Rotter Incomplete Sentences Blank-2

Purpose: Rotter Incomplete Sentences Blank (RISB-2) is designed as a screening instrument that helps to evaluate overall adjustment problems in adolescents and adults’ individuals.

Population: College students, adults, high-school students.

Score: Index of Overall Adjustment.

Time: 20-40 minutes.

Authors: Julian Rotter, Michael Lah, and Janet Rafferty.

Publication Date: 1992

Publisher: The Psychological Corporation.

Description: The Rotter Incomplete Sentences Blank (RISB) is a psychological test developed by Julian Rotter and Janet E. Rafferty in 1950. The Rotter Incomplete Sentences Blank’s second edition (RISB-2) is a projective test use to evaluate overall adjustment problems in adolescents and adults’ individuals based on semi-objective scoring system. The revised version of Rotter Incomplete Sentences Blank (RISB) provides direct information about personality conflicts. For accurate interpretation the clinical psychologist needs intuitive clinical insights, knowledge of personality dynamics to assess overall adjustment in adolescents and adults. Although answers can usually be scored qualitatively based on expected motivational requirements, the interpretation of subjective scales is very unreliable.

Scoring: According to missing and incomplete responses, conflict responses, positive responses or neutral responses, the score is scored on a 7-point scale (the higher the score, the higher the degree of maladaptation). The overall score is usually between 80 and 205 (from 0 to 240). However, due to differences in individual trait responses, it is not easy to score second edition of the Rotter Incomplete Sentences Blank (RISB-2) on a computer. This inevitably raises questions about the objectivity of the RISB-2 response and the consistency of scoring.

Reliability: Several studies reported in the RISB-2 manual indicate that reliability is uncertain. According to reports, the stability factor ranges from a low of .38 (three-year retest interval) to .82 (retest only after 1-2 weeks), so the instrument cannot be considered reliable at all times. There are some inconsistencies in the scoring, because although the scorer’s reliability is between 0.72 and .99, the scorer’s reliability is between .44 and .93. Since the scoring examples are based only on university samples, there is still a question about their applicability in high schools and adult groups. A positive feature of this test is the homogeneity of the project. The manual reports half of the estimates, ranging from .74 to .86, with a Cronbach alpha coefficient of .69. This moderate degree of project homogeneity indicates that there is almost no project redundancy, but the internal consistency is sufficient to justify its rationality.

Effectiveness: The Second Edition of the Rotter Incomplete Sentences Blank (RISB-2) mainly relies on facial effectiveness. Therefore, based on the respondents’ lack of self-understanding and their conscious and unconscious motives, project responses are vulnerable to distortion. Compared with being a time-varying status indicator, this tool can be used as a feature measure more effectively and is not sensitive to the situation. Despite these limitations, RISB-2 has been widely used in clinical and non-clinical settings.

Norms: College students.

Suggested uses: Suggested uses of RISB-2 include screening, tracking changes in scores over time, group comparisons and research.


The advantages of the Rotter Incomplete Sentences Blank (RISB-2) can be summarized as

  • There is freedom to respond. That is, the subject is not forced to answer “yes” or “no”? The examiner’s question. Instead, he may do it in any way he wants.
  • There is a disguise for testing purposes. Although the subjects were aware of the overall intentions, for most subjects, the reasons for the good or bad answers were not easy to understand.
  • Group management is relatively effective. Most incomplete sentence tests can be given to groups of any size without significant loss of validity.
  • Usually, no special training in management is required. The interpretation depends on the general clinical experience of the examiner, although the examiner does not require special training in using this method.
  • The method is very flexible and can construct new sentence beginnings for various clinical, applied and experimental purposes.


  • Although, it is susceptible to semi-objective scoring, it cannot be scored by a machine and requires general skills and knowledge of personality analysis to perform clinical evaluation and interpretation.
  • There is not so much disguise of purpose as other projection methods. Therefore, a complicated subject may make the examiner not know what he does not want to disclose.
  • In some cases, especially from illiterate, interfered, or uncooperative subjects, there is insufficient material. The application of this method as a group test also requires writing and language skills, and the potential clinical utility of young children has not been fully evaluated.


  • Rotter, J.B., Lah, M.I., Rafferty, J.E. (1992). Manual for Rotter Incomplete Sentences Blank. New York, NY: The Psychological Corporation.
  • Rotter, J.B., Rafferty, J.E. (1950). Manual for Rotter Incomplete Sentences Blank-College Form. New York, NY: The Psychological Corporation.
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