HOW THE TAT WORKS
The TAT involves showing people a series of picture cards depicting a variety of ambiguous characters (that may
include men, women, and/or children), scenes, and situations.
They are then asked to tell as dramatic a story as they can for each picture presented, including:
what has led up to the event shown
what is happening in the scene
the thoughts and feelings of characters
the outcome of the story
• The complete version of the TAT includes 31 cards. Murray originally recommended using
approximately 20 cards and selecting those that depicted characters similar to the subject.
• Today, many practitioners only utilize between 5 and 12 cards, often selected because the
examiner feels that the scene matches the client's needs and situation.
WHY THE TAT IS USED
• The TAT can be utilized by therapists in a number of different ways. Some of these include:
• To learn more about a person.
• To help people express their feelings.
• To explore themes related to the person's life experiences.
• To assess someone for psychological conditions.
• To evaluate crime suspects.
• To screen job candidates.
• TAT is popularly known as the picture interpretation tecThehnique because it uses a standard series of provocative
yet ambiguous pictures about which the subject is asked to tell a story. The subject is asked to tell as dramatic a story as they can
for each picture presented, including:
• what has led up to the event shown
• what is happening at the moment
• what the characters are feeling and thinking
• what the outcome of the story was
WHOM TAT ISN’T APPLIED ON?
•TAT isn’t applied on individuals as a differential diagnosis for their
mental disorders. The evaluation acquired as a result of TAT is merely
used to compliment the previously diagnosed results, and isolate the
personality of the subject.