of expression, not the factual content, of a work. As well, selected quotation from copyright works should be fine under fair use provisions, with appropriate citation. Copyright is not designed to allow ownership of factual information. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 12:24, 30 July 2009 (UTC)

This is patently ridiculous, Takamine45. You should know that Wikipedia is completely based on content sourced from mostly copyrighted books, and that it's fine to do that. Please read copyright law and Wikipedia policy to confirm that and obtain further information about it.
Also, you said that some things are "only found in Exner's books". That's obviously incorrect, since if you cared to actually check the sources I've used in the article for those things, they're mostly not Exner.
I'd also like to reply to your point 4: the main reason for me is that it's informative to the reader. It gives direct information about the Rorschach test. Why would they want detailed information about the Rorschach test is the reader's business, but we know that we do the moment they reach the article, and we do our best to provide it. --LjL (talk) 13:25, 30 July 2009 (UTC)
First all the claimed rebuttals you presented were published BEFORE the article by Wood came out. A statistician is just the profession to show that the numbers do not added up / the data does not make sense. Wood also has a Ph.D. in Clinical Psychology . A finnally just because 80% of US pyschologist use this test does not mean anything. Take the Trendelenburg position for hypotension. They teach it almost universally to nursing and EMS student and it is used routinely unfortunately it is probably harmful. Science is not done by a vote of the masses.--Doc James (talk · contribs · email) 14:12, 30 July 2009 (UTC)
Please see Faustian's citations above of rebuttals after Wood et al. And you're right, science is not done by vote of the masses, and accurate scientific interpretation of the Rorschach cannot be done by vote of Wikipedians. Ward3001 (talk) 18:26, 30 July 2009 (UTC)
We are not interpreting the Rorschach. We are only providing information. If Wikipedia were published as a book than we would not be here as the information would have been published and you desenting opinion would not be taken into account. It is only the fact the we allow feed back that gives you a plateform to voice your complaints. That the majority has heard you complaint and does not think they are significant / matter / are over blown is were we stand now.--Doc James (talk · contribs · email) 18:34, 30 July 2009 (UTC)
You are not interpreting one Rorschach administered to a patient. But you are trying to interpret the scientific qualities of the Rorschach. Doing that with quality and accuracy is not something that can be done by a vote of the masses, or by a vote of Wikipedians. (And don't say you're not voting; majority has ruled here for quite some time. To use your words, "majority has heard you complaint and does not think they are significant".) Ward3001 (talk) 19:01, 30 July 2009 (UTC)
In comment to "a little bit of knowledge is a dangerous thing". Yes I agree completely. That is why we are attempting to dispell the mystic surrounding psycological test by writing extensively about them. Wikipedia is a work in progress however and I would be the last one to claim that it is complete or polished at this point. Magicians by the way were up in arms when one of their members started a tv show to expose the secrets of magic. He wore a mask to protect his identity.--Doc James (talk · contribs · email) 18:44, 30 July 2009 (UTC)
I like how an ER doc feels himself to be qualified to pass judgment on a field he knows nothing about (comparisons to magicians) and to weigh sources that he is not even remotely qualified to understand. With respect to the field you know nothing about - yes someone can have a degree in clinical psychology and not be a clinician. Unlike an M.D. a Ph.D. conducts extensive research - called a dissertation - in order to obtain his degree. The Ph.D. is quite versatile, and with it someone can become a clinician (what most Ph.D.'s do), an academic, or both (which is what people like Meloy do). Many stats oriented clinical psychology Ph.D.s never see patients. Woods is not a clinician, as seen in his vita: [36] he last worked in a clinical or applied setting 19 years ago, prior to obtaining his Ph.D. (so he never saw patients on a doctoral level). He's been a stats guy at a university that's off the radar in the field (University of Texas at El Paso - not meaning to knock it, just saying it's not known as a major