Technique Cactus: conducting research and interpreting the results
In the work with children of preschool age, psychologists use different methods. Basically, all research is conducted in a game form. But sometimes it is enough to draw something to determine those or other characteristics of the personality. It is this technique that implies the technique of "Cactus". M. A. Panfilova is a child psychologist who is the author of this research.
What can be revealed
When carrying out this technique, the emotional-personal sphere of the child is investigated. With its help, you can determine whether the child is vulnerable to aggression, how intense it is and what it is aimed at. The technique "Cactus" is used by psychologists in working with children over three years of age, because it is necessary that the baby is able to hold a pencil and draw well.
The essence of the methodology
So what is the graphical technique of "Cactus"? To conduct it, you must prepare for each child one sheet of paper and a pencil. Ideally, the study is conducted alone with a psychologist, but in the absence of such an opportunity, occupation can be a group one.
So, all the young participants in the study are given out "tools". Since the technique "Cactus" is called, it is this plant that should be painted by every child. And no questions an adult can not be asked, there should be no prompts or explanations. The kid should depict the cactus as it represents it. Perhaps he does not quite know what he looks like, but this is precisely the essence of such a study as the "Cactus" technique.
After the drawing is ready, the psychologist asks the child additional questions in order to be able to correctly interpret the results. This will help to see the whole picture more clearly. So, what kind of questions does the Cactus technique offer? MA Panfilova believes that it is possible to better understand the state of the child if one asks the following:
- Home cactus in his picture or wild?
- Can I touch it? Is it prickly?
- Does this cactus like it when watered and fertilized, take care of it?
- Does any other plant live next to a cactus? If yes, which one?
"What will he be like when he grows up?" How will his needles, sprouts, and volume change?
Interpretation of results
The conclusions are drawn both on the basis of the figure, and on the basis of the answers of the small test subject. In this case, considering the image, take into account and such details as:
- force of pressure on a pencil;
- location of the cactus on the leaf;
The technique "Cactus" allows revealing the following qualities of a child's personality:
1. Impulsivity. About its presence speak a strong pressure on the writing instrument and jerky lines.
2. Aggressiveness. About it in the first place, as you might guess, say needles, especially if there are a lot of them. A high degree of aggression takes place if they are long, strongly protruding in different directions and are located close to each other.
3. Egocentrism (otherwise - the desire to be a leader in everything). The presence of this quality in the child is evidenced by the large size of the picture and its location in the center of the leaf.
4. Openness, demonstrativeness. This allows us to judge some pretentious shapes in the figure and the protruding processes on the cactus.
5. Caution and secrecy. In the figure of a child who has such qualities, you can notice zigzags directly inside the plant or on its contour.
6. Optimism. Bright colors will tell us about it, if color pencils were used in the work, or simply a "happy" cactus with a cheerful smile.
7. Anxiety. This quality is reflected in the picture in the form of interrupted lines, internal shading. If you used colored pencils, then dark colors will prevail here.
8. Femininity. You can talk about it if there are soft shapes and lines, flowers and all sorts of jewelry - all that the true lady likes so much.
9. Extraversion. People who have this quality are very sociable. So the cactus of the extrovert child will be surrounded by other plants.
10. Introvertedness. This quality has a completely opposite characteristic. Accordingly, there will be only one cactus on the leaf.
11. Thirst for home protection. If the child has a sense of family affinity, a cactus in a flower pot, that is, a house plant, can be depicted in the figure.
12. The feeling of loneliness. On its availability says a deserted, wild cactus.
As you can see, the technique "Cactus" allows on the basis of only one drawing to draw specific conclusions about the emotional state of the child of preschool age. Sometimes this is very important, because not all children openly contact adults. If you have received not very encouraging results, you need to think carefully about the strategy for further action, so as not to frighten off the little person, but to arrange it to yourself and try to help him.