Zulliger test: characteristics, operation and uses.
A summary of the history of the Zulliger test and its use as a test to evaluate people.
Probably the most famous projective test in history is the Rorschach test, the famous black ink blots with abstract shapes suggesting all kinds of objects and figures.
It is likely that we have seen this test on more than one occasion but in color, something that actually corresponds to a test derived from it: Zulliger's test.
Although strongly inspired by the best known projective test of all, the Zulliger test has some characteristics that differentiate it considerably from the Rorschach test, so much so that it is considered a test with greater validity and reliability. Let's see why below.
What is the Zulliger test?
The Zulliger test, also called the Z-test, is a projective test created during World War II.. This test takes strong inspiration from the classic and famous Rorschach test, however, it does not follow the same protocol and, in addition, it has multiple advantages over it. In fact, it is much easier to apply and has much faster interpretation parameters, in addition to having more empirical evidence that gives strength to the Zulliger test as a reliable test, although it is still a projective test.
The main reason for using this test coincides with that of any other projective instrument with origins in psychoanalysis: to describe latent personality traits of the evaluee.. It is due to this premise that, despite having almost a century of application, it is still a test in which the subject is asked to project what he/she observes and, therefore, the Zulliger test is not exempt from criticism. Despite this, it is still widely used today in personnel selection processes.
This test is considered a great advantage over other projective tests because it has good reliability and validity data, something that tests such as the figure in the rain, the tree test or the Murray test do not have. Several statistical studies have been carried out which defend that the Zulliger test has a good robustness in the field of personnel selection. On the other hand, in the field of clinical psychology it is not so widely used and, in fact, it is not considered an adequate tool for the diagnosis of any disorder..
Origin of this projective test
The fact that the Zulliger test is so similar to the Rorschach test is due to the fact that its creator, the Swiss psychiatrist Hans Zulliger, was a student of Hermann Rorschach himself. its creator, the Swiss psychiatrist Hans Zulliger, was a student of Hermann Rorschach himself, one of the world's leading psychiatrists.one of the most influential psychiatrists and psychoanalysts not only in Switzerland but in the whole world. Thanks to the knowledge imparted by Rorschach, Zulliger would become over time an influential child analyst, as well as the promoter of psychoanalytic pedagogy.
Even as a pupil of Rorschach, Zulliger devoted himself body and soul to understanding and deepening psychoanalysis and exploring the human personality through his mentor's classic smudge test. Added to this was a decisive event in his life: the outbreak of the Second World War and the need for quick tests to select the Swiss army.
Despite remaining neutral during the war, Switzerland urgently needed new candidates for the army to fill officer positions. Not just any soldier could be accepted for any position, but a filtering process had to be carried out, and the best way to do this was to apply psychological tests to evaluate the mental and attitudinal capacities of the future soldiers.
At that time Hans Zulliger had become the chief officer of the psychological services and was in charge of administering different types of tests, among them theamong them the Rorschach sheets to the candidates to evaluate their personality. Although he considered it to be a good tool for this purpose, in the context of war it was necessary to be quick, which is why Zulliger decided to modify the original test so that it could be applied more quickly and in large groups.
Thus, Zulliger created his own modified test, Zulliger created his own test by modifying the Rorschach test, making it simpler and with more specific administration guidelines, which allowed him to apply it in a more rapid way and in large groups.which allowed him to apply it in a collective manner. This is how the Zulliger test for personnel selection was born.
What does the Zulliger test evaluate?
As we mentioned, the Zulliger test is a projective test, which means that it is an instrument with which a large number of subjective responses can be obtained. What all tests of these characteristics have in common is that they all start from stimuli that awaken the imagination of the person being evaluated, as well as his or her sensitivity, desires, personality traits, creativity, and creativity....
However, what differentiates the Zulliger test from other tests of the same style is that it has greater validity and ease of application, the latter being the main reason why Zulliger developed this test and, thus, to achieve a more agile and faster selection of personnel.
In its original conception, this test was designed to be able to quickly differentiate people without psychological problems from those who might have them, as well as to identify in them suitable competencies for certain positions in the army.
Supporters of using the Zulliger test say that this test helps to assess people's mental processes, as well as their fears, social adaptation, inner world, emotions, aptitudes and capacity for control.This is why many human resources departments use it when selecting personnel.
How is it applied?
The Zulliger test can be applied both individually and collectively. In both cases, the test subject is first presented with the three pictures that make up the test.
It is explained that the figures they see in them do not represent anything in particular and that they can evoke many different things from person to person. What they have to do as they are being evaluated is to explain what the figures they are seeing suggest to them..
An example of a slogan that can be given to the evaluee is the following:
"I am going to show you a series of plates. In these pictures there are no good or bad answers, and you will have to say what they might be. You can take the slides, turn them over and look at them as a whole or in parts. Everything is at your discretion. As you look at the pictures and tell me what you think you see in them, I will write down what you tell me.
The plates that make up the Zulliger test are the following three.
The first slide shows white, black and gray tones.. The figures seen on it are compact, with slightly trimmed edges and, in general, they should suggest to the examinee a single concept, a global response. In principle, it represents deep thinking and is related to facing new situations.
