Sentence Completion Method By JB Rotter

Completion of sentences . Technique created by JB Rotter in 1949, hence it is also known as the Rotter test. Its most common interpretation is qualitative, despite the fact that its author created a quantitative system on a seven-point scale for each of the sentences contained in the test, according to a table prepared for men and women, where the responses in three types: positive, negative and neutral.


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  • 1 Description
  • 2 Selection of phrases
  • 3 Application
  • 4 Processing
    • 1 Analysis of responses
  • 5 Interpretation
  • 6 Cuban variants
  • 7 Source


Rotter’s test consists of a minimum of 40 to 45 incomplete or unfinished sentences, which indirectly induce responses of motivational and affective content, significant in subjectivity , which finds in them a way of expression.

Incomplete sentences can be of two types:

  • General induction phrases (FIG): In which the subject can decide the content of the subjectivity that he wants to express, because in his formulation there is none specifically suggested.
  • Phrases of particular induction (FTP): They express or suggest the content on which they must be completed.

Through this technique you can investigate:

  1. Current characteristics of the content of inducing regulation in different contexts of the subject’s performance, identifying needs, motives, motivational formations, attitudes and characterological qualities of the personality.
  2. Determine areas of problems of the subject, conflicts, contradictions.

Selection of phrases

Depending on the specific study carried out on the subject, the sentences included in the test may vary, the psychologist or the psychopedagogue can elaborate them following the criteria of interest, for example, if motivation towards the pedagogical profession is explored, the sentences of Particular induction, which must be related to the theme, could be for example: “The school,” The teachers, “The education”. These phrases of particular induction are interspersed with those of general induction, in a quantitative balance, so that the specific interest of the application of the technique is not evident to the subject.


Provide a prepared answer sheet for the subject to fill in the empty spaces in each sentence. It is necessary to awaken in the subject the maximum interest in the technique and to insist that he complete all the sentences.

Observe the subject while working and record:

  1. Emotional expressions.
  2. Reflections on the task.
  3. Difficulties completing the sentences.
  4. Level of tension or relaxation in the task.
  5. Behaviors that reflect present or absent contents of the inducing regulation.
  6. Active or passive position in the execution of the task.
  7. Volitional efforts to carry it out.
  8. Temperamental manifestations.
  9. Concentration of attention.
  10. Everything that can be useful to process and interpret the results and characterize the inductive regulation of the personality.

In the application of the technique, it is very useful to carry out an interview to deepen the content of certain areas or phrases that can provide additional information about inducing regulation.


Analyze the sentences according to the following indicators, to locate them in the table that is presented below, thus enabling the interpretation of the results. The phrase no. Is included as a model for the analysis of the answers. 40: “It is very important to be a teacher to help society.”

Analysis of responses

Positive responses are those that express adaptive reactions, optimism, good interpersonal relationships, etc. Negative or conflict responses are those that express hostility, pessimism, unhappiness, bad interpersonal relationships. Neutral responses provide little information about the person. Phrases left blank can be indicators of conflict. However, the degree of breadth or narrowness of the responses provides information about other indicators.


Integration and establishment of relationships between the processing indicators. Identification of needs, motives, motivational formations, affective experiences, volitional manifestations, possible problems, frustrations and conflicts. The results obtained must be integrated and contrasted with those of the other methods and tests applied.


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