Reality - Fantasy Scale Version 2



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The Rorschach Reality-Fantasy Scale Version 2 (RFS-2)*

Tibon-Czopp, Appel & Zeligman (2015)


  • The Rorschach Reality-Fantasy Scale Version 2 (RFS-2; Tibon et al., 2015) is a psychoanalytically oriented diagnostic tool, which operationalizes Winnicott’s (1971) construct of potential space. The scale is applied within the model of Rorschach Psychoanalytic Science and Practice (RPSP; Tibon-Czopp, S. & Weiner, I. B., in press). Following Smith (1990), the RFS conceptualizes the Rorschach task as inviting the subject to enter the transitional space between reality and fantasy, and applies Ogden's (1986) model of different psychopathological states as being revealed by a failure to preserve potential space.
  • The RFS-2 uses a combination of variables derived from the evidence based Rorschach Comprehensive System (CS; Exner, 2003). In a previous version, an additional special score of Reality Collapse (RC) was coded for responses where the blot was experienced as if it were the thing itself (Here is a bird…It sings.. I can hear the song). In the current version it is coded as DR2.
    The 11-point scale ranges from -5 which represents extreme reliance on fantasy (reality collapse) to +5 for extreme reliance on reality (fantasy collapse). Each response of the protocol is scored on the RFS according to specific steps presented in a flow chart.
  • The interpretation of RFS-2 findings is based on two derivations:

    RFS-P. The mean RFS-2 score of a given protocol represents the capacity of preserving the transitional space between reality and fantasy. The reference values for the RFS scores are different in adults from those in adolescents (11-18) and should be applied accordingly; Adults: RFS-P < - 0.51 and RFS-P > + 0.65; Adolescents: RFS-P < - 0.30 and RFS-P > + 0.92. The RFS-P was found as being significantly lowered or elevated in cases of reality collapse (the psychotic spectrum) and fantasy collapse (the normotic spectrum) respectively.

    RFS-S. The deviations of the RFS-2 scores on a given protocol, computed by using the RFS-2 standard deviation (SD). The RFS-S represents the fluctuations of the responses between reality and fantasy. The cutoff score of the RFS-S is 2.37 + .33 (> 2.70) for adults, and 2.34 + .33 (> 2.67) for children and adolescents. An elevated RFS-S was found as characterizing cases in which reality and fantasy are not connected to one another (dissociative states).
  • The RFS-P and the RFS-S have been applied in patient and non-patient samples in different countries (e.g., Porcelli, Appel, Lingiardi, Gazzilo, & Tibon, 2012; Tibon, 2005, 2007, 2008; 2009; Tibon, Porcelli, & Weinberger, 2005; Tibon-Czopp, Appel, & Zeligman, 2015; Tibon, Rothschild, Appel, & Zeligman, 2011; Zeligman, Smith, & Tibon, 2012). The RFS-2 scores are calculated by the RFS-2 Software (Tibon & Suchowski, 2015). The software can be downloaded from the web.
  • *The previous version can be found in PsycTESTS, a database published by the American Psychological Association (APA)   

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