Projective techniques, originally developed for use in psychology, can be used in an evaluation to provide a prompt for interviews. Photolanguage is a particular type of projective technique where participants select one or two pictures from a set and use them to illustrate their comments about something. For example, participants in a workshop might be asked to select two pictures - one that represents you at the beginning of this course and one at the end - and then to discuss the pictures and their hopes and fears about the course and its impacts.
Projective techniques are typically divided into five groups (Linzey, 1959):
- Associative techniques in which a particular stimulus is used to elicit the first thing that occurs in the subject’s mind.
- Completion techniques in which the subject is required to complete sentences or drawings (sentence completion or captions in comic-strip callouts).
- Constructive techniques in which the subject is required to create a drawing, sculpture, or story.
- Choice/ordering techniques in which the subject is required to choose from a group, or to order a group (of pictures, sentences, etc.).
- Expressive techniques in which the subject is required to organize and incorporate a particular stimulus into a self-expressive process, such as role playing, psychodrama, dance, etc. In my view, some of the narrative interviews commonly used in qualitative research nowadays also fall into this category
- Using projective techniques in the evaluation of groups for children of rehabilitating drug addicts: a detailed example of how projective technique was applied in phychological research of children.
Linzey, G. (1959). On the classification of projective techniques. Psychological Bulletin, 56(2), 158–168.