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Story and Sentence Completion Techniques

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1 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. Louisa Duss (1940) created the Duss or Despert Fables to elicit data on emotional conflicts of children.

2 Story and Sentence Completion Techniques 2
Madeline Thomas Stories (MTS) 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.

3 Story and Sentence Completion Techniques 3
Despert Fables 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.

4 Story and Sentence Completion Techniques 4
Children’s Insight Test (Sargent 1953; Engel, 1958) A series of story beginnings, scored on three main dimensions; affect, defense, and malignancy.

5 Utility of Story Completion Techniques
Clinical utility and idiographic data on children’s coping abilities. Anderson and Anderson (1954, 1961) used 11 stories with 9, 546 children to explore interpersonal conflicts. They examined outcomes by looking at problem-solving, decision-making and reactions to authority. Little current research, but non-threatening technique to explore problems and techniques used by child to cope.

6 Sentence-Completion Precursors to current sentence-completion techniques were word association techniques and measures of memory (intellectual variables) such as recall or recognition measures. First systematic use of sentence-completion techniques 1920’s and 1930’s. Used as indices of response style and emotional reactions. The demands of WWII brought about widespread use.

7 Sentence Completion 2 Underlying assumptions
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) .

8 Sentence Completion 3 Many sentence-completion tests. Materials depend on the focus of the inquiry . Most tests have 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.

9 Sentence Completion 4 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).

10 Projective Drawings Historical Development
Goodenough (1926) Draw A Man as measure of intelligence Machover (1949) Personality Projection in the Drawings of the Human Figure Buck (1948) The House-Tree-Person (HTP) technique (initially a measure of intelligence) Hulse (1951, 1952) Family drawing technique-precursor to Kinetic Family Drawing (KFD) (Burns & Kaufman, 1970,1972). The kinetic component drawing the family doing something.

11 Projective Drawings 2 Assumptions underlying these drawings:
Child’s psychomotor response contain nonverbal symbolic messages Machover (1949) When a person draws a human figure, it is a representation of how he/she views self Hammer (1958) 3 theoretical postulates Humans view the world in an anthropomorphic manner

12 Projective Drawings 4 Projection is the core of the anthropomorphic view Distortions result during projection when they serve a defensive function Dennis (1966) drawings capture social values or preferences. He observed differences in drawings across cultures.

13 Projective Drawings 5 Frequency and Function of Use
Widespread use (Northwest suburb) Frequent use (reported in numerous studies in 1980’s even Wilson and Reschly, 1996) Functions Allow nonverbal children to express themselves. To gain understanding of children’s inner conflicts. To understand child from psychodynamic approach. To generate hypotheses and serve as path to further evaluation.

14 Projective Drawings 6 Administration –blank piece of paper and pencil-DAP, child is asked to draw a picture of a whole person. May then ask for a picture of boy or girl. HTP, different page for each picture. KFD, one page for picture.

15 Projective Drawings 7 Interpretation (DAP)
Machover’s 1949 book greatest influence-interpretation should be based on confluence of indicators, not an analysis of single signs or characteristics. Koppitz (1968) developmental items versus emotional indicators. How does the child draw the figure(s)? Who does the child draw? What is the child trying to express via the drawing?

16 Projective Drawings 8 Specific Interpretation Issues and Indices
Body Image (obese children, children with disabilities, etc) Sex of first drawn figure and gender identity (cultural influences, sociological perspective, etc) Size of drawing (most of empirical studies do not support correlation with self-esteem) Anxiety research supports that “state” variables may influence drawings more than predicting anxiety from drawings. Artistic quality-instruction can impact drawing behavior

17 Projective Drawings 9 Interpretation (HTP)
Buck (1948) step-by-step quantitative analysis Buck’s qualitative analysis used more often Identification of omissions and unusual components Synthesis of organization and interrelationship of items Analysis and synthesis of drawing relative to client’s personality and environment Buck believes individual sign interpretation is inappropriate Acceptable test-retest reliability

18 Projective Drawings 10 Interpretation (KFD)
Burns and Kaufman (1970, 1972) reviewed 10,000 KFD’s. Analyzed actions, styles, and symbols. Actions-movement of energy between people-total drawing must be reviewed Style-interaction with family members versus isolation by lines, boxes, edging Symbols-proceed with caution, consider alternative interpretations

19 Projective Drawings 11 Interpretation (KSD)
Prout and Philips (1974) “I’d like you to draw a school picture. Put yourself, your teacher and a friend or two in the picture and make everyone doing something. “ Sarbaugh (1983) “Draw a picture of people at school doing something.” Cummings (1986) prefers the Prout & Philips approach. Kinetic Drawing System (KDS) Administer both the KFD and KSD

20 Projective Drawings 12 Overall Evaluation
Do not interpret at the single sign or characteristic level. Examine all aspects of a child’s behavior. Data from drawings should be used to generate hypotheses, not to diagnose. Drawings provide a non-threatening beginning point which should lead to an in depth exploration.

21 References Abt, L. E. & Bellak, B. (Eds.) (1950) Projective psychology. New York: Grove Press. Cummings, J.A. (1986). Projective drawings. In H.M. Knoff (Ed.) The assessment of child and adolescent personality. New York: Guilford Press. Hammer. E. F. (1986) Graphic techniques with children and adolescents. In Rabin, A. I. (Ed.) (1986). Projective techniques for adolescents and children. New York: Springer Publishing. Hart, H. M. (1986). The sentence completion techniques. In Knoff, H. M. (Ed.) (1986). The assessment of child and adolescent personality. New York: Guilford Press.

22 References continued Knoff, H. M. (Ed.) (1986). The assessment of child and adolescent personality. New York: Guilford Press. Rabin, A. I. (Ed.) (1986). Projective techniques for adolescents and children. New York: Springer Publishing. Sachs, J. M. & Levy, S. (1950). The sentence completion test. In Abt, L. E. & Bellak, B. (Eds.) (1950) Projective psychology. New York: Grove Press. Zlotogorski, Z. & Wiggs, E. (1986). Story and Sentence-completion techniques. In Rabin, A. I. (Ed.) (1986). Projective techniques for adolescents and children. New York: Springer Publishing.

23 April 3, 2003 Complete thematic apperception techniques Video tape
TAT, CAT, CAST Video tape Story and sentence completion tasks Projective Drawings Student presentations

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