Story and Sentence Completion Techniques. Definition: a verbal stimulus containing words that represent either the beginning of a story or a sentence. Piaget (1932) used story completions to study moral judgment. Madeline Thomas (1937) applied the method to clinical settings.
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Original had 15 stories, character changed to a girl when working with a girl, examiner suggested that the child and examiner would make up some stories together. The assumption was the child will identify with an imagined situation. Research data scarce, but MTS seems to have utility as a non-threatening technique to explore child’s fantasy life.
10 stories (show example). Gender of stories changed to fit client. Research with fables (442 children) indicated adequate test-retest reliability and most useful for children under 8 years.
A series of story beginnings, scored on three main dimensions; affect, defense, and malignancy.
1. The projective hypothesis.
Defined by Frank (1948) as “When an individual is forced to impose meaning or order on an ambiguous stimulus complex, his response is a projection of his feelings, anger, beliefs, attitudes, and desires”.
2. Responses to the sentence stubs are not just shaped by attitudes and beliefs at a surface level (response set, social desirability)
Many sentence-completion tests. Materials depend on the focus of the inquiry . Most tests have 40-100 stems or stubs. Administration could be individual or group. Tests are power versus speed tests. Instructions vary; express real feelings versus express first thing that comes to mind.
Evaluation and Interpretation
Formal analysis (length of completion, time, range of words, etc)
Content analysis (categories such as interpersonal attitudes, wishes, reactions to external states, parental relationships, peers, etc.)
research has been conducted to look at emotional development, long-term stability and feelings and ego development.
Viewed as valuable instruments in the assessment of personality (Zlotogorski & Wiggs, 1986).
KFD, one page for picture.
New York: Guilford Press.
In Abt, L. E. & Bellak, B. (Eds.) (1950) Projective psychology. New York: Grove Press.
TAT, CAT, CAST