cover image Psychobook: Games, Tests, Questionnaires, Histories

Psychobook: Games, Tests, Questionnaires, Histories

Edited by Julian Rothenstein. Princeton Architectural Press, $40 (192p) ISBN 978-1-61689-492-4

Rothenstein, an editor and designer and the founder of Redstone Press, has crafted an intriguing and meticulous literature of psychometrics with samples of over three dozen tests from the past hundred years. Rothenstein carefully elaborates on the history of the tests and provides compelling real-life examples, evocative photographs, and enlightening conclusions explaining the various meanings of the test results. Delectably illustrated with color photos, textbook clippings, and other archival material, the book showcases clinical methods as works of art: ink blots are carefully and vividly reproduced and given full-page treatment with explanations at the end of the book, and nonverbal intelligence tests with shapes and colors take on a Bauhaus-like quality. Though Rothenstein’s comprehensive history is meticulous, certain bizarre tests could benefit from further explanation (e.g., the Szondi Test). Some of the evaluations may feel humorously frivolous (e.g., the Digital Dependency Index Test), appear too self-evident (many of the pictorial tests), or seem no more revealing than a horoscope (the Color Test). However, many of the examples in this book are necessarily truncated, simplified adaptations that offer the gist of each test while adding to the entertainment value of the book. This book is a fun and informative look into the world of psychological testing and, foremost, a terrific and entertaining way to explore one’s own psyche. Color illus. (Sept.)