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16 Personality Factors
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The 16 Personalit y Fact ors , measured by the 16PF Questionnaire, were derived using factor- analysis by psychologist Raymond

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Below is a table outlining this model.

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1 Raymo nd Cattell's 16 Perso nality Facto rs

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2 Relatio nship to the Big Five

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3 Origins
4 See also

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Co mmunity po rtal
Recent changes

5 References
6 Further reading
7 External links

Raymond Cattell's 16 Personality Factors

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Descript ors of Low Range

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Fact or

Descript ors of High Range

Impersonal, distant, cool, reserved, detached, formal,

aloof (Schizothymia)


Warm, outgoing, attentive to others, kindly, easy- going,

participating, likes people (Affectothymia)

Concrete thinking, lower general mental capacity, less

intelligent, unable to handle abstract problems (Lower
Scholastic Mental Capacity )


Abstract- thinking, more intelligent, bright, higher general

mental capacity, fast learner (Higher Scholastic Mental
Capacity )

Reactive emotionally, changeable, affected by feelings,

emotionally less stable, easily upset (Lower Ego Strength )


Emotionally stable, adaptive, mature, faces reality calmly

(Higher Ego Strength )

Deferential, cooperative, avoids conflict, submissive,

humble, obedient, easily led, docile, accommodating


Dominant, forceful, assertive, aggressive, competitive,

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humble, obedient, easily led, docile, accommodating

Serious, restrained, prudent, taciturn, introspective, silent
(Desurgency )


stubborn, bossy (Dominance)

Lively, animated, spontaneous, enthusiastic, happy go
lucky, cheerful, expressive, impulsive (Surgency )

RuleExpedient, nonconforming, disregards rules, self indulgent

Rule- conscious, dutiful, conscientious, conforming,
(Low Super Ego Strength )
moralistic, staid, rule bound (High Super Ego Strength )



Shy, threat- sensitive, timid, hesitant, intimidated (Threctia)


Socially bold, venturesome, thick skinned, uninhibited


Utilitarian, objective, unsentimental, tough minded, selfreliant, no- nonsense, rough (Harria)


Sensitive, aesthetic, sentimental, tender minded, intuitive,

refined (Premsia)

Trusting, unsuspecting, accepting, unconditional, easy



Vigilant, suspicious, skeptical, distrustful, oppositional


Grounded, practical, prosaic, solution oriented, steady,

conventional (Praxernia)
Forthright, genuine, artless, open, guileless, naive,
unpretentious, involved (Artlessness)

Abstractedness Abstract, imaginative, absent minded, impractical,

absorbed in ideas (Autia)

Private, discreet, nondisclosing, shrewd, polished, worldly,

astute, diplomatic (Shrewdness)

Self- Assured, unworried, complacent, secure, free of guilt,

confident, self satisfied (Untroubled)

Apprehension Apprehensive, self doubting, worried, guilt prone,

insecure, worrying, self blaming (Guilt Proneness )

Traditional, attached to familiar, conservative, respecting

traditional ideas (Conservatism)

Openness to

Group- oriented, affiliative, a joiner and follower

dependent (Group Adherence)

Self- Reliance Self- reliant, solitary, resourceful, individualistic, self(Q2)

sufficient (Self-Sufficiency )

Tolerates disorder, unexacting, flexible, undisciplined, lax,

self- conflict, impulsive, careless of social rules,
uncontrolled (Low Integration )

Perfectionistic, organiz ed, compulsive, self- disciplined,

socially precise, exacting will power, control, self(Q3)
sentimental (High Self-Concept Control )

Relaxed, placid, tranquil, torpid, patient, composed low

drive (Low Ergic Tension )


Open to change, experimental, liberal, analytical, critical,

free thinking, flexibility (Radicalism)

Tense, high energy, impatient, driven, frustrated, over

wrought, time driven. (High Ergic Tension)

Primary Factors and Descriptors in Cattell's 16 Personality Factor Model (Adapted From Conn & Rieke, 1994).

Relationship to the Big Five


This article is a very brief summary of the in- depth information that appears under the main listings- - 16PF Questionnaire and Raymond
Cattell. Cattell referred to the 16 factors listed below as primary factors . They were developed in the 1940s and 1950s by scientifically
sampling the widest possible range of behaviors, including using ratings by observers, questionnaires, and objective measurements of
actual behavior.[1][2][3] This took more than a decade, and was later validated in a range of international cultures over time. [4] Thus,
these factors were seen to represent a fairly comprehensive listing of the basic dimensions of human personality.
He then factored these primary traits (i.e., performed a second- order factor analysis) and discovered a smaller number of over- arching
personality factors or domains that provided the overall structure and meaning for the primary traits. He labelled these Second- Order or
Global Factors. For example, Extraversion was found to be a Global Factor that contained primary factors Warmth/Reserve(A), Social
Boldness/Shyness (H), Liveliness/Seriousness (F), Group- Orientation/Self- Sufficiency (Q2), and Forthrightness/Privatness (N).[5]
In the original Fourth and Fifth Editions of the 16PF, there were five global factors that correspond fairly closely to the later " Big Five" (BF):
BF Openness => 16PF Openness/Tough- mindedness; BF Conscientiousness => 16PF Self- Control; BF Extraversion => 16PF
Extraversion; BF Agreeableness/Dis- Agreeablenss => 16PF Independence/Accommodation; and BF Neuroticism => 16PF Anxiety (Conn
& Rieke, 1994). In fact, the development of the Big- Five factors began by factor- analyz ing the original items of the 16PF.[6]
However, one big technical difference between Cattell's five Global Factors and popular Five- Factor models was Cattell's insistence on
using scientific, oblique rotations, whereas Goldberg and Costa & McCrae used orthogonal rotations. Oblique rotation allows the factors to
locate and define themselves, whereas orthogonal rotation forces the factors to arbitrarily be unrelated to each other (at 90 degrees to
each other)- - a quality which is true of very few known personality traits. However, this makes the factors easier to agree upon and to work
on statistically in research. This forced the Big- Five traits into somewhat skewed definitions compared to the 16PF Global factors. For
example, in Cattell's model, the basic personality trait of Dominance (Factor E) is strongly located in the Independence/Accommodation
Factor (i.e., Big- Five Agreeableness) which represents a quality of fearless, original thinking and forceful, independent actions. However,
other popular big five models consider Dominance as a facet of several Big- Five traits, including Extraversion, Dis- Agreeableness, and
Conscientiousness. Thus Dominance is spread very thinly across a range of Big- Five factors with little influence on any one (Cattell &
Mead, 2008).