intellectual powerhouse. It doesn't have a ranked Ph.D. program while Meloy's UC San Diego is number 9, above Princeton and Columbia, according to the National Research Council[37]) who got a lot of publicity outside the field with his article. Your very behavior here - almost exclusive reliance on a small minority of people whose ideas have been largely dismissed in the the field - is evidence of gross lack of understanding about the topic you are trying to write about and pass judgment on. Have you even read the articles I gave you links to? Were you capable of understanding them (this comment is not meant pejoratively)? I suppose the second one might have been a bit complex but the first written by Meloy seems to have been pretty clearly written. The second page of the review outlines some of the specific problems with Woods work. Here it is again: [38]. The author's bio is here: [39]. And Woods' vita, again: [40]. Once again, to make it even clearer, Woods et al generated some controversy and some of their ideas were useful (I may be mistaken but it seems the DEPI scale had to be revised as a result of their efforts), but all in all their work was largely dismissed for the reasons outlined in the papers I posted links to and you ignored. Woods' opinions have carried much more weight among people like you who know nothing about the subject than from those within the field. But as an ER doc from Moose Jaw gaining international attention for comments on a psychological test, I'm sure you can understand the appeal of PR over actual substance.Faustian (talk) 21:07, 30 July 2009 (UTC)
I actually agree with you that it would be terrific if we could write an article that explained the current and historical use of the Rorschach in clear language accessible to a non-professional reader, one that would dispel the mystique around the test and help people understand what it is and isn't useful for, what the results do and don't mean, so that they could make more informed choices about whether to consent to evaluations and so that they could better understand the results of evaluations. That's why I came here in the first place, although I feel that I cannot contribute to the article until we can come to some kind of agreement that allows professional input. But I agree with the little knowledge being a dangerous thing comment. You don't even know the most basic things about psychological assessment, and you're coming in and thinking that this is something easy to teach yourself. Some things in psych are easy to teach yourself. This just happens not to be one of them. But you don't even know what you don't know. Mirafra (talk) 20:50, 30 July 2009 (UTC)

Well I guess there we have it. Cheers. --Doc James (talk · contribs · email) 01:15, 31 July 2009 (UTC)

Why is your self-promotion so reminiscent of that of the famous American economics and tax policy expert Joe the Plumber?Faustian (talk) 01:58, 31 July 2009 (UTC)
Yes if we did not provide information pertaining to the Rorschach that would be a dangerous precedent. Science does not work by secret socities but by open discourse. Does any other scientific field function like this?--Doc James (talk · contribs · email) 14:51, 31 July 2009 (UTC)
It depends on the type of information. A lot of information is good. In some specific cases it is not. Certainly there is secrecy in the scientific field. When conducting experiments we don't tell participants who is getting a placebo and who is not; doing so would ruin the experiment. The specific information you're adding is the equivalent of automatically telling all potential participants whether or not not they are using a placebo.Faustian (talk) 14:58, 31 July 2009 (UTC)
No it is not similar. We tell people there is a 50/50 chance or a 75/25 chance. We do not than hide the message section post publication for fear of people figuring out how we obtained the results.--Doc James (talk · contribs · email) 15:01, 31 July 2009 (UTC)
And a psychologist does not hide the Rorschach images from a patient taking the testing once testing begins, only before; just as drug study patients are told after the study what they took, not before. Ward3001 (talk) 15:33, 31 July 2009 (UTC)
But (aside from the above, which I pointed out last time already), don't you get that this is not a controlled experiment, unless somehow you think life is? This is real life, where people haven't decided to take part in a controlled experiment, and some of them have decided to consult an encyclopedia. If that's not consistent with your assumptions for administering the Rorschach, change your assumptions. If you can't, that sucks.
