Colour shock does it exist, and does it depend on colour



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Summary of lecture at the 16th International Congress of Rorschach and Projective Methods (Amsterdam, July 19-24, 1999):
Colour shock - does it exist, and does it depend on colour?

Helge Malmgren, Göteborg University, Göteborg, Sweden
Introduction: All roads lead to the CS.
Appetizer: A ”colour shock” from Frank (1976, 1992). (Don’t throw stones in glass houses...)
”... in the past twenty-five years or so, there have been a number of reviews of the growing research on the color/affect hypothesis on the Rorschach, all with the same results, viz., a general rejection of the notion. Yet, the practice of interpreting response to color on the Rorschach in terms of what this might tell us about the emotional life of the individual continues. It appears that strongly held beliefs extinguish slowly in clinicians as well as in patients.” (G. Frank, 1976)
”While people undoubtedly attribute affective connotations to color, the hypothesis that, therefore, color can reflect styles of emotional responsiveness has not been supported by the research. In light of the consistent lack of empirical support for this hypothesis with regard to Rorschach data, it should be discarded by clinicians.” (G. Frank, 1992)
Overview:
What, if anything, has colour to do with emotions?
Is there any validity in the colour-affect hypothesis for the Rorschach? E.g., are CF and C really signs of impulsivity?
Does colour shock exist?
Which is the diagnostic significance of so-called colour shock?
Does colour shock depend on colour?
If so, in which way do colours cause shock?



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