To identify emotionally disturbed individuals accurately, Algozzine, Foster, & Kaufman (1979) developed the CAT TEST. This simple, yet novel test is easily administered by professionals, parents, and aides. It involves three simple steps:
1) place testee in empty room facing far wall;
2) place cat in center of room, close and latch door;
3) after 10 minutes, open the door.
Algozzine et al., note that the CAT TEST allows fine discriminations between subclassifications of emotional disturbance . They offer the following guidelines for interpretation of results:
1. OBSESSIVE COMPULSIVE— four neat, meticulous piles of fur to be found in the corners of room - cat alive, but cold.
2. SOCIALIZED DELINQUENT— fur scattered randomly about room and on testee - cat alive, still cold.
3a. MANIC/DEPRESSIVE (MANIC STAGE)— pieces of cat scattered randomly about room - cat terminated.
3b. MANIC/DEPRESSIVE (DEPRESSIVE STAGE)— pieces of testee scattered randomly about the room - emotionally stability of cat suspect.
4. SEVERE PATHOLOGY— only evidence of cat is skin, wrapped loosely about testee’s head - cat assumed terminated.
5. PARANIOD REACTION— testee cowering in far corner of room - cat alive and sleeping in center of room.
6. SCHIZOPHRENIC REACTION— testee in center of room carrying on long existential discussion with cat - cat alive, but confused.
7. NEUROTIC REACTION— testee asking for advise about migraine headache - cat alive and still confused.
8. CATATONIC REACTION— testee in corner of room with back arched, hair on end, hissing, and refusing to acknowledge presence of cat - cat alive and confused.