Schachtel shared with his great contemporary David Rapaport the goal of scientifically reframing the psychoanalytic understanding of personality. Experiential Foundations of Rorschach's Test, first published in 1966, is in one sense Schachtel's extended dialogue with Rapaport (in the guise of Schachtel's interlocutor) about this ambitious task. In the course of his brilliant and lucid meditation on this topic, Schachtel attempted far more than the simple explication of particular test responses. His book contains, and should be read as, an entire theory of personality considered in terms of the ways in which one person may meaningfully and detectably differ from another.
"This classic work is the finest psychodynamic explication to be found on the theory and applications of the Rorschach. Schachtel's formulations are all the more meaningful because of the elegant manner in which he integrates them with fundamental tenets from developmental psychology, from the psychology of perception, and from the clinical study of personality."
- John E. Exner, Jr., Ph.D., Author, The Rorschach: A Comprehensive System
"Although thousands of works have been devoted to applications of Rorschach's test, only a handful address seriously questions of the nature of the test itself and why its various scores means what they are said to mean. None does so better than Schachtel's classic. All who value the Rorschach are indebted for the republication of a book that is truly timeless, one that can be read with as much profit today as when it first appeared."
- Martin Leichtman, Ph.D., Author, The Rorschach: A Developmental Perspective (Analytic Press, 1996)
“Schachtel’s study is one of the most significant contributions ever made to the theory and clinical interpretation of the Rorschach, a true classic. It is profound, powerful, and timeless. Schachtel’s penetrating insights into the nature of the Rorschach task and his brilliant analysis of the test’s dimensions are as original, compelling, and relevant today as they were when he first introduced them. This is a book one repeatedly revisits but with each calling comes away more informed and freshly inspired.”
- Paul Lerner, Ed.D., Author, Psychoanalytic Perspectives on the Rorschach (Analytic Press, 1998)
"I simply cannot imagine being a serious student of the Rorschach and not owning and studying this book."
- Robert Holt, Ph.D., Professor of Psychology (Emeritus), New York University
2. The Nature of the Test Data
I. The Projection Hypothesis; the Perception-Association Hypothesis
3. The Nature of the Test Data
II. The Experiential Dimensions; Qualities of the Rorschach Inkblots
4. The Nature of the Test Data
III. The Experiential Qualities of the Testee's Reactions
5. The Relation of the Experiential Qualities to Some General Psychological Concepts
6. The Experiential Dimension and the Determinants
10. Notes on Shading
11. On Content, Symbol, Score, and Percept
12. The Interpersonal Meaning of the Rorschach-Test Situation