Thursday, August 14, 2014

16 Personality Factor Questionnaire

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The Sixteen Personality Factor Questionnaire (or 16PF),[1] is a multiple-choice personality questionnaire which was developed over several decades of research byRaymond B. Cattell, Maurice Tatsuoka and Herbert Eber. Beginning in the 1940s, Cattell used the new techniques of factor analysis (based on the correlation coefficient) in an attempt to try to discover and measure the source traits of human personality (Cattell, 1946)(Nevid, 2009).[2][3]
The questionnaire measures the 16 primary traits, and the Big Five secondary traits,[4][5] which have become popularized by other authors in recent years. From early in his research, Cattell found that the structure of personality was multi-level and hierarchical, with a structure of interdependent primary and secondary level traits (Cattell, 1946, 1957).[2][6] The sixteen primary factors were a result of factor-analyzing hundreds of measures of everyday behaviors to find the fundamental traits behind them. Then, they discovered the five global (or second-order) factors by factor-analyzing the sixteen primary traits themselves, to find the basic, organizing forces among the sixteen basic traits. Thus, the 16PF test gives scores on both the five second-order global traits which provide an overview of personality at a broader, conceptual level, as well as on the more-numerous and precise primary traits, which give a picture of the richness and complexity of each unique personality. A listing of these traits can be found in the article on the 16 Personality Factor Model. Cattell also found that there was a third-order level of personality organization that contained just two overarching, top-level factors (Cattell, 1957),[6][7] but little time has been spent on defining this most abstract level of personality organization.
The test is an integral part of Cattell's comprehensive theory of individual differences. The test has also been translated into over 20 languages and dialects,[8] and is widely used internationally. Reports of widespread use should be balanced with a concern for avoiding overinterpretation of personality questionnaire results, particularly in making major judgments of a tested person such as hiring.
Cattell and his co-workers also developed parallel personality questionnaires to measure traits in other age-ranges, such as the Adolescent Personality Questionnaire for ages 12 to 18 years.[9] A shorter version, the 16PF Select Questionnaire, was developed for personnel settings.[10] Cattell also developed non-verbal measures of ability, such as the three scales of the Culture-Fair Intelligence Test[11] as well as tests of motivation.
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Inspiring insight into the whole person

The 16PF questionnaire (16 Personality Factors) is a highly effective tool that reveals potential, confirms suitability and helps identify development needs. Unlike many personality assessments designed for use in business, the 16PF establishes a fully rounded picture of the whole individual.

The 16PF assessment: a vital roadmap for decision-makers

16pfThe 16PF assessment gives a complete picture by measuring personality in both the professional and personal spheres. Its accurate predictions of behaviour and potential provide businesses with an enlightened confidence that steers staff selection and individual development. This unique depth and breadth of insight, along with more than 60 years of research and application, has earned the 16PF international renown and respect.

16PF key features

  • Helps reduce risk when recruiting, developing key players or making major development investments
  • Reveals 16 personality characteristics structured around the ‘Big Five’ widely accepted global factors of personality
  • Inspires confidence: over 2,700 published research articles support the 16PF’s validity
  • Delivers objective, empirical measurement of personality traits that are known to accurately predict behaviour
  • Offers a range of comprehensive reports
  • Powers OPP’s bespoke job analysis and reporting service, enabling tailoring of outputs to your specific business needs 
  • Provides quick, convenient administration via online OPPassessment
  • Communicates to a wide audience – available in over 20 languages, each individually researched and validated

The Big Five model of personality

The 16PF assessment is based on the ‘Big Five’ model of personality. Developed by Raymond Cattell, it identifies five broad dimensions of personality – a widely accepted model that has influenced the development of many other trait-based assessments. Beneath these five global factors are the 16 primary factors, providing the detail necessary to predict behaviour and performance. With its strong research foundation, Cattell’s 16PF questionnaire provides practitioners with the confidence and credibility to make important people decisions.

A history of the 16PF® instrument

With 60 years of research and application behind it, the 16PF has become internationally respected, and comes from the statistician who helped identify the widely accepted Big Five personality characteristics.

Raymond Cattell and whole personality

Raymond CattellRaymond Cattell, PhD was a British chemist, statistician and psychologist with a fascination for human personality and behaviour. During a stint at Harvard in the 1940s, Cattell began what was to be many years of research into personality traits. Frustrated with personality theories that only seemed to describe separate aspects of personality, he set out to try to identify all of the traits that made up a person. He was influenced by the devastating effects of the First and Second World Wars, and hoped that if human nature could be better understood, it would bring mankind closer to solving global political and economic problems.