You can't force people to partecipate in a controlled experiment where you enforce secrecy. That is just not right. --LjL (talk) 15:05, 31 July 2009 (UTC)
Of course this is not a controlled experiment. James claimed that there is no secrecy in science and I was just giving an obvious example where secrecy is necessary to science - people cannot know if they are in a placebo group or not for the scientific study to work. He mentioned that prior to the experiment people are told that there is a 50/50 or 75/25 chance of them being given a placebo. Note they are not told 100% which group they are in. It is a secret. What you are trying to do is comprable to creating a "key" whereby everyone everywhere who takes part in a study will know whether he's in a placebo group or not. And nobody is "forcing" people to participate in controlled experiements here. But by trying to ruin the test you are trying to "force" people not to benefit from a useful tool.Faustian (talk) 16:18, 31 July 2009 (UTC)
No, sorry. I understand that you see this from a quite different perspective, but ask yourself what the "default" is: 1) the images and most information are in the public domain 2) this in an encyclopedia -> the "default" is for an encyclopedia to publish public information. So the ones pushing to do that aren't the ones attempting to force anything; the ones attempting to withhold information are. I'm not making a judgment here, but it's simply the way it is. You may not like Wikipedia's rules, and you may believe an exception to some of them should be made here, but you should realize that the normal rule is to follow the rule. --LjL (talk) 16:27, 31 July 2009 (UTC)
Even study subjects are told after-the-fact whether they were given placebos. Those forced by the court to take Rorschach tests are never told the basic facts about the test. That is just wrong, and benefits no one. If publishing the inkblots here informs those who have to take the test, then that it is a huge benefit to them. Roger (talk) 16:37, 31 July 2009 (UTC)
Nobody objects to describing "basic facts" about the test. Indeed, they ought to be published. The objection is specifically to test items' and test answers. To LjL: correct me if I'm wrong but is copyright the only thing keeping you (or wikipedia) from publishibnng the questions and answers to for example medical licensing exams, civil service exams, etc. on wikipedia?Faustian (talk) 17:37, 31 July 2009 (UTC)
I think so, yes. Well, and I guess the fact that simply nobody bothered to even when there was no copyright in place to begin with... most of those are less "fascinating" than Rorschach, you could say. Also, it can be hard to know whether or not they're copyrighted to begin with, if parties involved are silent about it.
Needless to say, though, there's also a number of things that simply should not be published on Wikipedia for other reasons: for instance, if someone managed to steal the national final grade tests for this year (we have those, not sure about other countries), that wouldn't be notable to begin with (it would also have been obtained illegally). But that's a slightly different situation, I suppose. --LjL (talk) 17:53, 31 July 2009 (UTC)
The funniest thing is looking around on how available Exner's book was I found Scoring the Rorschach: Seven Validated Systems (2009) on kindle s well as Essentials of Rorschach Assessment (Essentials of Psychological Assessment) (2000). The Rorschach, Basic Foundations and Principles of Interpretation (2002) by John E. Exner Old copies of Exner's work on how to actually do the test are available on Amazon and the psychologist and psychiatrist community is wining about Wikipedia?!? GIVE ME A FREAKING BREAK. Come guys the horse is not only out of the barn he is in the freaking next country a continent away and has been for YEARS.--BruceGrubb (talk) 21:05, 31 July 2009 (UTC)
It's also funny that with Exner's writings so widely available, no one here except the psychologists has read them. Ward3001 (talk) 21:55, 31 July 2009 (UTC)
It's also funny that with all the other reliable sorces there are around, you keep and keep and keep insisting there's basically only Exner. Are you biased? --LjL (talk) 00:20, 1 August 2009 (UTC)
No, I'm a scientist. Exner's system is unquestionably the most scientifically solid system in existence. BruceGrubb made a sweeping generalization about the Rorschach that flies in the face of scientific facts, so the most effective response to his absurd claim is with sound scientific research. Someone can prefer Exner (because it is more likely than any other system to yield reliable and valid results) without being ignorant of the other Rorschach systems, such as those of H. Rorschach, Klopfer, Piotrowski, and Beck. In fact, the Exner system began by extracting the most scientifically verifiable aspects of those other systems, applying the scientific method to those variables, then adding an immense number of scientifically verifiable variables to create a superior system for most purposes. Some of us understand most of the other systems but prefer the Exner system. Others who edit the article, however, know little or nothing about the Exner system, nor Rorschach's original system, nor Klopfer's system, nor Piotrowski's system, nor Beck's system, nor any widely used system. Are you biased? Ward3001 (talk) 00:33, 1 August 2009 (UTC)
