ROTTER INCOMPLETE SENTENCE BLANK (RISB)



INTRODUCTION
PURPOSE OF RISB
The Rotters incomplete sentence blank is an attempt to standardize the sentence completion method for the use at college level. Forty stems are completed by the subject. These completions are then scored by comparing them against typical items in empirically derived scoring manuals for men and women and by assigning to each response a scale value from 0to6. The total score is an index of maladjustment


THE SENTENCE COMPLETION METHOD
 The sentence completion method of studying personality is a semi structured projective technique in which the subject is asked to finish a sentence for which the first word or words are supplied. As in other projective devices, it is assumed that the subject reflects his own wishes, desires, fears and attitudes in the sentences he makes.
   Historically, the incomplete sentence method is related most closely to the word association test. In some test incomplete sentences tests only a single word or brief response is called for; the major differences appears to be in the length of the stimulus. In the sentence completion tests, tendencies to block and to twist the meaning of the stimulus words appear and the responses may be categorized in a somewhat similar fashion to the word association method.

DEVELOPMENT OF ISB           
The Incomplete Sentence Blank consists of forty items revised from a form used by Rotter and Willermann (11) in the army. This form was, in turn, a revision of blanks used by Shor (15), Hutt (5), and Holzberg (4) at the Mason General Hospital.

   In the development of the ISB, two objectives were kept in mind. One aim was to provide a technique which could be used objectively for screening and experimental purposes. It was felt that this technique should have at least some of the advantages of projective methods, and also be economical from the point of view of administration and scoring.  
   A second goal was to obtain information of rather specific diagnostic value for treatment purposes.
   The Incomplete Sentence Blank can be used, of course, for general interpretation with a variety of subjects in much the same manner that a clinician trained in dynamic psychology uses any projective material. However, a feature of ISB is that one can derive a single over-all adjustment score. This over-all adjustment score is of particular value for screening purposes with college students and in experimental studies. The ISB has also been used in a vocational guidance center to select students requiring broader counseling than was usually given, in experimental studies of the effect of psychotherapy and in investigations of the relationship of adjustment to a variety of variables.

PSYCHOMETRIC PROPERTIES
1.     RELIABILITY
    Since the items on an incomplete sentence blank are not equivalent, the odd even technique for determining reliability is not applicable and would tend to give minimum estimate of internal consistency. Therefore items on the ISB were divided into two halves deemed as nearly equivalent as possible. This yielded a corrected split-half reliability of .84 when based on the records of 124 male college students, and .83 when based on 71 female students.
   Inter-scorer reliability for two scorer trained by the authors was .91 when based on male records and .96 for female records.

2.     VALIDITY
   The Incomplete Sentence Blank was validated on groups of subjects which did not include any of cases used in developing the scoring principles and the scoring manuals. Scoring of the blanks was done “blindly” the scorer never knew whether the test blank was supposed to be that of a maladjusted or an adjusted subject.
   Validity data were obtained for the two sexes separately since the scoring manuals differ. The subjects include 82 females and 124 males who were classified as either adjusted or maladjusted i.e., as needing personal counseling or as not needing such counseling.
   A cutting score of 135 provided a very sufficient separation of adjusted and maladjusted students in the data collected above  
 
3.     NORMS
            A distribution of scores on the ISB for a representative college freshman population was obtained by giving the Incomplete Sentences Blank to 299 entering freshman at Ohio
State University. A comparison between the median percentile ranks on the Ohio State Psychological Examination of the sample and of the total freshman population showed a difference of approximately two percentile points. The agreement between corresponding first and third quartile points was very close. It was interesting to find that the correlation coefficient between the Ohio State Psychological Examination scores and ISB scores for the selected freshman sample was only .11. This is in accord with a general feeling that a very little relationship would exist between intelligence and scores on the personality measure such as the Incomplete Sentence Blank

                                          ADMINISTRATION
                  Incomplete sentence blank-college form

Name……………… sex…….. Age…….. Marital state……..
Place……………………………………………. Date………..
        Complete these sentences to express your real feeling. Try to do every one.
                                     Be sure to make complete sentences.

1. I like……………………………………………………………………………………....
2. The happiest time………………………………………………………………………....
3. I want to know………………………………………………………………………........
4. Back home………………………………………………………………………………..
5. I regret…………………………………………………………………………………….
6. At bedtime ………………………………………………………………………………..
7. Boys……………………………………………………………………………………....
8. The best…………………………………………………………………………………...
9. What annoys me…………………………………………………………………………..
10. People…………………………………………………………………………………....
11. A mother………………………………………………………………………………...
12. I feel…………………………………………………………………………………......
13. My great fear…………………………………………………………………………….
14. In high school…………………………………………………………………………....
15. I can’t…………………………………………………………………………………....
16. Sports…………………………………………………………………………………....
17. When I was child………………………………………………………………………..
18. My nerves………………………………………………………………………………..
19. Other people……………………………………………………………………………..
20. I suffer…………………………………………………………………………………...
21. I failed…………………………………………………………………………………...
22. Reading………………………………………………………………………………….
23. My mind………………………………………………………………………………....
24. The future………………………………………………………………………………..
25. I need…………………………………………………………………………………….
26. Marriage………………………………………………………………………………....
27. I am best when…………………………………………………………………………..
28. Sometimes……………………………………………………………………………….
29. What pains me…………………………………………………………………………...
30. I hate……………………………………………………………………………………..
31. This school……………………………………………………………………………....
32. I am very………………………………………………………………………………...
33. The only trouble……………………………………………………………….………...
34. I wish…………………………………………………………………………………….
35. My father………………………………………………………………………………...
36. I secretly………………………………………………………………………………....
37. I………………………………………………………………………………………….
38. Dancing………………………………………………………………………………….
39. My greatest worry is…………………………………………………………………….
40. Most girls………………………………………………………………………………..


