The ability to perceive and understand complex relationships is an important aspect of intellectual and psychological functioning.  The extent to which an individual invests in this kind of cognitive activity may be conceived as a stylistic variable, which is correlated with intellectual ability, as well as affective function.  Thus, the cognitive complexity scores measure the organizational energy invested by the individual in formulating responses to the inkblots.  These scores capture an individual's intellectual approach toward the world, i.e. the quantity and quality of an individual's attempts to synthesize and analyze in perceptual-cognitive interaction with the environment.

General Scoring Principles

Scoring Symbol            Category                Scoring Criteria

INTG                            Integrated            1. More than one unit is seen.
                                                                 2. The units could be seen separately, i.e. are independent of each other.
                                                                 3. There is a reasonable relationship posited among the units.
                                                                 4. The units are interrelated but do not themselves compose a larger
                                                                     single unit with concrete boundaries.

Note:  The criteria of a reasonable relationship (3) requires careful consideration and is related to the criteria for several of the Perceptual-Cognitive scorings, e.g. Contradiction of Reality (CR).  If the relationship between units is unreasonable, the integrated response is spoiled and should be scored as arbitrary (ARB).  Some of the most frequent reasons for an unreasonable relationship between units are:

1. Violations of size and proportion - "a man squeezing through the eye of a needle."
2. Impossible feats - "a woman walking through a wall."
3. Extremely unlikely events - "a penguin with a bow tie on going to a ball."  Animals engaged in human-like activities are usually not considered unreasonable because of the frequency of these responses in normal records.  However, the elaboration of this type of response may receive an unreasonable judgment, e.g. the bow tie on a penguin.


Card 2, D6    "Two bears dancing in the circus - they are touching their paws together." (INTG)
Card 8, W    "Two panthers climbing a mountain in search of prey." (INTG)
Card 5, W    "A bat - here are its wings and here is it's body." (This is ARTC, NOT INTG)
Card 8, W    "A bag of candies, different flavors." (Inquiry) "It's a bag of candies - the shape.
                    (flavors?) The different colors reminded me. (This is ARTC, NOT INTG)


ARB                              Arbitrary            1. More than one unit is seen.
                                                                2. A relationship is posited among the units.
                                                                3. Either:
                                                                a. The relationship posited is unreasonable or;
                                                                b. One or more of the units themselves are not consensually validatable,
                                                                    socially appropriate percepts, and, thus are scored minus.
                                                                c.  The attempt to integrate was chaotic, fluctuating, or elusive.


Card 3, W    "Two people catching a butterfly." (Inquiry) "Here's the face, here's one arm, and
                    here's the other arm.  The butterfly is bleeding. (ARB)
Card 8, W    "Two dogs climbing on the back of a beautiful butterfly." (ARB)
Card1, D2+7    "That looks like a scary one.  It's sort of like a scary movie with bat wings and
                        and a lady looking like she's going to die and hands coming out of the ground."
                        (Inquiry) "Just put it together - you see a dark ground with hands coming, bat
                        wings up here, a grave down here, etc." (ARB)
Card 2, D6    "Two bears dancing a hula." (This is INTG, NOT ARB)*
                    *Due to the frequency of these responses, animals seen in human interaction
                      are scored integrated rather than arbitrary unless the response violates the criteria
                      for some other reason.


ARTC                            Articulated        1.  One or more units are seen in which parts of the unit itself
                                                                    is identified and labeled.  The elaboration of the unit must not consist
                                                                    merely of a description of its blot characteristics, e.g.shape or color.
                                                                2.  There is no relationship posited among the units if more than one is seen.
                                                                3.  The parts of the unit that are labeled are integral to the unit rather than
                                                                    separate from it, i.e. within the concrete boundaries of the overall unit.
                                                                4.  Clothing worn on the bodies of humans is considered integral to the
                                                                     percept but articles of clothing carried are not.


Card 1, W    "Kind of looks like a moth or a butterfly." (Inquiry) "Because it looks like
                     it has wings." (ARTC)
Card 6, W    "Looks like an alligator." (Inquiry) "because it has eyes like an alligator, and
                     a long mouth, and teeth." (ARTC)
Card 2, Dd31    "Two little bones." (Inquiry) "because they're straight and they have these
                            bumps* on them." (This is SIMP, NOT ARTC)
                            * Bumps are not part of bones, but are rather a description of the shape.


SIMP                            Simple                1.  One or more units are seen which have structural unity and definite
                                                                     physical form.
                                                                2.  If more than one unit is seen, there is no relationship posited among
                                                                3.  The unit(s) seen is not further elaborated, i.e. broken down
                                                                     into parts.


Card 3, D3    "That looks like a red bow." (Inquiry) "because it's made like a bow." (SIMP)
Card 4, Dd4    "That looks like arms." (Inquiry) "because of the way they hang down." (SIMP)
Card 10, W    "Flowers." (Inquiry) "because of all the pretty colors." (SIMP)
Card 5, W    "That looks like a bat." (Inquiry) "because its black and it has wings." (This is ARCT, NOT SIMP)
Card 6, D8    "An Indian on a rock." (This is INTG, NOT SIMP)

DIFF                            Diffuse                1.  One or more units are seen but are not seen in relationship
                                                                    to each other.
                                                                2.  The unit(s) is not broken into parts.
                                                                3.  The unit(s) has no distinctive shape, either because it is an
                                                                    amorphous matter or because it can take on many different forms.


Card 1, W    "Mud." (Inquiry) "because it's kind of splattered out and black." (DIFF)
Card 9, D6    "Pretty, soft, pink clouds." (Inquiry)  "They look all pink and fluffy." (DIFF)
Card 2, W    "A little toy." (Inquiry) "Toys can be anything like a bat or doll, but they're not real, so
                    you could make it look like anything because anything could be a toy." (DIFF)

Other examples of diffuse content:  Fog, fire, smoke, explosion, colored rocks, dirt, art, party, anger, sky, blood.


Scoring Complexities

        Occasionally, a response will be given which qualifies for more than one cognitive complexity scoring.
By convention, double scorings are not given.  The most frequent occurrence is when integrated responses
are also articulated.  The scoring for this type of response is INTG, integrated.  When an otherwise diffuse
percept is seen in a specific shape, e.g., a cloud in the shape of a necklace, the response is scored according to
the criteria based on the shape.  If necklace is not given in parts, the response is scored SIMP.  If a clasp and
pendant are denoted, the response is ARTC.  Were the necklace of clouds seen in relationship to a woman-shaped
cloud holding the necklace, then the response would be scored INTG.


Now take the Cognitive Complexity quiz...

Please score the following response for cognitive complexity. 


Free Association 

A man with a very bushy beard and a  large mouth. 


(man?) with a large beard (points to d3). Why a man? His eyes, here is the mouth, beard.