Do you want to interpret your or someone else’s personality? Then Karl Koch’s Tree Test might be just what you need. It is a popular psychological test that reveals crucial emotional information.
What is Karl Koch’s tree test?
This tree personality test was originally developed by Swiss psychologist and counselor Dr. Charles (Karl) Koch in the 1950s. The test has been designed in a way that it can be used with anyone and with utmost ease. This is one of the reasons why the Koch test is generally utilized with children. However, adults may also use this test as it is an exciting and helpful self-analysis tool that can help you understand your own personality.
One of the greatest benefits of this test is that the Baum test can be taken and applied to different types of people with different mindsets and personalities. It allows us to better understand our emotions. Projective tests, like this one, are generally used as effective clinical and psychological tools that help professionals and experts to collect crucial data on how certain patients understand themselves and perceive their life. Similar to the Draw-a-Person test or the Rorschach test, the tree-drawing test is also used as a complementary test.
How to use Karl Koch’s Tree Test
It is one of the simplest and easiest tests to conduct both by experts and patients. If you want to try Karl Koch’s Tree Test as a self-evaluation tool, then all you need to do is draw a tree along with its crown, branches, leaves, trunk and roots. Once you are done, you can analyze the drawing based on the criteria provided by the test. This tree was particularly chosen by Dr. Koch due to its symbolism. In most regions and cultures, trees are mythologically suggestive and indicative figures which are closely related to nature and humans. When we draw a tree, we are not only drawing what we have seen, we also tap into our inner core which is deeply connected with nature and the symbolism of trees.
Karl Koch’s Tree Test can be used by anyone above the age of 6. All you need are the specific basic motor and cognitive skills required to draw an image. But you don’t need to be an artist or draw well to apply this psychological test. The process starts by offering the person colored pencils, paper & an eraser to draw a tree along with its branches, trunk and roots. However, sometimes, the person may also be asked to illustrate two separate drawings of trees:
- The first one they can draw in anyway they like
- The second drawing should be different from first tree
Analysing two different drawings of trees made by the same person can allow experts to make a better analysis of their personality and emotions. Depending on the skills and requirement of the person, they can be allotted a time duration from 10 to 30 minutes. Sometimes, the individual might also be asked to write an accompanying short essay regarding the illustrated tree.
Read also: Tree Energy: How Trees Help Us Heal
Once complete, a psychologist conducting the tree test will analyze different aspects of the illustration along with the person’s attitude, behavior, body language and comments while making the drawing. Then the drawings are graded between “very immature” to “very mature” and the essay is scored either backwards, normal or advanced.
What can you analyze with Karl Koch’s Tree Test
The Karl Koch Tree Test requires that we create a drawing of a tree & use colors to give birth to a figure using only our imagination on a piece of paper. This process can provide us some insight into our mindset, attitude and personality style. However, it can also help us understand their emotional history and state as well. Moreover, the projective test helps in understanding their sensitivity, vulnerability, lack or presence of internal conflicts, and their mental and emotional stability in life.
According to psychoanalysts, the Baum test can also help to understand our unconscious and the core structure of our psyche. One 2015 study states, the Karl Koch’s Tree Test has proven to successfully diagnose cognitive disabilities and dementia. The study states that “Trees drawn by cognitively impaired patients are different from those drawn by healthy subjects with a progressive differentiation from mild to more relevant degrees of cognitive impairment.”