CURRENT ADMINISTRATION
     The printed instructions are given on the page which state complete these sentences to express your real feelings. Try to do every one. Be sure to make a complete sentence. No further instructions are given except to repeat the printed instructions if necessary and to urge subjects to complete all the items. Administration to a group of any number of subjects is possible. The approximate average time for administration is twenty minutes.
             The RISB was administered on a female of 20 years of age. The test consisted of forty items which had to be completed by the subject. The test was administered in a class setting. Subject was seated comfortably on the chair. The room was well ventilated and well lighted. The above instructions were given to the subject before he started the test. The subject completed the test in 20 minutes.

                                                 SCORING
      THE USE OF SCORING MANUAL
          Sentence completions are used from examples in the scoring manuals by assigning a numerical weight from 0 to 6 for each sentence and totaling the weights to obtain the overall score. The scoring examples in part II of this manual are given to facilitate the assignment of weights to responses. They are from ISB responses of 58 male and 53 female college students, ranging from extremely well adjusted person to those judged to be in need of psychotherapy. Since the scoring examples are illustrative and representative of common responses with no intent to list all possible sentence completions, a set of scoring principles will be presented. These principles are intended to aid in determing the correct weight for a completion when a very similar statement cannot be found in the scoring examples.
         In order to provide the potential user of the ISB with “supervised” experience before attempting to score clinical or experimental records. The correct scoring for these records is given at the end. These examples will enable the clinician to check his scoring against that of the authors. They may also use by a clinic supervisor to check the scoring ability of any student or general scorer.
     Sentence completion is used for illustrative purposes in the following discussion are taken almost entirely from the manual.
           
      SCORING PRINCIPLES
OMISSION RESPONSE
   Omission responses are designated as those for which no answer is given or for which the thought is incomplete. Omissions and fragments are not scored.
   It is recognized that in a clinical situations are occasionally provocative since they may point to areas which the individual does not recognize or cannot bring himself to express.
   For all responses which are subsumed under the heading of incomplete thoughts or omissions, no scoring is made. After the remainder of responses is prorated by the formula {40 / (40-omissions)} times the total scores however, if there are more than 20 omissions, the paper is considered unscorable for all practical purposes.
For example, “Most girls . . . don’t appeal to me except sexually because”; or “I hate . . . the thought of going home since”

CONFLICT RESPONSES
       “C” or conflict, responses are those indicating an un healthy or maladjusted frame of mind. These include hostility reactions, pessimism, symptom elicitation, hopelessness and suicidal wishes, statements of unhappy experiences, and indications of past maladjustment.
   Responses range from C1 to C3 according to the severity of the conflict or maladjusted expressed. The numerical weights for the conflict responses are
    C1=4
    C2=5
    C3=6
   Typical of the C1 category are responses in which concern is expressed regarding such things as the world state of affairs, financial problems, specific school difficulties, physical complaints, identification with minority groups, and so on. In general it might be said that subsumed under C1 are minor problems which are not deep-seated or incapacitating, and more or less specific difficulties.
  More serious indications of maladjustment are found in the C2 category. On the whole the responses refer to broader, more generalized difficulties than are found in C1. I Included  here are expressions of inferiority feelings, psychosomatic complaints, concern over possible failure, generalized school problems, lack of goals, feeling of inadequacy, concern over vocational choice, and difficulty in heterosexual relationships as well as generalized social difficulty.
   Expression of severe conflict or indications of maladjustments are rated C3. Among the difficulties found in this area are suicidal wishes, sexual conflicts, severe family problems, fear of insanity, strong negative attitudes toward people in general, feelings of confusion, expression of rather bizarre attitudes, and so forth.
   For example, “I like . . . to know if I am crazy”. This type of response will lie in C3 category. “The happiest time . . . is over” and this type of response will lie in C2 category. “I want to know . . . about life”, this type of response will lie in C1 category


POSITIVE RESPONSES
     “P” or positive responses are those indicating a healthy or hopeful frame of mind. These are evidence by humorous or flippant remarks, optimistic responses, and acceptance reactions.
     Responses range from P1to P3 depending on the degree of good adjustment expressed in the statement. The numerical weights for the positive responses are
   P1= 2
   P2=1
   P3=0
In the P1 class common responses are those which deal with positive attitudes toward school, hobbies, sports, expression interest in people, expression of warm feeling toward some individual and so on.
   Generally found under the heading of P2 are those replies which indicate a generalized positive feeling toward people, good social adjustment, healthy family life, optimism and humor.
Clear cut good natured humor, real optimism, and warm acceptance are types of responses which are subsumed under the P3 group. The ISB deviates from the majority of the test in that it scores humorous responses.
   For example, “I like . . . to have good time”, this type of response will lie in P1 category. “The happiest time . . . is yet to come”, this type of response will lie in P2 category. “Back home . . . are many friends”, this type of response will lie in P3 category.