According to those who use this test, when the evaluated person does not give a global answer, a momentary or fixed disturbance is suspected. In people with depression, according to the supporters of this technique, they express to be uncomfortable when observing this sheet in grayscale.
Among the most common responses when viewing this sheet are: non-flying insect (e.g., beetle), crab, leaf, and the like.
The second plate is the most striking because it shows various colors such as red, white, orange, blue or dark green, as well as different differentiated areas. It is the most complex figure, as well as the one that also awakens the greatest number of sensations and emotions.This is why it is used to evaluate affective aspects.
Some of the elements evaluated by means of this sheet include the capacity for order, self-control, criticism and coping with pressure situations, all of which are expressed in great detail, since the multicolored sheet invites the evaluee to take great care in giving information.
Some examinees manifest what proponents of the Zulliger test call "chromatic shock".. In this particular picture, this phenomenon would consist in the subject orienting his responses towards the black, green and/or brown/brown spots, preferably avoiding the interpretation of the red part.
It may also be the case that, once the subject has recovered from the "shock", he/she responds to what the red color suggests, but does so at the end. This would be related to fear of affection and fear of being rejected by others.
Among the most popular answers we have four-legged animals such as bulls, cows, buffaloes... There are also those who answer this slide indicating that what they see is an insect such as an ant.
Finally we have the third plate, which plays with plays with shades of gray, black and red.. The drawing that is represented in this part of the test always suggests a certain dynamism and movement, and is used to evaluate the area of social relations. It gives rise to global interpretations of large and small details.
Normally this picture usually evokes responses related to movement, and among the most common figures that those evaluated usually see are: people, butterflies, little men, elves, children, Native Americans with feathered headdress...
How is it evaluated?
To be able to evaluate the Zulliger test, it is necessary to master this test. Being a projective test, it requires some experience and knowledge of the meaning of the multiple answers that can be given by the evaluated persons, which is why it is not worth to be applied by just anyone. The answers must be evaluated in qualitative terms, based on the fact that there are no right or wrong answers..
The answers given by the subject in each slide are analyzed, both in their content and in the way in which they have been expressed. The more details, sensations, figures or experiences the subject has said to have lived while the test was given, the higher the score.. Originality, psychological coherence, self-perception, style of thought and creativity will also be valued, data that also help us to see the inner world and personality of the candidate.
Re-questioning or Survey Phase
This phase is optional. It consists of a review of the answers given by the interviewee, advancing slide by slide to ensure that the next phase, the coding of the answers, is done with the maximum possible information and accuracy. With this phase of re-questioning new information can be obtained or the information given by the individual can be clarified. and, thus, clear up any doubts that may have arisen during the process.
As a projective test, there are different ways of coding this test, there are different ways of coding this test, one of the most widely accepted and used being the Exner Comprehensive System..
This system allows the complete evaluation of the personality of the individual being evaluated, respecting the psychometric criteria of validity and reliability. Each of the objects perceived by the interviewee during the test is coded and measured according to the following guidelines and measured according to pre-established guidelines, obtaining different scores and meanings.
The coding is done according to the following parameters.
By localization we mean in which area of the sheet the object was perceived by the subject.. It can be global (using the whole figure), a usual detail or an unusual detail (using some part of the figure) or blank space.
As a general rule, it is understood as the way in which we perceive information, going from the most general to the most particular and vice versa, or if we only stay in the singular or general.
2. Evolutionary quality
Evolutionary quality alerts us to the quality of the thought process behind the response given to us by the evaluee.. These can be responses of:
- Synthesis: where different objects in the blob are linked and at least one of them has a specific shape.
- Vague synthesis: different objects of the blob are linked, but none of them has a specific shape.
- Ordinary: a delimited area of the stain is selected and articulated, emphasizing the shape and defining features of the object.
- Vague: the stain is presented giving a diffuse, ambiguous or indeterminate impression.
Determinants are the aspects that led the person to perceive the object seen.. Among them we can mention: form, human or animal movement (active or passive), inanimate movement, chromatic or achromatic color, shading, form-dimension, pairs, reflections....
Generally, the determinants denote richness and variety of imaginative and adaptive resources.
The contents refer to the nature to which the perceived object belongs.. It can be human figures, animals, or human experiences. It can also be related to different fields of human knowledge such as art, botany, anthropology, or forces/elements of nature such as fire, water, wind, earth, clouds...
This is the most projective parameter of the whole test, showing the internal contents of the personality of the person being tested. Depending on what content has been shared, a hypothesis can be generated about possible interpersonal problems, personality traits, violent behavior and impulses, among others.
Final aspects and conclusion
The Zulliger test has a great advantage over other projective tests, including the Rorschach test. The first is that it only takes 30 minutes to administer, with a coding time of no more than 2 hours (3 sheets), a time notoriously shorter in the case of the Rorschach test.This is significantly less time compared to the Rorschach, which takes 2 hours to apply and 8 hours to code (10 sheets). In addition to this, it has high validity and reliability, something that projective tests tend to lack.
Because it is quick to apply and can be used both individually and in groups, the Zulliger test is highly valued among professionals who have to assess the competencies of several subjects in a short period of time, as is the case with personnel recruiters.
It is also highly valued in the judicial and military fields, although it is not as relevant as more standardized personality and aptitude tests.
(Updated at Mar 28 / 2023)