Drawing a close to the use of human figure drawings as a projective measure of intelligence

Imuta, Kana, Scarf, Damian, Pharo, Henry and Hayne, Harlene (2013) Drawing a close to the use of human figure drawings as a projective measure of intelligence. PLoS ONE, 8 3: . doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0058991

Author Imuta, Kana
Scarf, Damian
Pharo, Henry
Hayne, Harlene
Title Drawing a close to the use of human figure drawings as a projective measure of intelligence
Journal name PLoS ONE   Check publisher's open access policy
ISSN 1932-6203
Publication date 2013-03-14
Year available 2013
Sub-type Article (original research)
DOI 10.1371/journal.pone.0058991
Open Access Status DOI
Volume 8
Issue 3
Total pages 8
Place of publication San Francisco, CA, United States
Publisher Public Library of Science
Collection year 2014
Language eng
Abstract The practice of using children's human figure drawings (HFDs) to assess their intellectual ability is pervasive among psychologists and therapists in many countries. Since the first systematic scoring system for HFDs was published in 1926, their continued popularity has led to the development of several revised versions of the test. Most recently, the Draw-A-Person Intellectual Ability Test for children, adolescents, and adults (DAP:IQ) was published. It is the most up-to-date form of HFD test designed to assess intellectual functioning across a wide age range. In the present study, we assessed the validity of the DAP:IQ as a screening measure of intelligence in both children and adults. In Experiment 1, 100 4- to 5-year-old children completed the DAP:IQ and the Wechsler Preschool and Primary Scale of Intelligence-Third Edition. In Experiment 2, 100 adults completed the DAP:IQ and the Wechsler Abbreviated Scale of Intelligence. In both experiments, we found only weak to modest correlations between scores on the DAP:IQ and the Wechsler tests. Furthermore, when we compared individual's scores on the two tests, the DAP:IQ yielded high false positive and false negative rates when screening for borderline and superior intellectual functioning. Based on these findings, and based on the lack of validity of previous HFD tests, we conclude that practitioners should not rely on HFD tests as a projective measure of intelligence.
Keyword Human figure drawing
Intelligence tests
Projective techniques
Clinical assessment tool
Q-Index Code C1
Q-Index Status Provisional Code
Institutional Status Non-UQ
Additional Notes Article # e58991

Document type: Journal Article
Sub-type: Article (original research)
Collections: Non HERDC
School of Psychology Publications
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Citation counts: TR Web of Science Citation Count  Cited 3 times in Thomson Reuters Web of Science Article | Citations
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Created: Fri, 15 Nov 2013, 10:52:48 EST by Kana Imuta on behalf of School of Psychology