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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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) .
Sentence Completion 3 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.
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).
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.
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
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.
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.
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.
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?
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
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
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
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
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.
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.
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.
April 3, 2003 • Complete thematic apperception techniques TAT, CAT, CAST • Video tape • Story and sentence completion tasks • Projective Drawings • Student presentations