Monday, April 18, 2011

Fun with the Rorschach BUT MOSTLY A CONTEST

About a week ago, I was delighted and a little stunned to realize I now have over 200 blog followers. Thanks, everyone! Your insightful comments and emails have made blogging more rewarding than I ever thought it could be. And I guess it's time to have a contest to celebrate.

Next week, I'll do a few posts about projective tests, which are psychological tests in which a person responds to an ambiguous stimulus (either an image or word) by describing the first thing it brings to mind. Projective tests were originally developed as a way to unearth hidden emotions and internal conflicts (and there has been HUGE debate about whether they can do anything of the sort). One of the most famous projective tests is the Rorschach Inkblot Test. You've probably all heard of that one, right?

As I am a psychologist and eager to get my grubby paws on all your subconscious thoughts and wishes, I thought, for my first-ever blog contest, we could do a little Rorschaching.

Come on. It'll be fun.

(I'm kidding about my paws, by the way. They're actually quite clean.)

The prizes:
  1. A $30 Amazon gift card
  2. A 3-chapter crit from yours truly (if you're wondering what that might entail, check out this post)
  3. A psychologisty reading pack: A Writer's Guide to Psychology by Carolyn Kaufman, Psy.D., and 50 Great Myths of Popular Psychology: Shattering Widespread Conceptions About Human Behavior by Scott Lilienfeld and colleagues. [Both of these books present a wealth of information that will 1) make you look like a super-smartypants and 2) help you avoid common mistakes if you're writing about anything related to psychology or psychological disorders]
Anyway, back to the Rorschach. For this projective test, the examiner shows you the inkblot and says, "What might this be?"

It's considered extremely unkosher to display the actual Rorschach Inkblots (I'll talk about why that is in my posts next week), so I made one myself. Or, more accurately, my five-year-old son and I made one:

 Now, to enter this contest, all you have to do is comment on this post and tell me: What might this be?

Just write the first thing that comes to mind. Or, yanno, since you're probably a writer, make something up. Go wild.

Extra entries can be had for:
  1. Becoming a follower of this blog
  2. Becoming a follower on Twitter (I have a button! I really hope it works!)
  3. Linking to this contest on your blog
  4. Tweeting the link to this contest (please mention @finesarah in the Tweet so I can give you credit for it; up to 5 extra entries)
OK, please keep in mind that I'm pretty new to this stuff, so let me know if you've done any of those things and I'll give you the extra entries. Winners will be chosen via random number generator.

Deadline to enter this contest: Saturday, April 23rd, 11:59pm EST. Winners announced on Monday, April 25th, when I will also reveal which of you is likely personality disordered and/or psychotic*. Now ... comment away.

And as always, check out Lydia's Medical Monday post and Laura's Mental Health Monday post!

*Just so you know, I can't actually do this based on your response to my homemade inkblot. If you believe you are personality disordered and/or psychotic, please seek professional (in-person) help. But feel free to enter the contest as well.


  1. It's a pair of dancing bears, weight on the feet in the foreground at the bottom of the page, opposite feet (legs, whatever) extended behind them, and heads turned with their snouts to the far edges of the paper. Each has an ear showing at the top.


    I'm a blog follower, and I'm a Twitter follower.

  2. Not entering the contest because I don't have anything ready for such an extensive crit, and I think the winner should be the best choice possible.

    But! I still wanted to share what I see in that lovely green blob.

    Almost afraid to admit this... I see a scary goblin face. And no matter how long I stare at it and try to visually morph it into something else, I can't.

    So what does that mean?

  3. I looks like Shriek angry (or maybe it's a distant cousin).

    I'm a blog and Twitter follower. And I'm now Tweeting about the contest.

  4. It's an elephant!! Just wanted to chime in for fun - but seriously, it really looks like an elephant to me:)

  5. Looks like an angry dragon head!!

    I follow you on your blog and on Twitter

  6. I am so strange. I'm seeing a dog. But I like Stina's: Shriek!!

  7. I'm not entering, but I wanted to tell you want I see:

    Two dancers from Holland with really big noses.



  8. It looks like my cat who is very angry with me for bringing home two kittens. I see her fangs, angry eyes, and her ears are at half mast, LOL!

    I'm a follower, will Tweet and Facebook this and on Thursday, I'll dedicate a post about your contest! :D

  9. A Bacchanalia with two dancers drinking smoke from a hookah.

  10. LOL, these answers are hilarious!

    I think it's a really pissed off pig. It may or may not be related to Shrek...

