The Public Paperfolding History Project

Index Page

Last updated 21/11/2023


Paperfolding in Psychological Tests

This page is being used to collect information about the history of the use of paperfolding in psychological tests. Please contact me if you know that any of the information on this page is incorrect or if you know of important omissions. Thank you.

Information about the use of symmetrical inkblots, made using paperfolding, in psychological rests (eg the Rorschach tests) can be found here.



'Lustiges und merkwŁrdiges von Zahlen und Forme' (Funny and strange things about numbers and shapes) by Walther Lietzmann, was published by Ferdinand Hirt in Breslau contains a chapter about Scherengeometrie (scissor geometry). This chapter contains mention of the use of paperfolding in psychological tests: 'Psychology has often combined scissor geometry with folding geometry in its tests. A popular test is, you crease a piece of paper once, then crease again at right angles, then cut out an equilateral triangle from one edge of the other. The examinee now has to state, without actually carrying out the experiment, what the piece of paper looks like when it is unfolded again.' The author also states:'Psychology has also recently taken up scissor geometry and used all sorts of tasks in talent and career aptitude tests.'

Several other examples of such tests are given, only one of which involves folding the paper: 'A square is to be cut into four squares by making a single cut.' The solution is 'You fold along the diagonal of the square, then along the axis of symmetry of the right angle isosceles triangle. Then cut along the axis of symmetry of the new triangle.'