Raymond Cattell Trait Theory of Personality

Several ideas have been created to explain how personality develops and how it affects conduct as a result of people’s long-standing quest to comprehend personality. Psychotherapist Raymond Cattell put forward one such notion. To characterize and understand the unique distinctions between people’s personalities, he developed a taxonomy of 16 distinctive personality characteristics.

The Sixteen Personality Factor Questionnaire (16PF), which is frequently used nowadays for career advice in schools, contains Cattell’s personality traits.

About Raymond Cattell

Cattell, who was born in 1905, lived to see the creation of several 20th-century innovations, including electricity, telephones, automobiles, and aircraft. He was motivated to adapt the methodological approaches used to achieve these breakthroughs to the individual mind and emotions because he was impressed by these advancements.

He thought that personality was more than just an elusive, unevidenced puzzle. It was a subject that could be structured and explored. Human behaviors and actions might be anticipated through scientific analysis depending on fundamental personality factors.

Charles Spearman, a psychologist noted for his groundbreaking work in statistics, collaborated with Cattell. Eventually, Cattell did establish his own personality taxonomy using Spearman’s component analytical techniques.

Surface and Source Traits

Surface traits, also known as central traits, are the outward manifestations of personality, such as supportiveness, friendliness, compassion, etc. After extensive research, he discovered several features that occasionally showed up and suggested more fundamental, more generic personality variables or source traits.

The source attributes make up the fundamental framework of a personality. They are the defining characteristics of a person’s personality that connect the outward characteristics.

Even just a small number of them can accurately anticipate a person’s conduct. We all possess the basic attributes, such as intellect, but not to the same degree; some people possess it to a greater or lesser extent. Cattell asserts that there are 23 fundamental features in typical individuals, 16 of which have been thoroughly investigated. He has created a 16 Personality Questionnaire, or 16 PF Test.

The 16 Personality Traits

As per Cattell, “here is a continuum of personality traits. In other words, each person contains all of these 16 traits to a certain degree, but they might be high in some traits and low in others. “

Allport’s list was examined by Raymond Cattell, who reduced it to 171 traits mostly by removing words that were repetitive or unusual. He then determined which attributes are connected to one another using a statistical method called factor analysis. He was able to reduce his collection to 16 important personality traits using this technique.

  1.  Abstractedness: Imaginative versus Practical
  2. Apprehension: Worried versus confident
  3. Dominance: Forceful versus submissive
  4. Emotional stability: calm versus high-strung
  5. Liveliness: Spontaneous versus restrained
  6. Openness to change: Flexible versus attached to the familiar
  7. Perfectionism: controlled versus undisciplined
  8. Privateness: Discreet versus open
  9. Reasoning: Abstract versus Concrete
  10. Rule-consciousness: Conforming versus non-conforming
  11. Self-reliance: Self-sufficient versus dependent
  12. Sensitivity: Tender-hearted versus tough-minded
  13. Social boldness: Uninhibited versus shy
  14. Tension: Inpatient versus Relaxed
  15. Vigilance: Suspicious versus trusting
  16. Warmth: Outgoing versus reserved

The exam consists of three separate forced-choice inquiries, with the participant having to select one of them. The spectrum of personality traits is then used to symbolize them, and the person’s rating lies midway between the greatest and lowest aspects.