Now you are talking about "systems". Are you implying that we should primarily source the article on the "original" books about the respective systems (Exner or others)? If so, I suggest you look at WP:Primary sources, which should clarify that Wikipedia is primarily supposed to use secondary sources, and only secondarily primary sources as a possibility that should be employed with much care when there are no valid alternatives. I do think there are quite a few secondary sources about the Rorschach. --LjL (talk) 14:17, 1 August 2009 (UTC)
No. I didn't say anything about primary sources. There are a huge number of secondary sources available about the systems. Those sources have not been used to edit the article in reference to any of the major systems in recent months. You refer to "systems" as if it's a dirty word. I'm saying that someone cannot make sense out the Rorschach (and write sensibly in the article) unless he/she understands the interpretive systems. If you don't discuss the Rorschach in terms of the details of one (or all) of the systems, including Hermann Rorschach's system, all you have left for the article are the images of the inkblots. No psychologist has ever used the Rorschach clinically without using one or more systems. Are you implying that Exner Vol. 1 only discusses Exner's system? Ward3001 (talk) 15:22, 1 August 2009 (UTC)
No; I am implying that it is a primary source rather than a secondary source describing the system. I'm not using "systems" as a dirty word, I'm simply point out that if we use the "systems" themselves as a source, then we're using a primary source rather than secondary.
I'm also a bit confused now by the fact that you seem to be saying we should describe the systems in detail, rather than writing in "general" terms "describing" something indefinite. Not that I don't agree, I just find it strange coming from you, given that your camp always seemed to me as trying to push forward the idea that the less actual detail about test administration (as opposed to its history, controversies, and whatever doesn't really give any information about the test itself), the better, because detail was claimed to be harmful to potential test takers. --LjL (talk) 16:58, 1 August 2009 (UTC)
Yes, there does seem to be a lot of confusion. You acknowledge that Exner Vol. 1 discusses systems other than the Exner system, but then you say it's not a secondary source. Please tell me how Exner Vol. 1 is not a secondary source in its discussion of the systems of H. Rorschach, Klopfer, Beck, and Piotrowski. If your response is that it is a primary source in discussing the Exner system but not the other systems, why did you ask me if I'm biased or rebut me with "Exner, Exner, Exner" (as you did in a previous post) whenever I mention Exner Vol. 1?
My "camp" (whatever that is; better to refer to us as psychologists and those who respect the psychologists' opinions) has never argued that less detail at an encylcopedic level is better. We (or at least I) have argued that stringing together almost random bits and pieces of information that do not coherently tie into an interpretive system (or systems) does not improve anyone's understanding of the Rorschach (beyond what was already in the article) and, in fact, can give misleading (if not inaccurate) information about the test. That's why, as a whole, the article is not as good today as it was a few months ago. Understanding the Rorschach requires understanding at least one of the systems. And one reason the Exner system is the most widely used worldwide is that it is the most comprehensive of the systems, as well as the most scientifically sound. Ward3001 (talk) 17:39, 1 August 2009 (UTC)
"why did you ask me if I'm biased" - but clearly because Exner is hardly the only secondary source there is about the Rorschach, and you make it seem like other source (perhaps most specifically those used in the article) are worthless. --LjL (talk) 20:01, 1 August 2009 (UTC)
As for your "camp" arguing for less detail, I'm sure I've seen such arguments quite plainly before, but since these pages have become too unwieldy to find stuff in, I'll jump on the chance of pointing out a fresh one. This is the sort of thing that makes me wonder if your "camp" would like to have an encyclopedic article about the Rorschach that actually includes any meaningful information at all. I have really started to think not. --LjL (talk) 17:53, 3 August 2009 (UTC)
You misunderstand Mirafra's point because you do not understand the details of test interpretation. That's not a criticism; it's easy to misunderstand something if you know little about it. It's quite possible to put detail into an article on the Rorschach without getting into the very specific issues of coding and use of a structural summary of the data to derive interpretations. Most people would find those details, which often require administration of hundreds of Rorschachs to become competent, very boring. So no, my "camp" doesn't mind more detail of accurate information at an encyclopedic level. That would not require adding hundreds of thousands of words that might be found in a coding and interpretation textbook. But I've really started to wonder if your "camp" would like to have an encyclopedic article about the Rorschach that actually includes any accurate information at all. I have really started to think not. Ward3001 (talk) 19:08, 3 August 2009 (UTC)
