Who was Hermann Rorschach? Google doodle celebrates psychoanalyst's famous inkblot test

Black and white doodle features cartoon version of renowned psychoanalyst

Google has celebrated the 129th birthday of Freudian psychiatrist Hermann Rorschach with a doodle showing his famous inkblot test.

The black and white doodle features a cartoon version of the renowned psychoanalyst sitting with a notepad and pen, while disembodied hands hold a piece of paper containing a simple inkblot in front of the screen.

Users are then encouraged to share their interpretation of the inkblot on Google Plus, Facebook or Twitter.

Hermann Rorschach was born on 8 November 1884 in Zurich, Switzerland. As a child he was known as “Klecks”, thanks to his love of klecksography – the art of turning inkblots into recognisable images. This childhood hobby was something that would later shape his career as a psychiatrist.

At high school, Rorschach wrote a letter to the renowned German biologist Ernst Haeckel requesting his help in deciding between a career in art or science. Haeckel suggested science and Rorschach immediately enrolled in medical school at the University of Zurich.

After graduation he studied under the eminent psychiatrist Eugen Bleuler, who had previously taught Carl Jung. Rorschach found the buzz surrounding the psychoanalyst movement - led by the likes of Sigmund Freud - reminded him of the excitement his classmates once found in their inkblot paintings.

 

This memory caused Rorschach to wonder why some people have completely different responses to the same inkblots paintings, so he started showing the artworks to children in order to analyse their wildly varying responses.

After years of conducting these tests while working as an assistant director at the regional psychiatric hospital in Herisau, Rorschach wrote Psychodiagnostik – a book describing how inkblot tests can be effectively used in psychoanalysis.

Rorschach died less than a year after writing the ground-breaking work, killed by peritonitis brought on by a ruptured appendix. He was 37.

Life and Style
ebookNow available in paperback
ebooks
ebookA delicious collection of 50 meaty main courses
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
SPONSORED FEATURES
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

ES Rentals

    iJobs Job Widget
    iJobs Gadgets & Tech

    Recruitment Genius: Graphic and Motion Designer

    Negotiable: Recruitment Genius: Do you get a buzz from thinking up new ideas a...

    Recruitment Genius: Sales Account Manager - OTE £60,000

    £35000 - £60000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: In 2014, they launched the worl...

    Recruitment Genius: Digital Design Lead

    £23958 - £29282 per annum: Recruitment Genius: One of the North West's leading...

    Guru Careers: Bathroom Showroom Manager / Bathroom Sales Designer

    £22 - £25k basic + Commission=OTE £35k + Benefits: Guru Careers: A Bathroom Sh...

    Day In a Page

    Refugee crisis: David Cameron lowered the flag for the dead king of Saudi Arabia - will he do the same honour for little Aylan Kurdi?

    Cameron lowered the flag for the dead king of Saudi Arabia...

    But will he do the same honour for little Aylan Kurdi, asks Robert Fisk
    Our leaders lack courage in this refugee crisis. We are shamed by our European neighbours

    Our leaders lack courage in this refugee crisis. We are shamed by our European neighbours

    Humanity must be at the heart of politics, says Jeremy Corbyn
    Joe Biden's 'tease tour': Could the US Vice-President be testing the water for a presidential run?

    Joe Biden's 'tease tour'

    Could the US Vice-President be testing the water for a presidential run?
    Britain's 24-hour culture: With the 'leisured society' a distant dream we're working longer and less regular hours than ever

    Britain's 24-hour culture

    With the 'leisured society' a distant dream we're working longer and less regular hours than ever
    Diplomacy board game: Treachery is the way to win - which makes it just like the real thing

    The addictive nature of Diplomacy

    Bullying, betrayal, aggression – it may be just a board game, but the family that plays Diplomacy may never look at each other in the same way again
    Lady Chatterley's Lover: Racy underwear for fans of DH Lawrence's equally racy tome

    Fashion: Ooh, Lady Chatterley!

    Take inspiration from DH Lawrence's racy tome with equally racy underwear
    8 best children's clocks

    Tick-tock: 8 best children's clocks

    Whether you’re teaching them to tell the time or putting the finishing touches to a nursery, there’s a ticker for that
    Charlie Austin: Queens Park Rangers striker says ‘If the move is not right, I’m not going’

    Charlie Austin: ‘If the move is not right, I’m not going’

    After hitting 18 goals in the Premier League last season, the QPR striker was the great non-deal of transfer deadline day. But he says he'd preferred another shot at promotion
    Isis profits from destruction of antiquities by selling relics to dealers - and then blowing up the buildings they come from to conceal the evidence of looting

    How Isis profits from destruction of antiquities

    Robert Fisk on the terrorist group's manipulation of the market to increase the price of artefacts
    Labour leadership: Andy Burnham urges Jeremy Corbyn voters to think again in last-minute plea

    'If we lose touch we’ll end up with two decades of the Tories'

    In an exclusive interview, Andy Burnham urges Jeremy Corbyn voters to think again in last-minute plea
    Tunisia fears its Arab Spring could be reversed as the new regime becomes as intolerant of dissent as its predecessor

    The Arab Spring reversed

    Tunisian protesters fear that a new law will whitewash corrupt businessmen and officials, but they are finding that the new regime is becoming as intolerant of dissent as its predecessor
    King Arthur: Legendary figure was real and lived most of his life in Strathclyde, academic claims

    Academic claims King Arthur was real - and reveals where he lived

    Dr Andrew Breeze says the legendary figure did exist – but was a general, not a king
    Who is Oliver Bonas and how has he captured middle-class hearts?

    Who is Oliver Bonas?

    It's the first high-street store to pay its staff the living wage, and it saw out the recession in style
    Earth has 'lost more than half its trees' since humans first started cutting them down

    Axe-wielding Man fells half the world’s trees – leaving us just 422 each

    However, the number of trees may be eight times higher than previously thought
    60 years of Scalextric: Model cars are now stuffed with as much tech as real ones

    60 years of Scalextric

    Model cars are now stuffed with as much tech as real ones