Skip to: Content
Skip to: Site Navigation
Skip to: Search

Modern Parenthood

Inkblot test pioneer Hermann Rorschach gets a Google Doodle

Today's Google Doodle celebrates the 129th birthday of psychiatrist and Freudian psychoanalyst Hermann Rorschach. Mr. Rorschach is best known for the Rorschach test, a series of inkblot images used to diagnose schizophrenia.

By Contributing blogger / November 8, 2013

Hermann Rorschach, the early 20th century psychiatrist and Freudian psychoanalyst, gets his own Google Doodle. The black and white doodle pays homage to the famed inkblot test, aka the Rorschach test.

Screen shot of


An unusual name can be a curse, but it can also be a blessing - hit a professional highpoint while sporting a memorable, unusual name, and you may attain the sort of immortality enjoyed by psychiatrist and Freudian psychoanalyst Hermann Rorschach.

Skip to next paragraph

Contributing blogger

James Norton got his professional start at the Monitor as an online news producer, before moving over to edit international news during the invasion and occupation of Iraq. Since leaving the Monitor in 2004, he has worked as a radio producer, author, and food blogger. 

Recent posts

Mr. Rorschach – probably best known in current culture as "that inkblot guy" – is the subject of today's Google Doodle, recognized for his contribution to the art of personality analysis. Rorschach's method, which has echoed down from his era (the early 20th Century) to our own, is simple enough in theory: show a subject a series of inkblots and see what, if anything, they project onto the images when prompted. In practice, the test is notoriously difficult to "score" – while there are guidelines for how to evaluate answers given for the various pictures, it takes skilled, well-trained interpreters to tease any kind of diagnostic value out of the experience.

Depending upon who you ask, Rorschach tests are either a clever (if somewhat subjective) tool for analysis and detection of underlying thought disorders, or generally a pseudoscientific waste of time akin to cold reading. The test is reasonably easy to administrate, and the fact that it revolves around 10 standard inkblots helps guide those who must interpret the test but can also give crafty subjects a chance to study the blots and the criteria and "cheat" the exam.)

It is, in fact, entirely likely that Rorschach himself would be skeptical of his test as it is often used and interpreted – he didn't intend his test to be a general gauge of personality – he was skeptical of such tests, and developed his inkblot test to diagnose schizophrenia specifically.

The Rorschach doodle puts the pioneering psychoanalyst in good standing among other intellectual honorees from the 20th Century – other Doodles have honored Friedrich Nietzsche, Albert Camus, and Erwin Schrödinger.


  • Weekly review of global news and ideas
  • Balanced, insightful and trustworthy
  • Subscribe in print or digital

Special Offer


Doing Good


What happens when ordinary people decide to pay it forward? Extraordinary change...

Endeavor Global, cofounded by Linda Rottenberg (here at the nonprofit’s headquarters in New York), helps entrepreneurs in emerging markets.

Linda Rottenberg helps people pursue dreams – and create thousands of jobs

She's chief executive of Endeavor Global, a nonprofit group that gives a leg up to budding entrepreneurs.

Become a fan! Follow us! Google+ YouTube See our feeds!