Take, for example, a purple triangle, a Granny Smith green circle, a rose, and light emanating from behind it. They are nothing but a triangle, a circle, a rose, and glow.
Images are Rorschachs. They are simple images, icons, shapes, in relationship with each other. But like Rorschachs, people attribute, often force “meaning” into, or have associations with them which do not inherently reside in the images themselves. Triangle, circle, rose, glow.
It is called “Projection”, and it is what “Projective Testing” in Psychology is all about. I know, I studied it a great deal in my doctoral program, and administered a wheelbarrow full of Rorschachs, TATs, Bender-Gestalts and so on. What happens with a “projective technique” is that the person responds to an essentially meaningless image in whatever way they do. The thing is, whatever meaning or energy, or emotion, or anger, or hatred, or disgust, or joy or delight they employ to describe the image, have NOTHING TO DO with the image. It is all about the person.
It’s an ink blot, dude. It’s shapes and colors on a page.
So when they project their own inner dynamics and personal history, and complexes onto the fundamentally neutral stimulus event (the ink blot, or a logo), we are getting a ton of information about the person raging or obsessing or seeing their father, or carrying on, and zero about the actually inert and neutral image.
That is so interesting. Happens all the time. And what is additionally remarkable is that the person thinks they are really, truly, factually, responding or reacting to qualities that inhere in the image, or the relationships of the parts of the image to each other.
Yeah, no. Think about it some more.
Ah, well, so it goes.
Just remember when somebody looks at a neutral image or collection of images, and has a very strong reaction, you are learning nothing about the image, and a lot about the person. Fact.
I would imagine this phenomenon has a parallel in Art Therapy, though I am no Art Therapist. But it is definitely alive and well in Psychology.