Please don't put words in my mouth. I never said that Exner is the only secondary source. In fact, I said there is a huge number of secondary sources. And I never said that any source is worthless. What I did say (I'm quoting myself) is that "stringing together almost random bits and pieces of information that do not coherently tie into an interpretive system (or systems) does not improve anyone's understanding of the Rorschach (beyond what was already in the article) and, in fact, can give misleading (if not inaccurate) information about the test. That's why, as a whole, the article is not as good today as it was a few months ago". So again, why did you ask me if I'm biased or rebut me with "Exner, Exner, Exner" whenever I mention Exner Vol. 1? Thank you. Ward3001 (talk) 20:20, 1 August 2009 (UTC)
I have explained. --LjL (talk) 21:01, 1 August 2009 (UTC)
Hmm ... if anyone can help me find the explanations, I'd appreciate it. Ward3001 (talk) 21:18, 1 August 2009 (UTC)

I think the psychologists are worrying unnecessarily here: I don't see how this article overall could harm the test results, as the article is incomprehensible to a lay person! The article is currently so badly written that I can't begin to figure out how on earth I would need to answer on the test in order to ensure that I was diagnosed as sane. I have read the article several times and feel I have learnt nothing at all about how the test is actually used to diagnose anything, beyond the fact that the description of the content of the images is hardly used at all, and thus publishing the images and their typical descriptions can't possibly harm the test results; the rest is incomprehensible to me. (talk) 11:04, 1 August 2009 (UTC)

Of course the article is incomprehensible. That is because it is designed in such a way that psychologists cannot contribute in order to clear it up. Because the images and "answers" (however inaccurate) make the article harmful, it is unethical for psychologists, the experts on this complex topic, to contribute to it. So they do not. As a result we have the mess that currently exists. Instead of an encyclopedic accurate clearly written article that includes all information other than the specific test items and test answers, we have a semiaccurate incomprehensible article with semiaccurate answers and images. BTW, after all this massive exposure, psycholgists still haven't stepped in to fix the article. I guess ethics counts for something.Faustian (talk) 13:40, 1 August 2009 (UTC)
Err... or maybe it's because the article has been fully protected from editing after the massive exposure? --LjL (talk) 14:06, 1 August 2009 (UTC)
Or because edits that *were* made were promptly reverted? The history seems to indicate that... No, the article is incomprehensible because it's hard to write an article about a topic you don't understand well, and those of us who would be in a position to help (the editors who actually know the field well) are being told to go away. Mirafra (talk) 19:35, 2 August 2009 (UTC)
No one here has said "psychologist are not welcome, go away". Users who cannot follow our policies however will be shown the door. If your profession's ethics prevent you from editing or respecting Wikipedia policy that is not Wikipedia's fault. Garycompugeek (talk) 21:17, 3 August 2009 (UTC)
Wrong again Gary. I was literally told to "go away" and edit another encyclopedia by LjL. You can take my word for it, but before you deny it and demand proof from me, and make me dig it up from the archives, you please read the archives yourself. Thank you. Ward3001 (talk) 22:23, 3 August 2009 (UTC)
As was I. And the suggestion that we should go somewhere else was a broad one, basically saying that experts in psychological testing should go to some other encyclopedia. (I was especially negatively impressed by the notion that we should facilitate the work that we feel to be unethical, or intentionally bypass our ethical restrictions, by creating a page on some other encyclopedia that could then be imported here. Mirafra (talk) 18:09, 4 August 2009 (UTC)
I didn't tell anyone they must "go away", I simply told them that if they feel bound by some ethics to not edit this article, then they may "go away" and edit another on another encyclopedia. I'm not bound by your ethics, you are, so please don't say I "make" you go away, because that is a lie. As to Mirafra's "notion", well, the way it works with free licenses (including Wikipedia's and Citizendum's, and I'm very sure you know that free licensing is a very important part of both) is that you don't control what other people do with your edits. If you don't like that, then you can find another encyclopedia that is not based on free licenses.
