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16 Personality Factor


An Analysis of the 16 Personality Factor (5th ed.) Questionnaire

Lisa K. Samuel Ph.D. Candidate, Health Psychology

16 Personality Factor Abstract This research paper describes the Sixteen Personality Factor Questionnaire 5th Edition (16PF) and its development from the 1930s to the latest version standardized in 2000. The standardization of the test,reliability, and validity are described as well as popular uses of the test for psychological purposes. The 16PF is compared and critiqued against popular tests and theories such as the Revised NEO Personality Inventory (NEO PI-R), Rorschach, Minnesota Multiphasic Personality Inventory (MMPI), and the Holland Types as well as exploring ethical and legal implications and applicability in research in thehealth psychology specialization.


16 Personality Factor An Analysis of the 16 Personality Factor (5th ed.) Questionnaire Psychological tests have been used for a variety of purposes ranging from


measures of intelligence, psychopathology, to personality. Personality tests and measures often look to understand the factors, or traits, that explain human behavior. Psychologists are ofteninterested in understanding if these traits result in predictable behavior or they look to further research in understanding the manners in which a person acts, thinks, or feels that results in his or her uniqueness (Cattell, 1956). Cattell, R. B., Cattell, A. K., Cattell, H. E., Russell, and Karol (1994) explained that the 16 Personality Factor 5th Edition (16PF) test is a well known personalitytest used to measure normal personalities and it has been extensively researched in a variety of different applications, settings, and is available in over 25 languages. The 16PF test is administered in the form of a questionnaire with three possible answers for each question and it can be taken in a pen and paper format or electronically if desired. This test has 16 personality factors that takea bottom up approach to describing five large categories of personality which are referred to as the Big Five (Cattell, Cattell, Cattell, Russel, & Karol, 1994). Description and History The founder of the 16PF test was Raymond Cattell who came from a scientific background and held master’s degrees in physical sciences from University of London (Noller, Law, & Comrey, 1987). The significanthistorical milestones associated with the development of the 16PF Questionnaire started in the 1930s with the development of a factor analysis method of studying human behavior lead by Cattell and Spearman in which Cattell furthered into personality structure research. Cattell started out designing

16 Personality Factor the 16PF in the 1940s with a belief in the concepts of a person having many wideranges of personalities including personality, ability, and motivations and that these human characteristics could be found in personality roles, states, verbal or nonverbal behaviors, abilities, interests, thoughts, and actions (Noller, Law, & Comrey, 1987). Cattell began the process of collecting and categorizing data using three sources of information which were L-data (life record and lifeobservation data), Q-data (questionnaire data and personal self-descriptive data), and T-data (objective measurement of behavior often collected in laboratory settings, experimental situations, or projective tests) (Cattell,


1956). Cattell (1956) gathered information from this research to create the primary traits of his test which were rated and described from a low range to a high range ofoccurrence. The first publication of the 16PF test was in 1949 in the United States and then in 1952 in Great Britain. It has undergone four revisions dated in 1956, 1962, and 1968, with the Fifth Edition published in 1993 (Schuerger, 1994). Additionally, the test has been standardized in 2000 with a population of over 10,000 people. The latest version of the 16 primary traits are warmth (A),...