Comparative Interpretation of Tree Painting between People on Different Loneliness Levels

Abstract

Tree drawing is a form of projective test used to assess one’s development (Koch, 1992). In Jungian psychology, tree(s) are often used as a symbol of development; representing a mirror on a person’s inner and outer situation (Isaksson et al., 2009). The metaphorical interpretation of tree(s) can be symbolised as how a person relates to other people (Englund, 2004). Dissatisfaction with the quality of relationship increases the likeliness of one to feel lonely (Hawkley, et al., 2008). In this study, the UCLA Loneliness Scale (Version 3) was used to screen the loneliness of 110 young adults. Twenty young adults were selected and grouped into high and low levels of loneliness. Participants were briefly interviewed about their social life and asked paint tree(s) on an A3 sized paper. Further inquiries were made after completion of the painting. The result shows that people with a high level of loneliness tends to draw a single tree. Furthermore, most of the tree drawing gave an impression of emptiness and had a proportionately larger trunk. This implies the need for attention and a projection of loneliness. Further probing supports the claim that socially the lonely participants feel a need for having a quality relationship but were not willing to engage deeply with people around them. This research is a preliminary study. Further studies may take into account variation in population background and size.



Author Information
Mario Albert, Tarumanagara University, Indonesia
Lia Hervika, Universitas Tarumanagara, Indonesia
Novita Liesera, Universitas Tarumanagara, Indonesia

Paper Information
Conference: ACP2020
Stream: General Psychology

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