Oh, and make sure that, thanks to the last sentence above, in a couple of days you claim to have been "literally told to go away" by me. --LjL (talk) 23:08, 4 August 2009 (UTC)
LjL, I can't address what you said to others, but I DO know what you said to me. There was no suggestion that if I feel this way or that way then I may want to go away. You told me to "go away and leave us alone". Period (full stop to my British/Canadian friends). I realize that people sometimes say things they don't exactly mean when looking at it in hindsight. So you can tell us what your intentions were in such a comment, but you cannot change the words you wrote. Ward3001 (talk) 00:46, 5 August 2009 (UTC)

The question of harmEdit

SPAdoc has stated that the only harm in publishing the blots is that those coached in subverting the test would give meaningless results. Clearly replying "an egg" to each question would have the same effect. Even so we might still have reservations about publishing the images, if they were not freely available elsewhere. However since they are available freely and easily to those with an interest in "subverting" the test, I would claim, there is no demonstrable significant harm form publishing them here. Rich Farmbrough, 14:40, 5 August 2009 (UTC).

This issue was raised at my talk page, I'll reproduce the exchange below. –xenotalk 14:48, 5 August 2009 (UTC)
And yet, I have a source that says that exposure and release of test material can cause "concrete harm." [41] Danglingdiagnosis (talk) 16:36, 5 August 2009 (UTC)
SPAdoc did not say otherwise, but he attributed the potential for harm to conscious, voluntary misuse of test items by test takers (such as in courts), not to accidental viewing. Still, hey, that just means not everyone has the same opinion about possible harm and its significance. --LjL (talk) 18:27, 5 August 2009 (UTC)
And the Wikipedia is not the place to do science, I don't think we should attempt settle the big questions of science. Is the theory of cosmic inflation correct? Do the Rorschach images cause harm? We are supposed to take accepted current scientific thought. This whole argument is a distraction this is not an argument that belongs on the Wikipedia WP:ORIGINAL.--Dela Rabadilla (talk) 03:04, 6 August 2009 (UTC)
Excuse me, but, given that SPAdoc is a confirmed representative of recognized psychological associations, I think I'll take his posts as sources without an issue. --LjL (talk) 13:13, 6 August 2009 (UTC)
Do you agree that usefulness of the Rorschach Test is a settled question. The mental health community uses it on a regular basis. Or at least do you agree that we should not try to create a wikipedia community stance on the usefulness of the test?--Dela Rabadilla (talk) 03:51, 9 August 2009 (UTC)
I agree with the latter; the former is none of my concerns. (I don't see what this has to do with what we were discussing, however, which was not usefulness of the test but instances where dissemination of test materials might be harmful). --LjL (talk) 13:26, 9 August 2009 (UTC)
Dela Rabadilla I could not agree more. If there are reliable sources documenting that these images cause harm then we should document that(not obey it), however all of this debate about if it does or not is way outside the purview of an encyclopedia. Chillum 03:07, 6 August 2009 (UTC)
It's not a matter of obedience. It's a matter of choice. It's different to say that an organization will flex it's muscle to impose their positions. Than to explain the reasons why the administration of mental health is hampered by our actions, and decide within the wikipedia not to do something out of choice. I would like to see where everybody on this argument stands on the issue of videos that cause epilepsy attacks.--Dela Rabadilla (talk) 03:51, 9 August 2009 (UTC)
Indeed, this is not a funniest joke in the world argument. Rich Farmbrough, 15:01, 5 August 2009 (UTC).
