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Rorschach Assistance Program


Developmental Quality

The DQ code refers to the quality of processing that has been involved in forming the answer. Answers like clouds, dirt, blood and the like, that involved objects that can take any of a variety of shapes, are vague responses. Somewhat higher processing involve in responses that included single object with specific form, such as a bat, a person, a feather-clouds. In these answers, the cognitive activity includes organizing some of the blot features in a meaningful way. Yet a higher level of cognitive processing is required for combinatory responses, in which 2 or more form defined objects are specified. For example, 2 people picking something up together.

The 4 symbols used for form quality codes, and the criterion for each are shown in the following tables.



2 or more objects
are described as separate but related.
All objects must be in relationship to each other.


An area of the blot is identified as a single object with a form demand, or the description of the object create a specific form demand. 


2 or more objects
are described as separate but related.  
None of the objects have a specific form demand.


An object is reported which have no form demand, and the articulation does not introduce a specific form demand for the object.


Developmental Quality Relational Table


Form Demand

(at least one object)



(at least 2 objects)

+ v/+




The location aspect of any response will allways include two symbols: One for the area used (W, D, or Dd with S as a possible secondary code) and the second for the DQ (+, O, v/+, and v).


Developmental Quality Scores Examples:

Nouns like, man, bird, butterfly, spider, lion, chair, ship, house, etc.  All include some form requirements to be coded as o or +, depending if it is with a meaningful relationship with another object, even if the second object does not have a form demand.

On the other hand, objects like clouds, lake, islands, leaves, blood, paint, abstract art, etc.  do not have a specific form and the coding will be v, or v/+, depending if it is with a meaningful relationship with another object.

"2 birds sitting on a fence." = + (form demand and all 3 objects interrelated.)  
"2 birds" = o (form demand but no interrelation.)

When the response includes an object with no specific form but in elaborating on the object the subject inject a form demand.

"Clouds" = v  
"Clouds building up like a cumulus cloud." = o (because it injects a form demand.)

"A leaf." = v  
"A leaf that has these 3 pointed parts." = o (form demand includes.)

"2 clouds coming together." = v/+ (relationship=coming together, but no form=clouds).  
"2 clouds are building up, like expending, and coming together." = +  
(there is form requirement with the words, building up, like expending.)

In case of clothing as a separate object = o.
+ only if the clothing alters the natural contours of the figure of the separate object.

III "A man (D9) wearing a tuxedo" = o  
(because the same area is being used for the figure and the clothing does not change the natural counters of the figure.)

III "A man (D9) wearing a jacket and the lapel (Dd27, which is part of D9) is sticking out." = + (the lapel altered the natural contour of the person.)

III "A person wearing mittens" (Dd31) = + (2 discrete areas have been used.)

"A tree casting a long shadow in the moonlight" = +  





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