July [3] 2008

Dissertation Abstract

A comparative study of dreams, the tat, and tarot

Arthur E. Rosengarten Jr.

A Dissertation Presented to the Faculty of the California Institute of Integral Studies 

San Francisco, California, 1985


This study was designed to explore and compare the effectiveness of three methods for accessing the contents of the unconscious, namely, Dream Interpretation, the TAT [Thematic Apperception Test is a widely used projective test which like Rorschach uses a battery of visual cards to stimulate unconscious content], and Tarot Reading. Five  hypotheses were tested to determine the reliability within methods and the convergent validity between methods over ten traits of personality functioning.

Ten subjects participated in an experimental dream group and were required to receive an outside Tarot Reading and TAT over the course of the twelve-week group, as well as submit a dream journal at the final group.  Three teams of independent experts–Assessment Psychologists, Jungian Dream Therapists, and Professional Tarot Readers– were hired to participate in this study. Transcripts of each subject’s Tarot Reading, TAT Protocol, and Dream Series (submitted in a journal) were blindly rated by three professional interpreters of each method on a questionnaire constructed for this study.  The Questionnaire was designed (and statistically validated) to measure on a seven point scale the personality variables of: Goals, Past Pain, Fears, Personal Power, Intimacy, Authority, Aloneness, Depression, Spirituality, and Personality Integration. In addition, Questionnaires were completed by subject themselves (Self Reports) and conjointly by the group’s co-therapists (Therapist Reports).  Correlation coefficients were computed for both Within Method Evaluations and Between Method Evaluations. Case study material of one participant’s Dream Series, TAT Protocol, and Tarot Reading was also analyzed by the author in relation to the hypotheses.

The findings indicate that the unconscious is selective and particular in its own expression, such that the specific type and level of information elicited may be a function of the method employed. The reliability of each method was supported in part, with Dream Interpreters showing inter-rater agreement on Goals, Spirituality, and Personality Integration; TAT interpreters agreeing on Past Pain and Personal Power, Authority, Aloneness, and Personality Integration; and Tarot Interpreters agreeing on Goals, Authority and Aloneness. 

Validity studies demonstrated agreement between all methods on Personality Integration.  Between methods, Dreams and TArot correlated most often, showing agreement on Goals, Intimacy, and Spirituality. Dreams correlated with TAT on Past Pain and Personal Power. The TAT correlates with Tarot on Authority. No two methods of access correlated on Fears, Aloneness or Depression.

               Dissertation Abstracts International, 46, (08),2822B. (UMI No. AA18523315)


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