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16 Personality Factors

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Below is a table outlining this model.

Raymond Cattell's 16 Personality Factors




Descriptors of Low Range


Descriptors 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 easil led docile accommodatin

Dominant, forceful, assertive, aggressive, competitive,

easil led docile accommodatin Dominance Dominant, forceful, assertive, aggressive, competitive, PDFmyURL.com








stubborn, bossy (Dominance)


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


Lively, animated, spontaneous, enthusiastic, happy go



lucky, cheerful, expressive, impulsive (Surgency)



Expedient, nonconforming, disregards rules, self indulgent (Low Super Ego Strength )

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



Socially bold, venturesome, thick skinned, uninhibited (Parmia)

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


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

Sensitive, aesthetic, sentimental, tender minded, intuitive,


refined (Premsia)

Trusting, unsuspecting, accepting, unconditional, easy (Alaxia)


Vigilant, suspicious, skeptical, distrustful, oppositional



Grounded, practical, prosaic, solution oriented, steady, conventional (Praxernia)


Abstract, imaginative, absent minded, impractical,


absorbed in ideas (Autia)

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



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


astute, diplomatic (Shrewdness)

Self-Assured, unworried, complacent, secure, free of guilt, confident, self satisfied (Untroubled)

Apprehensive, self doubting, worried, guilt prone,


insecure, worrying, self blaming (Guilt Proneness)


Traditional, attached to familiar, conservative, respecting traditional ideas (Conservatism)

Open to change, experimental, liberal, analytical, critical, free thinking, flexibility (Radicalism)


Group-oriented, affiliative, a joiner and follower dependent (Group Adherence)


Self-reliant, solitary, resourceful, individualistic, self- sufficient (Self-Sufficiency )


Tolerates disorder, unexacting, flexible, undisciplined, lax, self-conflict, impulsive, careless of social rules, uncontrolled (Low Integration)

Perfectionistic, organized, compulsive, self-disciplined, socially precise, exacting will power, control, self- sentimental (High Self-Concept Control )


Relaxed, placid, tranquil, torpid, patient, composed low drive (Low Ergic Tension)

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

Factor Model (Adapted From Conn & Rieke, 1994). Relationship to the Big Five   [ edit

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-analyzing 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 hypothesized that:


Those individual differences that are most salient and socially relevant in people’s 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.

adjectives which they considered to describe observable and relatively permanent traits. PDFmyURL.com

In 1946 Raymond Cattell used the emerging technology of computers to analyse the Allport-Odbert list. He organized 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 Cattell’s work and suggested that five factors would be sufficient.

See also



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 Los Angeles, CA: Sage.

(pp. 135–178).

Conn, S.R., & Rieke, M.L. (1994). The 16PF Fifth Edition technical manual. Champaign, IL: Institute for Personality and Ability Testing, Inc.

Russell, M.T., & Karol, D. (2002). 16PF Fifth Edition administrator’s manual


1. ^ Cattell, R.B. (1946). The description and measurement of personality. New York: World Book.

2. ^ Cattell, R.B. (1957). Personality and motivation structure and measurement. New York: World Book.

3. ^ Cattell, R.B. (1973). ‘’Personality and mood by questionnaire.’’ San Francisco: Jossey-Bass.

4. ^ Cattell, H.E.P. & Mead,A.D. (2008). The 16PF Questionnaire. In G.J. Boyle, G. Matthews, & D.H. Saklofske (Eds), The Sage Handbook of Personality Theory and Testing: Vol. 2, Personality Measurement and Testing., Los Angeles, CA: Sage Publications.

5. ^ Cattell, H.E.P. (1996). The original big-five:A historical perspective. ‘’European Review of Psychology, 46’’(1), 5-14.


6. ^ Costa, P.T., Jr., McCrae, R.R. (1985). The NEO Personality Inventory Manual. Odessa, FL: Psychological Assessment Resources.

Further reading

and Applications (Sixth ed.). Boston: Allyn & Bacon. ISBN 978-0- 205-78214-7 . Lay summary (7 November
(Sixth ed.). Boston: Allyn & Bacon. ISBN 978-0- 205-78214-7 . Lay summary (7 November 2010). PDFmyURL.com
Tucker, William H. (2009). The Cattell Controversy: Race, Science, and Ideology . University of Illinois
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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