Hand Test™

by Edwin E. Wagner, PhD

Hand Test™

by Edwin E. Wagner, PhD
Ages 5 years and up
Admin time 10 minutes
Scores Means, cutoff scores, and typical score ranges for normal and various diagnostic groups
Publish Date 1962
Translation Available in French, Japanese, & Romanian
Published Translations
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About This Product

Picture of Hand Test™


The Hand Test is a simple projective technique widely used to measure action tendencies—particularly acting-out and aggressive behavior—in adults and children. Nonthreatening and easy to administer, it’s an ideal starting point in any diagnostic personality evaluation.    

Using pictures of hands as the projective medium, the test elicits responses that reflect behavioral tendencies. The client is shown 10 picture cards, one at a time, showing line drawings of a hand in various positions. The client’s task is to explain what each hand is doing.    

To score the test, you simply classify responses according to clear-cut quantitative and qualitative scoring categories. Quantitative scores (such as Aggression, Exhibition, Communication, Dependence, Acquisition, Tension, and Withdrawal) reflect overt behavior, while qualitative scores reflect underlying feelings and motivations. The test also provides six summary scores, including an index of overall pathology and an acting-out ratio, which is used to predict aggressive behavior.    

Based on more than 40 years of research and used with over a million people, The Hand Test effectively measures reactions that are close to the surface and likely to be expressed in overt behavior. It is highly useful in educational, correctional, neuropsychological, and medical settings.