House-Tree-Person technique

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A projective test developed by the US psychologist John N. Buck (1906–83) and first published in the journal Clinical Psychology Monographs in 1948 in which the respondent is asked to make freehand drawings of a house, a tree, and a person, first in pencil, then in crayon, and is then asked 20 questions about each drawing. Interpretations of the drawings are based on the assumptions that the drawing of the house reveals aspects of the respondent's home life and family relationships, the tree reflects unconscious feelings about the self, and the person shows aspects of the self, interpreted similarly to the Draw-a-Person test. The test gained a certain notoriety during the 1990s when it was recommended as a device for discovering evidence of sexual abuse in children but was criticized for lack of validity. H-T–P abbrev.

Subjects: Psychology.

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