NEUTRAL RESPONSES
  “N” or neutral responses are those not falling clearly into either of the above categories. They are generally on a simple descriptive level. Two general types of responses which account for a large share of those that fall in the neutral category. One group includes those lacking emotional tone or personal reference. The other group is composed of many responses which are found as often among maladjusted as among adjusted individual and through clinical judgment could not be legitimately place in either C or P group. All the N responses are scored 3.
For example, “Most girls . . . are females” or “When I was child . . . I spoke as a child”. These types of responses will lie in neutral responses.


INDEPENDENT SCORING OF ITEMS
   Each response is to be scored and evaluated independently of all others, except when it is clear-cut reference to a previous statement. It is, of course, important in the scoring of any papers to avoid the halo effect as much as possible so that the measurement can be reliable. This is equally necessary here for, if each response is not scored independently of all others, there is a tendency to rate all responses in light of the over-all picture.
In some cases a response refers directly to a previous item, and it would not be reasonable to score it independently of the first. In such an instance, therefore, a previous response must be used in the evaluation of the later one.
For example, “I wish . . . he were dead” in one record had reference to the preceding sentence when the individual said, “the only trouble . . . is I wish I could forget I’ll be like my father”. Another instance is, “I secretly . . . blame my mother”, which refers to a precedent, “My father . . . was a suicide”.

QUALIFICATION
  Responses which start like an example in the manual but are differently qualified are scored with a consideration of these qualifications.
For example, it may be seen that the following responses should be scored higher than if they had not been qualified. “Sports . . . I have always liked, yet they don’t hold my interest like they did”. Or “This school . . . is o.k., but it’s too close to home”.
There are also responses which will be given lower ratings than they would get without the qualification. Common among these are responses given by individuals subsequent to therapy. “The future . . . is uncertain, but I think I can lick it”. Or “Back home . . . life was pretty miserable, but I think I can cope with the situation now”.
Such qualifications may change the weighting of the response by one or more points.

EXTEME WIEGHTS
    In cases when a response seems to be more extreme than the examples cited, then it is permissible to use an extreme weight. These weights may be assigned, however, if clearly warranted. In cases when a response seems to be more extreme than the examples cited, then it is permissible to use an extreme weight. If the following responses were given they would be scored 6, although there are no examples listed for these items. “Sports . . . should not be allowed for mixed groups because they are too stimulation”. Or “Reading . . . is one thing I hate”.

UNUSUALLY LONG RESPONSES
   In cases where the response is unusually long, it should be given an additional point in the direction of “C” unless it has already been rated 6. It has been found that the maladjusted individual often writes long involved sentences as if compelled to express himself fully and not misunderstood. On the other hand well-adjusted person frequently replies to the stimuli with short concise statements.
For example, one poorly adjusted individual wrote, “I am best when . . . I am under no pressure of responsibility concerning the accomplishment of a given thing within a certain specified time”. An adjusted person wrote, “I am best when . . . I’m having a party”. This does not seem to be a function of intelligence as might be hypothesized. The previous responses were from two superior intelligence. The following are reactions of two individuals of lesser ability, the maladjusted students wrote, “I like . . . agriculture”. A well-adjusted individual wrote simply, “I like . . . people”.
The only exception to this rule concerns neutral completions. If the response is a common quotation, stereotype or song title, it is always scored as neutral, regardless of length.

ADVANTAGES OF RISB
  The general advantages of the sentence completion method can be summarized as follows
  • There is freedom of response. That is, the subject is not forced to answer yes or no or? to the examiner question. He may instead, in any way he desires.
  • Some disguise in the purpose of the test is present. Although the subject may de aware of general intend, what constitutes a good or bad answer is not readily apparent to most subjects.
  • Group administration is relatively efficient. Most incomplete sentences tests can be given to a group of any size without apparent loss of validity.
  • No special training is ordinarily necessary for administration. Interpretation depends on the examiner’s general clinical experience, although the examiner does not need specific training in the use of this method.
  • The method is extremely flexible in that new sentence beginnings can be constructed or tailor made for a variety of clinical, applied and experimental purposes

DISADVANTAGES OF RISB
  • Although susceptible to semi-objective scoring, it cannot be machine scored and requires general skill and knowledge of personality analysis for clinical appraisal and interpretation.
  • There is not as much disguise of purpose as in other projective methods. Consequently, a sophisticated subject may be able to keep the examiner from knowing what he does not wish to reveal.
  • Insufficient material is obtained in some cases, particularly from illiterate, disturbed or uncooperative subjects. Application of the method as a group test also requires writing and language skills and has not yet been adequately evaluated for potential clinical usefulness for younger children.
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