    Already a blog and Twitter follower

    Linked on my blog's sidebar-->

    Tweeted about the contest-->!/amparo_ortiz/status/59974057814261760

    AWESOME contest, Sarah!!

  11. A mask for the insect ball. I am a follower and I'm now following you on Twitter.

  12. Okay. This is the hound of hell, Cerberus, who has just discovered he loves pizza with sausage and meatball topping. (Can you tell we're reading too much Percy Jackson in this house?)

    [Nice ink blob, by the way. I think we'll do ink blogs today with 4-year-old, just for the fun of it.]

    I'm a follower, will link this to my blog, and desperately want to be a super-smartypants. Fingers crossed...

  13. I see a sea turtle. Fun contest... already a blog follower.

  14. ohman! i'll have to blog the link, i'll come back and tell you if i actually remember! but ohman! your prizes are like the awesomest!!
    ok! i'm so excited to read the other comments, but first i'll tell you what i see.
    it's actually a really impressive representation of a rhino/alien hybrid ( i think the green really emphasizes the alien-osity) it's ears are up top, the horn is the top white patch. the eyes and nostrils are, well, obvious. then it has tusks at the bottom of it's snout... which real rhinos don't have- so that and it's moldy complexion equates alien. so, there you have it. what a little artist your fiveyearold is! :)

  15. What a fun contest! I'm a follower. :-)

    It looks like a laughing Chinese demon to me.

  16. Looks like the ceiling of a cathedral viewed from straight below.

  17. You really picked a perfect contest for yourself! I see an exploding, sweet green bell pepper.

  18. Dragon! Angry dragon. Can't possibly be anything else :)

    Already a blog follower and twitter follower :)

    Looking forward to hearing more about the Rorschach Inkblots.

  19. A bull or a lamb. Not that those two animals look anything alike, really. After reading the comments I have to agree it could definitely pass for a goblin or a dragon, too.
    - Sophia.


    Yes, I said "hogs" on purpose.

  21. hi miss sarah! i love contests. wow i just got 200 followers too so i gotta think up a cool contest. yours is sooooo neat and you got real fantistical prizes. im gonna do a link for you on my side bar. for what i see in that inkblot i see a strong man standing up at the top and hes holing two mean dragons by their necks and their trying to run away. in the middle is another strong man on his knees and hes holding the dragons by their arms so they cant get away. wow! how cool is that! ha ha
    ...hugs from lenny

  22. Two pointy-headed guys with big noses and heads thrown back, dancing around a loosely-wound Maypole.

    I hope I win the contest, and that you do not tell me the Freudian implications of what I saw....

  23. Now that's my kind of contest!! How fun! I'm saying it's a monstrous being reaching out from the sky to attack my protagonist (who I don't know yet) and his image is reflected in the sea below. Either that or a turtle. I'll go tweet.

  24. Looks like the scary pig from the Amityville Horror.

  25. Not entering because I already have Carolyn's book (and LOVE IT) and don't need the crit, but just wanted to say this is such a fun contest!

    Oh -- and I see a Wuzzle. The elephant/bee Wuzzle to be exact. Except he looks constipated.

    Good luck to those entering!

  26. This makes me think of a circus. I see two clowns on the outside and a muscle man in the middle. Call me crazy. lol.

  27. Sarah,

    My blog post on your ink blot is up now. Here's the link.

  28. It's a push-me pull-you and Dr Doolittle is waiting for it to be returned!

  29. I see two baby TRexes standing back-to-back, kicking out a foot. They may or may not have wings...

  30. Okay... I thought at first that it looked like an ant eater... then literally a second later I thought.. sea turtle. lol :-P

  31. The pair of dancing hippos, heads thrown back in thorough abandon, felt the rays of the spring sunshine on their shiny green heads.

  32. I want to hurry up and give you my answer before I might accidentally look at any of the other comments! :)

    The picture looks like two dancing bears, bodies facing each other, but heads facing away.

    That was fun!

  33. An angry elephant!

  34. An angry cow. Or pig. I can't mind goes back and forth.

    I actually love these things, so I'm looking forward to the posts next week! Great prizes, too... :)

  35. He's quite clearly a green dragon. He looks slightly surprised but still friendly. In fact he has a slight smile on his face too. He's lovely!

  36. A dragon. Probably of the aquatic variety, and not just because it's green. It looks like I'm viewing it through water, and the little bits coming out of the sides look like fishy tentacles.