Boiling down the traits: factor analysis

In order to scientifically establish a formal framework for understanding personality, Cattell used a statistical technique known as factor analysis. He started out with a list of 4,500 adjectives that could describe people (taken from the English dictionary). He then completed a laborious process of grouping these adjectives into 171 ‘clusters’, which were used in a series of studies where people rated others on the traits. Over a period of several years, Cattell and his team of psychologists then used this data to boil down the set of traits to just 16. These 16 traits were the smallest number of factors believed to meaningfully describe observable behaviour.

Validation, research and application

Once he had created a personality inventory to measure these 16 traits, Cattell continued to research its effectiveness and refine the questions until 1978. During this period and beyond, five different editions of the questionnaire were published by the Institute of Personality and Ability Testing (IPAT), which was acquired by OPP in 2003. Since its publication, the 16PF has been authenticated by over 2,700 independent, peer-reviewed research articles, making it a highly reliable, accurate predictor of future behaviour and likely success.

The 16PF and the Big Five

Raymond Cattell was also an early contributor to the Big Five school of thought, and his research into personality helped to shape this theory, which is widely accepted today as a standard way of analysing personality. The Big Five theory proposes that all traits fall under five broad groupings, and these groupings have been found in several different psychometric personality questionnaires. The 16 traits measured by the 16PF questionnaire can also be grouped into five broad dimensions, known as the Global Factors, and these factors correlate strongly with the Big Five.
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What is it?
The sixteen personality factors or 16PF psychometric test assesses various primary personality traits in order to provide feedback about an individual’s disposition, traditionally used by psychologists in a clinical or research setting and more recently by recruitment consultants and prospective employers. Personality characteristics have been linked to job performance and satisfaction within occupational roles by a number of psychological studies, suggesting that not only will some individuals perform at a higher level in a specific employment; they are also more likely to gain greater satisfaction and fulfilment from a job that is suited to their character.
Similar to the basis of the big-five personality test, the 16PF aims to evaluate personality in terms of traits and individual qualities; however, these are assessed on a scale among a range of aspects, as opposed to being given a score of high to low. By focusing on the sixteen primary personality traits instead of condensing them into a smaller number of global personality factors, the 16PF offers a range of information regarding individual disposition, also making it ideal for personal development within an occupational setting.
In our test, the factors evaluated are rated “high” or “low” and then subdivided into a variety of descriptors; the candidate is then assigned to one of these subdivisions based upon the answers given throughout the questionnaire. For example, a low rating for “Warmth” would place the candidate within one of the subdivisions “Very Reserved” or “Fairly Reserved” whereas a high rating would allocate them either to “Fairly Warm” or “Very Warm”.
The traits evaluated are as follows:
  1. Warmth, which is considered to indicate friendliness towards others and willingness to participate.
  2. Reasoning, which is thought to be indicative of cognitive ability and intellect;
  3. Emotional Stability, which refers to the candidate’s ability to adapt while under stress and whether they are easily upset.
  4. Dominance, which ascertains to levels of aggression, assertiveness and co-operation.
  5. Liveliness, which tends to indicate whether the candidate is likely to be cheerful or expressive as opposed to introverted or serious.
  6. Rule-Consciousness, which generally conveys attitudes towards authority and likelihood of obedience.
  7. Social Boldness, which refers to whether an individual is likely to be timid or shy as opposed to being uninhibited or out-going.
  8. Sensitivity, which considers whether the candidate is compassionate and sympathetic to others or if they tend to be more objective.
  9. Vigilance, which specifies how trusting, accepting or suspicious the individual may be around others.
  10. Abstractedness, which can refer to being imaginative or solution orientated but at the higher level can also suggest being impractical.
  11. Privateness, which can indicate how forthright or non-disclosing an individual might be.
  12. Apprehension, which is descriptive of whether someone may be more self-assured or insecure.
  13. Openness to Change, which is regarded as flexibility and a liberal attitude as opposed to being attached to the familiar.
  14. Self-Reliance, which identifies how self-sufficient or group orientated an individual might be.
  15. Perfectionism, which refers to self-discipline and precision as opposed to impulsiveness.
  16. Tension, which conveys the likelihood of being time driven or impatient instead of being relaxed and patient.

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