deviant response would be a story of a man who plans to kill the woman by setting fire to the bed to watch her die in the flames. (T. 14.86; P-5a)
Cards have different "card pulls," that is, they elicit different lines of fantasy. (T. 8.11) The standard clinical administration of the test uses 20 cards over a two-day session. (T. 12.105) However, in the LPS evaluation five cards were recommended and generally used as the most effective for testing for behavioral potentials. Discretion was left to staff psychologists to use other cards if they felt it necessary. (T. 12.106-.110) The TAT was interpreted by LPS psychologists in relation to other data but was not formally scored. (T. 12.110, 14.72) Defendants' experts disagreed with plaintiffs' contention that objective scoring and use of the same cards for all applicants were required. While such standardization of TAT administrations is possible, and is important in research, interpretation based on the psychologist's trained impressions is an acceptable procedure. (T. 13.109-.110, 8.7, 8.12-.15, 15.72)
4. Rorschach Ink Blot Test
All ten cards of the Rorschach test were administered by the LPS psychologist during interview. The same psychologist later would write the final report. LPS psychologists were not instructed to use any specific means of interpretation; LPS relied instead on their expertise and professional judgment. (T. 12.118) Using common methods of interpretation which analyze the response in terms of content or "determinants," that is, use of color or movement, LPS psychologists would note responses which were not the popular ones described in Rorschach literature. Original responses that were bizarre or aberrant might form the basis for a hypothesis which would be checked against other data. The interpretation discounted for certain reluctance or suspiciousness generated by the testing situation itself in which the applicant was seeking employment and not psychological help. (T. 14.72-.73)
5. IST and DAP
The Incomplete Sentence Test was developed by LPS from existing sentence completion forms specifically for industrial use. (T. 14.74) It was closely modeled on one of the most common and well known incomplete-sentence tests. (T. 6.64, 8.8, 13.74) The standard scoring method for such tests is to total the entire set of responses and formulate an average or frequency of certain responses which is compared to scoring norms. (T. 6.63-.66) There is some evidence that in one instance a single response was not compared to the whole test.
(T. 6.63, PSJ-1) However, as with the other test data, the LPS procedure was to cross-check and corroborate any significant responses on the IST with the other data. (T. 14.73-.74) The DAP or Human-Figure Drawing was examined for distorted features or size, or representation of obvious clinical significance. The DAP was used only for indications of psychosis or extreme disturbance. (T. 14.74-.75)
During the interview, according to defendants, applicants were asked about their reasons for seeking entry into the fire force, prior work experiences, general family background, and about significant events in their emotional development. (T. 14.75-.76, 12.129-.130) Defendants stated that they did not ask questions concerning the applicant's sexual beliefs or practices, and that the purpose of the interview was not to inquire or elicit from candidates any religious beliefs or statements on religious practice. (T. 14.76, 12.131-.133) Dr. Gottesman stated that in his interview of Brian Flaherty he would never have asked any questions concerning premarital sex and that he did not recall or have notes showing that he asked questions concerning the relationship between plaintiff Flaherty and his parents, or concerning the drinking habits of plaintiff's father. (T. 14.79) Defendants did state, however, that if a candidate volunteered specific information about his sexual habits or difficult emotional relationships with family members, the interviewer would follow it up if there was reason to believe it was important. (T. 12.131, 14.77)
There is no evidence that the interviews were "stress interviews," that is, interviews designed to annoy and ridicule subjects to test their capacity for stress, a procedure now in disrepute.
Rather, the testimony supports a finding that the purpose of the interview was to provide the LPS psychologist with a preliminary indication of any specific emotional problems or personality traits in an applicant which could be checked against the other test data. (T. 12.129, 14.76)
D. LPS Recommendation
The LPS psychologists who evaluated the testing data for plaintiffs were licensed psychologists with professional training and credentials. (T. 12.139-.141,.148) In the spring and summer of 1972 there were approximately 10 to 15 persons employed by LPS on a full-time or part-time basis for the Jersey City testing program. (T. 14.90) Dr. Gottesman testified that all staff members were screened and supervised by him or Dr. Springob, and that in almost every case the staff member was a licensed practicing psychologist in New Jersey. (T. 14.90) One such part-time employee was Dr. Johnson, who had until 1968 been Manager of Counseling Services for Stevens. (T. 12.140) Dr. Springob stated that the credential which LPS looked for was a Ph.D. or, in lieu of that, extensive experience, and that all but one of their current part-time staff had doctorate degrees. (T. 13.62-.64) LPS relied primarily on the training and experience of its staff, although several informal meetings were held to discuss the program. (T. 12.147, 14.91, 14.96). When LPS retained psychologists for the testing, they were instructed to read Dr. Gottesman's monograph
and to consider the reasons it lists for rejecting an applicant who would be capable of functioning in most other jobs but whose personality, while not extremely neurotic, still indicated potential for emotional problems as a fire fighter.
The conclusions which were made as to an applicant's psychological fitness were those which were reflected and confirmed by significant measurements on the self-report inventories, in interpretation of the projective instruments, and from analysis of the applicant's interview behavior. (T. 12.141, 14.82) Because of its importance, an example given by Dr. Springob will be quoted in full (T. 12.142-.145):
"Let's assume for the moment that this hypothetical case, I guess is what we are dealing with, the individual is in the interview and the psychologist notes that as they greeted one another, that the individual had a very wet, sweaty palm in the shaking of hands.
That in and of itself may not have been very significant because it is an evaluation situation, and the individual may feel some modest trepidations about that, but if then in the interview there are continuing similar types of signs, such as the individual sitting on the edge of his chair, smoking a lot during the interview, almost chain-smoking, then the psychologist is on reasonably safe grounds to begin to hypothesize that there is anxiety here which is probably more than the situation calls for.