SPAdoc has said - as quoted that the test will not be "fooled" by subverters merely that the results will be "meaningless".Rich Farmbrough, 15:03, 5 August 2009 (UTC).
If exposure produces "meaningless" results, then the harm could be a delayed diagnosis. I think that qualifies as harm. There's two kinds of harm: There's direct harm to the test and there's indirect harm to the patient. Imaging studies have shown that the brain retains physical impressions of psychological trauma. Early diagnosis is the key to reducing this trauma. Publishing the Rorschach images is analogous to walking up to a parked ambulance and putting sugar in the gas tank. It's vandalism and it's also some other kind crime if the patient dies on the way to the hospital. Danglingdiagnosis (talk) 16:36, 5 August 2009 (UTC)
DanglingDiagnosis makes a good analogy, but if I may modify it, I would say publishing these images is similar to putting up a huge billboard telling of all the ways to damage an ambulance up by a major freeway. It is also akin to the David Rohde situation.Hello, My Name Is SithMAN8 (talk) 20:42, 8 August 2009 (UTC)
Not really. There was a direct threat to David Rohde, and anyway I think there's far from a consensus about that specific situation. It was simply handled by the "higher spheres", but that doesn't make it a precedent for anything as far as the community goes. And if we want to go to great length to what may make an exceptionally indirect "harm"... well, then SPADoc is right that I "support terrorism" by, for instance, contributing to articles containing detailed information about aircraft systems. --LjL (talk) 21:03, 8 August 2009 (UTC)
Just because it was handled by the higher spheres, doesn't mean they weren't right. Besides, you did not respond to my other point. We could be directly responsible for all kinds of terrible situations. Also, your aircraft analogy is beside the point. Those articles do not point out flaws in security, nor are they particularly major articles. This is. Hello, My Name Is SithMAN8 (talk) 23:47, 8 August 2009 (UTC)
It doesn't mean they were right, either, or that the community consensus process should be avoided. It should not. I did not understand your other point, as I can't see by any stretch of imagination how this is similar to explaining ways to damage an ambulance. Lastly, if you think this article is "major" on Wikipedia (as opposed for instance to flying-related ones), you are quite seriously mistaken. --LjL (talk) 00:08, 9 August 2009 (UTC)
I was in no way suggesting that community consensus should be avoided, merely that your argument against the David Rohde analogy was invalid, as it assumed that jimbo and such were wrong. They may have been, but that is not for you and me to decide. Secondly, the ambulance analogy is because this is providing a very obvious method for criminally insane persons to game an important psychological test. And finally, I must clarify. I meant to say that the topic is more major, not necessarily the article itself. Hello, My Name Is SithMAN8 (talk) 04:40, 9 August 2009 (UTC)
No, I didn't mean to assume that the handling of the David Rohde case has been necessarily wrong; I merely wanted to say that it cannot be used as a self-evident precedent, since it wasn't handled quite in the normal ways: you said our case is "akin" to it, but even if it is, then what? That's what I meant to say.
I see now about the ambulance analogy, but I don't agree. There are a number of data on Wikipedia that could quite conceivably be used in "wrong" ways. Information can certainly be a weapon - easily. That does not mean it should be censored (that's the argument that authoritarian governments usually employ for censorship; I hope we don't share it here!).