In 1936 Gordon Allport and H.S. Odbert hypothesiz ed that:

Those individual differences that are most salient and socially relevant in peoples lives will eventually become encoded
into their language; the more important such a difference, the more likely is it to become expressed as a single word.

This statement has become known as the Lexical Hypothesis.

Allport and Odbert had worked through two of the most comprehensive dictionaries of the English language available at the time, and
extracted 18,000 personality- describing words. From this gigantic list they extracted 4500 personality- describing adjectives which they
considered to describe observable and relatively permanent traits.

In 1946 Raymond Cattell used the emerging technology of computers to analyse the Allport- Odbert list. He organiz ed the list into 181
clusters and asked subjects to rate people whom they knew by the adjectives on the list. Using factor analysis Cattell generated twelve
factors, and then included four factors which he thought ought to appear. The result was the hypothesis that individuals describe
themselves and each other according to sixteen different, independent factors.
With these sixteen factors as a basis, Cattell went on to construct the 16PF Personality Questionnaire, which remains in use by universities
and businesses for research, personnel selection and the like. In 1963, W.T. Norman replicated Cattells work and suggested that five
factors would be sufficient.

See also


Myers- Briggs Type Indicator (MBTI)

Neuroticism Extraversion Openness Personality Inventory (NEO- PI)
Trait theory
Enneagram of personality



Cattell, R. B. (1946). The description and measurement of personality. New York, NY: Harcourt, Brace, & World.
Cattell, R. B. (1957). Personality and motivation structure and measurement . New York, NY: World Book.
Cattell, H. E. P., & Mead, A. D. (2008). The sixteen personality factor questionnaire (16PF). In G. Boyle, G. Matthews, & D. H.
Saklofske, Eds.) The SAGE handbook of personality theory and assessment; Vol 2 Personality measurement and testing (pp. 135178).
Los Angeles, CA: Sage.
Conn, S.R., & Rieke, M.L. (1994). The 16PF Fifth Edition technical manual. Champaign, IL: Institute for Personality and Ability Testing,
Russell, M.T., & Karol, D. (2002). 16PF Fifth Edition administrators manual
1. ^ Cattell, R.B. (19 46 ). The descriptio n and measurement o f perso nality. New Yo rk: Wo rld Bo o k.
2. ^ Cattell, R.B. (19 57). Perso nality and mo tivatio n structure and measurement. New Yo rk: Wo rld Bo o k.
3. ^ Cattell, R.B. (19 73). Perso nality and mo o d by questio nnaire. San Francisco : Jo ssey-Bass.
4. ^ Cattell, H.E.P. & Mead, A.D. (20 0 8 ). The 16 PF Questio nnaire. In G.J. Bo yle, G. Matthews, & D.H. Saklo fske (Eds), The Sage Handbo o k o f
Perso nality Theo ry and Testing: Vo l. 2, Perso nality Measurement and Testing., Lo s Angeles, CA: Sage Publicatio ns.
5. ^ Cattell, H.E.P. (19 9 6 ). The o riginal big-five: A histo rical perspective. Euro pean Review o f Psycho lo gy, 46 (1), 5-14.
6 . ^ Co sta, P.T., Jr., McCrae, R.R. (19 8 5). The NEO Perso nality Invento ry Manual. Odessa, FL: Psycho lo gical Assessment Reso urces.

Further reading


Gregory, Robert J. (2011). Psychological Testing: History, Principles, and Applications (Sixth ed.). Boston: Allyn & Bacon. ISBN 978- 0205- 78214- 7. Lay summary (7 November 2010).

Tucker, William H. (2009). The Cattell Controversy: Race, Science, and Ideology . University of Illinois Press . ISBN 978- 0- 252- 03400- 8.
Lay summary (30 August 2010).

External links


Contributions and Limitations of Cattell's Sixteen Personality Factor Model

The International Personality Item Pool has public domain scales measuring the sixteen factors.[1]
Online implementation.[2]
Categories: Personality typologies

Personality tests

This page was last modified on 31 March 2012 at 16:57.

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