Document Type

Technical Report

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Native Americans, Objective tests, Psychological studies, Psychological tests, Test validity


Three standard assessment instruments (Rorschach, Millon Clinical Multiaxial Inventory and 16PF) were administered to 12 participating Rosebud Sioux Indians -- 6 males, 6 females. Reports were generated for each instrument. Consensual and unique concepts contained in all the reports were analyzed in order to describe the contents. Six judges, all residents of the reservation and either college employees or social agency personnel attempted to match the participants with their reports. The judges may not have known all of the participants intimately, but they were well acquainted with the facts of their libes. Two general questions were explored: (1) can people who are acquainted with all participants identify them from their reports; and (2) what are the similarities and differences in report content among the three instruments. Only two judges were able to identify reports with significant accuracy, suggesting that assessors should be wary of the conventional assessment instruments as applied to Native Americans. The report suggests that the instruments are not sufficiently sensitive to themes concerning particular tribes and cultures; social etiquette of assessment interaction; and to an underlying genocidal theme of white-Native American assessment confrontations. The paper concludes that psychological tests might be made more culturally specific and that objective tests require local and tribal norms for Native Americans. Cautious use of assessment instruments is recommended until training in culture-specific administration and interpretation of projective techniques is available and local tribal norms have been provided for objective tests.


This is a technical report.

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