Sentence Completion

In the sentence completion method, respondents are given incomplete sentences and asked to complete the thought. These sentences are usually in the third person and tend to be somewhat ambiguous. For example, the following sentences would provide striking differences in how they were completed depending on the personality of the respondent:

"A beach vacation is..."
"Taking a holiday in the mountains is..."
"Golfing is for..."
"The average person considers skiing..."
"People who visit museums are..."

Generally speaking, sentence completion tests are easier to interpret since the answers provided will be more detailed than in a word association test. However, their intent is also more obvious to the respondent, and could possible result in less honest replies.

A variant of this method is the story completion test. A story in words or pictures is given to the respondent who is then asked to complete it in his/her own words.

Related Readings (Kumar, V., Aaker, D.A. & Day, G.S. (1999). Essentials of Marketing Research. New York: John Wiley & Sons, Inc.; Rotenberg, R.H. (1995). A Manager's Guide to Marketing Research, Toronto: Dryden; Zikmund, W.G. (1997). Exploring Marketing Research, 6th edition. Orlando: The Dryden Press)