23 Performance Assessment of Personality and Psychopathology

Assessment Psychology


  1. Donald J. Viglione PhD1,
  2. Bridget Rivera PsyD2

Published Online: 26 SEP 2012

DOI: 10.1002/9781118133880.hop210023

Handbook of Psychology, Second Edition

Handbook of Psychology, Second Edition

How to Cite

Viglione, D. J. and Rivera, B. 2012. Performance Assessment of Personality and Psychopathology. Handbook of Psychology, Second Edition. 10:III:23.

Author Information

  1. 1

    Alliant University, California School of Professional Psychology, San Diego, California, USA

  2. 2

    Loyola University, Psychology Department, Baltimore, Maryland, USA

Publication History

  1. Published Online: 26 SEP 2012


This chapter provides a meaningful, comprehensive, and historically informative conceptual framework for understanding performance tests of personality. Their distinctive characteristics are discussed, along with what they add to assessment, and how one should understand and interpret them. An explanation of why the term projective has been replaced with the term performance is provided. Additionally, common misperceptions about performance tests and a more informed approach to using them are addressed. A response process framework that includes both self-expressive and organizational components—that is, what the respondent says and how he or she structures the response—is provided as a framework for understanding these tests. A problem-solving model in which input-processing-output is the response sequence is used to explain how to understand the performance test response. The implications of the response process framework for performance tests of personality and contributions of this type of testing to assessment at large are addressed. In general, discussion of specific tests is limited to the Rorschach, Thematic Apperception Test, figure drawings, sentence completion tests, and the early memory tests.


  • performance tests;
  • problem-solving model;
  • projective;
  • response process;
  • problem-solving model;
  • Rorschach