Degree Name

Master of Arts (MA)

Semester of Degree Completion


Thesis Director

Paul E. Panek


In the past Blacks have not been used in the construction or development of norms for psychological tests, though they are routinely administered to Blacks. Several researchers have made an effort to determine whether tests which have been standardized on White subjects are applicable to Blacks (Megargee, 1966; Johnson & Sikes, 1965; Mussen, 1953). These authors found that differences in personality of Blacks and Whites on personality tests should not be used to make inferences unless the two groups are matched on a number of prominent variables.

In general, the research suggests that there are significant differences between Black and White subjects and tests that were standardized on the White population may be applied to both groups in certain clinical settings (e.g., incarcerated individuals and delinquents).

The present study was concerned with racial differences in projective test responses. To explore Black and White differences, the Hand Test (Wagner, 1962) was administered to 50 Black, 29 male and 21 female, (mean age 21.5) and 50 White, 20 male and 30 female, (mean age 22.2) volunteer college students, from the population of Eastern Illinois University. Each student was individually administered the Hand Test according to standardized instructions and the responses recorded verbatim.

Results indicated there were significant differences on 19 of the 27 investigated variables. These variables were: Affection, Communication, Direction, Aggression, Sum of interpersonal Responses, Crippled, Sum of Maladjustive Responses, Description, Failure, Sum of Withdrawal Responses, High minus Low, Pathology, Emulation, and Acting Out Score.

These results are consistent with previous research (Megargee, 1966; Johnson & Sikes, 1965; Mussen, 1953; Gynther, 1971) which have shown there are marked differences to be found between Blacks and Whites even when little or no control is used. From the results obtained in this study, it appears that separate norms are needed for Blacks and Whites; although it is cautioned that, due to a lack of control, further research is needed.