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Title: A re-examination and attempted replication of the structure of Cattell's Sixteen Personality Factor Questionnaire
Author: Blinkhorn, S. F.
ISNI:       0000 0001 3467 9793
Awarding Body: Institute of Education, University of London
Current Institution: University College London (University of London)
Date of Award: 1979
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Cattell's Sixteen Personality Factor Questionnaire is amongst the most widely used of psychometric measures of personality, yet little support for its structure is to be found in the critical literature. Consideration of what might constitute a decisive analysis leads to the view that previous studies have been deficient in concentrating unduly on technical criteria in the conduct of factor analysis to the exclusion of an analysis of psychometric and statistical features which could give rise to observed results. Using a large sample of undergraduate subjects, both within-scale and between scale analyses were performed. The claim that the scales of the questionnaire are heterogeneous, accepted by Cattell, is shown to be invalid in statistical terms, with a few exceptions. Evidence for a limited but substantial degree of support for the structure proposed by Cattell is adduced from both traditional forms of factor analysis and the newer technique of structural analysis of covariance matrices. In the process doubt is cast on the relevance of certain technical disputes regarding the conduct of factor analysis, and the value of Cronbach's coefficient alpha as an index of psychometric adequacy is supported. The importance of reliability of variables in factor analysis is emphasised, and attention is drawn to the problems associated with the use of heterogeneous samples and ad libitum selection of variables. Consideration of the results of the analyses suggests a reinterpretation of Cattell's scales in terms of homogeneity of content and possibly a facet analysis of the questionnaire synthesising a variety of viewpoints often presented as conflicting.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available