I understood that you meant the topic is major, and I still think you're mistaken. Perhaps you are more familiar with the Rorschach test than with aviation, but the idea that the former is a more major topic than the latter isn't very convincing at all. --LjL (talk) 13:22, 9 August 2009 (UTC)
Ok. Forget the "obscure" vs. "major" point. On the case of other potentially harming data, however, this data can subvert an important medical process, merely by someone browsing through it. That is the important point. We cannot let these things happen. Hello, My Name Is SithMAN8 (talk) 15:56, 9 August 2009 (UTC)
Well, make up your mind then. One thing is providing a "method" for "criminally insane persons" to "game the test", and another is subverting the test merely "by browsing through it". Both thing could be true, both could be false, or one could be true and one false: they are separate things in any case. SPAdoc has previously stated (twice) that he doesn't really see a concern with the latter thing, but only the former. --LjL (talk) 17:20, 9 August 2009 (UTC)
I think that both are significant risks, so I mentioned both. This is not indecisiveness, it is thoroughness. Also, I notice that you have been avoiding my main points. Is It Not True That, Either By Design Or Accident, Posting These Images Along With Common Answers Poses A Significant Risk To Patients? Hello, My Name Is SithMAN8 (talk) 02:09, 10 August 2009 (UTC)
I don't know, I'm not qualified to say that. I know that it's not Wikipedia's problem, and that it's easy enough not to view them, and that we have a WP:Content disclaimer. As to the "harm by design" in particular, I really think it's not up to us to decide whether someone should or should not study a test in advance. --LjL (talk) 13:02, 10 August 2009 (UTC)
I understand what it means so fulfill a function and to assign responsibility where it belongs, not taking up responsibility that doesn't belong to you. We may not be responsible for content provided on other web-sites; but we are responsible for our own content. Despite your efforts to pass off responsibility, there is no one else to take it. So if you'll simply consider modifying your function to providing knowledge rather than information (knowledge is the ability to use information), then I think the subject of the article will receive better treatment. Danglingdiagnosis (talk) 15:36, 10 August 2009 (UTC)
Ljl, I sincerely hope you were joking. "Study in advance for a test."?!?!?!?!?!?!?!? The Rorschach test isn't an academic test, it is a psychological one, so "studying in advance", as you call it, is unethical in and of itself. Not only that, but even if you were using the studying in advance thing as an analogy, this is actually better equated to cheating, not studying.Hello, My Name Is SithMAN8 (talk) 17:45, 10 August 2009 (UTC)
Neither of us is here on this talk page to judge the ethics of what people may use information on Wikipedia for, and no amount of question/exclamation marks will change that. --LjL (talk) 17:50, 10 August 2009 (UTC)
No, SithMANS, he's not joking. He believes he can wash his hands of the responsibility. Perhaps we can continue this discussion over at the following location: Arguments Con - #8 How dare we not? At least LjL is listening. That's good. I still have hopes to sway him; but I'm not betting the farm on it. He is firmly entrenched in the hope that the ethics of having information rests in the hands of those who wield it: A philosophy that is right, 99 percent of the time. So he's got a good rule-of-thumb argument that he's playing to its full effect. Which he has every right to do. Someone should argue that point. And then, in the final analysis, someone will have to weigh the arguments. That job probably falls on us, who are entrenched in debate, which is sad, but no alternative is available. That is the system, here. Danglingdiagnosis (talk) 17:00, 11 August 2009 (UTC)

(undent) WRT attempted cheating as it has been called. No one really needs Wikipedia to do that. If you have someone competent enough to cheat they are also competent enough to know what answers are expected of them.Doc James (talk · contribs · email) 05:27, 27 August 2009 (UTC)

Places where images are foundEdit

University, institutional or society, association sites where Rorschach inkblots are shown (please add more if you can find them; Google Similar Images may help).

  • Francisco, J. Sainz-Lourdes Gorospe. El test de Rorschach y su aplicacion en la psicologia de las organizaciones. ISBN 950-12-6062-3.
  • Bohm, E. (1988). Manual del psicodiagnostico de Rorschach. Madrid: Morata. ISBN 8471121123.
  • Edited by Lon Gieser and Morris I. Stein (1999). Evocative Images: The Thematic Apperception Test and the Art of Projection. ISBN 978-1-55798-579-8.CS1 maint: extra text: authors list (link) (though this is the TAT, not the Rorschach)
Non-blog news sources

(perhaps restrict these to WP:RS only?)

Status uncertain
  1. ^ Denis Diderot and Jean le Rond d'Alembert Encyclopédie. University of Michigan Library:Scholarly Publishing Office and DLXS. Retrieved on: November 17, 2007
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