    (Did all the extras, so plus four. Here's the blog post

  37. Ah! Cool contest! As tempting as those psych books are, I'll void my entry; good luck to the other contestants. I just wanted to add my subconscious thoughts to the vat. :-)

    Looks like an angry pig to me.

  38. It's an alligator's head popping up through the surface of the water in a pond, of course! With some small lily pads around it. The bottom two white slits in the green head are nostrils, the top two are eyes with green pupils in them. It looks hungry. (I'm from Florida)

    I came over here from Lockwood's blog. :-)

  39. My first thought was that it looked like a demon...then I got scared what that might say about me so I looked again and thought it looked like a pig with an elephant snout who is angry because he is green. (That probably says worse things about me hahahahaha)
    Just followed you on Twitter and about to go tweet about your contest.

  40. I see a very confused body builder, holding his hands out in despair as he tries to fit into a go-kart. Poor guy.

    + Followed you on Twitter
    + Retweeted your post
    + Followed you on the Google Followers thingie.

  41. I think it's two hippos doing a Waltz at a fancy ballroom dance.

    I'm a follower here and on twitter.

    This is fun, Sarah...I can't wait to get my analysis!

  42. It looks like a pretty scary green monster (should I worry? LOL!)

  43. If lizardmen were pirates, that would be their Jolly Roger.

    I follow the blog.
    I follow you on Twitter (now).
    I tweeted.

    I would also like more contests like this. This is fun!

  44. Pelvic bone structure with some interesting organ development added!
    Love this kind of contest. Tweeted it.

  45. Marcel Duchamp: Nude Descending a Staircase No 2 *

    Rorschach Image:"THE BLUE BUTTERFLY IS 33YO NOW"
    Watch video


  46. Definitely a goblin. Eyes, nostrils, ears--check.

  47. At first sight, a scary face.

    Looking more closely, in the center, I see a severe heroic-style male figure, while on each side I see two rotund people happily dancing with their heads thrown back.

    It's a neat image, I like it. ^_^


  48. I see a dragon face. Every. single. time. Maybe even a dragon mask?

    Follower on here AND twitter. :D


    posted on blog:

    thank you, Sarah! this is a very creative contest! (I'm excited to know what you think about the winner's guess.)

  49. It's obviously a sourdough pretzel monster with snailheads for ears.
    also became a follower.

  50. I was careful to write down my response before reading the other comments, and I have to say they're all very entertaining.
    I can see the dancing bears if I try, pretty cool.

  51. Awesome contest! I'm officially a new follower!

    This is fun, loved reading everyone's answers! I think it looks like the face of a green insectoid alien, with two antennae on the sides, and one in the centre of its head like a unicorn's horn. The two protrusions near the bottom are pincers.

  52. A friendly alien, with four arms. He's reaching out to hug you with all four of them!

    I'm a follower here, and I follow you on twitter as @amiekaufman

  53. Um. A pelvis? I prefer everyone else's answers! :))

  54. This is a mirror image of a stuffed tiger.

  55. I've just followed this blog although I already get it through an RSS reader and I already follow you through twitter but I AM going to tweet the link (really, I LOVE this blog and have learned so much from it).

    As for the ink blot: I see two hippos dancing around a may pole. Actually this could make a pretty cool family crest! :-)

  56. Definitely a dragon head! He's snarling at me! :)

  57. It's a gargoyle. Definitely, a gargoyle. He looks pretty pissed off too.

    I'm a new Twitter follower @LisaMPotts!

    Thanks for the fun contest and chance to win.

  58. It's a dragon! Well, a dragon's head. There's the eyes and the nostrils and the snout.

  59. This is a fun contest. I'm not entering, but I would like to tell you that I see dancing children. :-))

    Your blog is awesome--as always.


  60. I see a dragon skull, does that make me crazy?

  61. A pair of hands forming an elephant head - a la shadow puppet.

  62. How fun! I write stories about demons, so I couldn't help but think that it looked like a demon. :)I'm already a follower. I'll try to find your twitter button, though. :)

  63. YIKES. I saw a demon too. LOL

  64. I see a very demented looking cow, like it's been possessed by a demon.

  65. Cinderella and the prince are dancing at the ball with their invisible fairy godmothers on either side of them. (And yes, I have been watching too much royal wedding coverage.)

  66. I think it looks like a pair of bears stuck together with gooey honey.

  67. Congratulations on your follower count!
    It's obviously a butterfly. Wait, it's a monster's face with a big nose.

    tmilstein at gmail dot com

    I'm a follower. I'm linking this on Facebook and putting this on my blog sidebar.

