Development and Validation of a Sentence Completion Test Measure of Defensive Responding
in Military Personnel Assessed for Nonroutine Missions (Развитие и валидация показателей
защитных ответов SC-Tеста при оценке военного персонала)
We present a scoring system for common defensive responses to a sentence completion
test in 190 male volunteers who were screened in an operational assessment and selection
program for nonroutine military assignment. Common defensive efforts include the
following: omissions (blanks, incomplete responses), denial (negation), redundant
responses (tautologies), flippant responses, responses about the test, and simple
associations. These responses are reliably coded using exemplar ratings. Sentence
completion test (SCT) verbal defensiveness is largely independent of verbal ability.
Participants higher in verbal defensiveness are judged by psychologists as lower
in suitability for high demand military missions and by peers as less desirable coworkers
in a high stress military mission. SCT verbal defensiveness is higher among personnel
who fail to complete an operational assessment and selection program. Two dimensions
underlie common defensive efforts: inhibition and resistance. Neither factor is very
extensively related to the "Big Five" personality dimensions.