The effects of a modified TAT in South Africa.
This study proposed to assess the effects of a modified TAT in a multi racial South African sample. More specifically, it aimed to measure how different race groups responded to a variation of the TAT, as opposed to the original Murray TAT. It was hypothesized that a racially inclusive TAT, with more contemporary backgrounds, would enhance the narratives of South African respondents, and more especially those of black respondents. A new set of five TAT pictures (e-TAT) was designed, based upon five of the original Murray TAT (M-TAT) cards. As much as possible, the ambiguous style of the cards was left intact, but the characters (all originally white) were changed to represent African/black, Indian and coloured people as well. A factorial design was used to compare responses on the Murray TAT to responses on the experimental TAT in a sample of 207 first year psychology students at the University of KwaZulu-Natal. Each student was given a mean word count score. A randomly selected sub-sample of 40 students received a quality rating derived from Gerver's scoring level of response (as cited in Coleman, 1947), intended to measure the quality of their protocols. The statistical analyses revealed that (1) There is no statistically significant differences in the length of protocols between the M-TAT and the e-TAT. (2) There was no statistically significant difference in the length of stories between the race groups. (3) On the smaller sub-sample of participants who received quality ratings, black participants scored significantly higher on the e-TAT than on the M-TAT. (4) White participants scores on the M-TAT were significantly higher than black participants scores on the M-TAT. While the results are not yet conclusive, they are encouraging, and it is suggested that future research in this area is needed.