  68. I see a DRAGON's FACE from a front view.

    New follower. New Twitter Follower. Tweeted the contest.
    Total= +3 extra

  69. Well, to me that looks like the design on an ancient Greek urn. I have a thing for urns. And Greece.
    +3 entries for me (blog follower, Twitter follower, and I tweeted).
    Thanks! Very cool and different sort of contest!

  70. How exciting 200+ followers. Congrats.

    I see an alien skull.

    I'm a new blog follower, I tweeted the contest, and added a link in my sidebar on my blog. +3 extra entries

  71. I see the work of a son trying to bond with his mother. He wanted to watch cartoons, but the chance to draw with mommy was too good to pass up. When he discovered the nature of the drawing, he began to long for Ben 10 once again.

  72. Two headed rocking horse. :-) Finally I'm sitting at a computer where I can comment! I was already a follower and I retweeted earlier this week. Does that count?

  73. Well, I guess I'm pretty boring, but I'm going to say it looks like a butterfly. Then again, it also looks like it has Winnie the Pooh heads sticking out of the top of each wing. *shrug*

    I just found this from Theresa Milstein (Substitute Teacher's Blog), and I'm glad I did. I love delving into the psychology of my characters, and I can't wait to see what other ideas you have (beyond book suggestions).

    East for Green Eyes

  74. I think it looks like a pansy. :)

  75. I see an angry bull with steam coming out of its nostrils and creepy eyes. Uhm... yes. haha.

    I'm already a blog and a twitter follower. :)

  76. Clearly that (W, FC) is Exner's alligator (A) pond (Na) with the alligators coming out of the water and creating splashes along the way. They're friends, just so I can get cooperative movement (COP). Oh, and they were placed in the pond by basketball-playing aliens no one has ever seen, just so I can get a fabulized combination (FABCOM) with an inappropriate phrase/deviant response (DR).

    Silliness aside, you don't have to enter me in the contest, since my book is one of the prizes! I'm just thrilled to be included -- thank you!

  77. I see an angry goblin. What does that say about me? lol

    I'm a blog & twitter follower.

  78. Discarded on a porcelin floor was the only jade green mask worn at the prestigious ball on the Night of Ancestral Stars. An annual event for the great City of Omar'wen, NoAS was attended by thousands of the empire's oldest families of pure lineage.

    Iyam Lin was not supposed to attend. It was her brother's name on the invitation list, not hers. She had not wanted to attend, until she saw the mask that he was to wear.

    "This mask," said Iyam's mother as she unlocked the mohogany cabinet that Iyam had never seen opened, "has always been worn by shaman kings, and emperors." Mother held it gingerly on the fingertips of both hands as she turned to present the mask to her son.

    But Iyam felt it on her face, as though she were already wearing it.

    (I should mention that at first glance the Rorschach looked like a dragon mask, but when I blinked and looked again it looked like 2 happy Classical bears dancing merrily around a flowing water garden fountain)

    Thank you for the fun!

  79. Two babies fighting over a mickey mouse.

  80. My first reaction is of a scary monster face, like one my little boy wears on Halloween. Looking a bit I saw a turtle. Sorry no sexual organs. I once heard that the test was designed to bring out information from patients who see sex in all of the inkblots. Is this true???

    I am a follower

  81. I see dancing hippos, facing away from each other and kicking out. And they have wings.

  82. ...It looks a lot like Optimus Prime from Transformers.

    I'm now a Twitter follower and a blog follower! :D

  83. Laurence Ferlinghetti making the tapioca pudding equivalent of a snow angel while Randy "Macho Man" Savage (not pictured) nods and appreciates his girth. Ferlinghetti fears being caught green-handed with another man's cigar; the thought makes him both feverish and moist but not in that order until Ted (note dual name tags that say "Ted") compliments his britches and makes him feel better about life in general. But then Ted, both moist and feverish (IN THAT ORDER!), mistakes Ferlinghetti for a snow mobile (the tapioca pudding equivalent) and mounts a little too enthusiastically. Ferlinghetti swats halfheartedly while Ted buries his face in the poet's bosom. A didgeridoo gently weeps. And then, to the trio's surprise, it actually does start snowing. Ferlinghetti transforms into a snow mobile (turns out it was just a slight loin adjustment) and Randy Savage (not pictured) remembers something that his grandmother did that he once described as "raunchy as all get-out" before swearing he would forget it ever happened. They all wonder why those aforementioned britches ended up tattered.

    That or it's a turtle.

    Surprised you allow anonymous commenting. Now you'll never know who the heck this is!