I. Overview of Factor Analytic Theory
Raymond Cattell and Hans Eysenck have each used factor analysis to identify
traits (that is, relatively permanent dispositions of people). Cattell has identified
a large number of personality traits, whereas Eysenck has extracted only three
II. Biography of Raymond B. Cattell
Raymond B. Cattell was born in England in 1905, educated at the University of
London, but spent most of his professional career in the United States. He held
positions at Columbia University, Clark University, Harvard University, and
the University of Illinois, where he spent most of his active career. During
the last 20 years of his life, he was associated with the Hawaii School of Professional
Psychology. He died in 1998, a few weeks short of his 93rd birthday.
III. Basics of Factor Analysis
Factor analysis is a mathematical procedure for reducing a large number of scores
to a few more general variables or factors. Correlations of the original, specific
scores with the factors are called factor loadings. Traits generated through
factor analysis may be either unipolar (scaled from zero to some large amount)
or bipolar (having two opposing poles, such as introversion and extraversion).
For factors to have psychological meaning, the analyst must rotate the axes
on which the scores are plotted. Eysenck used an orthogonal rotation whereas
Cattell favored an oblique rotation. The oblique rotation procedure ordinarily
results in more traits than the orthogonal method.
IV. Introduction to Cattell's Trait Theory
Cattell used an inductive approach to identify traits; that is, he began with
a large body of data that he collected with no preconceived hypothesis or theory.
A. P Technique
Cattell's P technique is a correlational procedure that uses measures collected
from one person on many different occasions and is his attempt to measure individual
or unique, rather than common, traits. Cattell also used the dR (differential
R) technique, which correlates the scores of a large number of people on many
variables obtained at two different occasions. By combining these two techniques,
Cattell has measured both states (temporary conditions within an individual)
and traits (relatively permanent dispositions of an individual).
B. Media of Observation
Cattell used three different sources of data that enter the correlation matrix:
(1) L data, or a person's life record that comes from observations made by
others; (2) Q data, which are based on questionnaires; and (3) T data, or information
obtained from objective tests.
V. Source Traits
Source traits refer to the underlying factor or factors responsible for the
intercorrelation among surface traits. They can be distinguished from trait
indicators, or surface traits.
VI. Personality Traits
Personality traits include both common traits (shared by many people) and unique
traits (peculiar to one individual). Personality traits can also be classified
into temperament, motivation (dynamic), and ability.
A. Temperament Traits
Temperament traits are concerned with how a person behaves. Of the 35 primary
or first-order traits Cattell has identified, all but one (intelligence) is
basically a temperament trait. Of the 23 normal traits, 16 were obtained through
Q media and compose Cattell's famous 16 PF scale. The additional seven factors
that make up the 23 normal traits were originally identified only through L
data. Cattell believed that pathological people have the same 23 normal traits
as other people, but, in addition, they exhibit one or more of 12 abnormal traits.
Also, a person's pathology may simply be due to a normal trait that is carried
B. Second-Order Traits
The 35 primary source traits tend to cluster together, forming eight clearly
identifiable second-order traits. The two strongest of the second-order traits
might be called extraversion/introversion and anxiety.
VII. Dynamic Traits
In addition to temperament traits, Cattell recognized motivational or dynamic
traits, which include attitudes, ergs, and sems.
An attitude refers to a specific course of action, or desire to act, in response
to a given situation. Motivation is usually quite complex, so that a network
of motives, or dynamic lattice, is ordinarily involved with an attitude. In
addition, a subsidiation chain, or a complex set of subgoals, underlies motivation.
Ergs are innate drives or motives, such as sex, hunger, loneliness, pity, fear,
curiosity, pride, sensuousness, anger, and greed that humans share with other
Sems are learned or acquired dynamic traits that can satisfy several ergs at
the same time. The self-sentiment is the most important sem in that it integrates
the other sems.
D. The Dynamic Lattice
The dynamic lattice is a complex network of attitudes, ergs, and sems underlying
a person's motivational structure.
VIII. Genetic Basis of Traits
Cattell and his colleagues provided estimates of heritability of the various
source traits. Heritability is an estimate of the extent to which the variance
of a given trait is due to heredity. Cattell has found relatively high heritability
values for both fluid intelligence (the ability to adapt to new material) and
crystallized intelligence (which depends on prior learning), suggesting that
intelligence is due more to heredity than to environment.
IX. Introduction to Eysenck's Factor Theory
Compared to Cattell, Eysenck (1) was more likely to theorize before collecting
and factor analyzing data; (2) extracted fewer factors; and (3) used a wider
variety of approaches to gather data.
X. Biography of Hans J. Eysenck
Hans J. Eysenck was born in Berlin in 1916, but as a teenager, he moved to England
to escape Nazi tyranny and made London his home for more than 60 years. Eysenck
was trained in the psychometrically oriented psychology department of the University
of London, from which he received a bachelor's degree in 1938 and a Ph.D. in
1940. Eysenck was perhaps the most prolific writer of any psychologist in the
world, and his books and articles often caused world-wide controversy. He died
in September of 1997.
XI. Measuring Personality
Eysenck believed that genetic factors were far more important than environmental
ones in shaping personality and that personal traits could be measured by standardized
A. Criteria for Identifying Factors
Eysenck insisted that personality factors must (1) be based on strong psychometric
evidence, (2) must possess heritability and fit an acceptable genetic model,
(3) make sense theoretically, and (4) possess social relevance.
B. Hierarchy of Measures
Eysenck recognized a four-level hierarchy of behavior organization: (1) specific
acts or cognitions; (2) habitual acts or cognitions; (3) traits, or personal
dispositions; and (4) types or superfactors.
XII. Dimensions of Personality
Eysenck's methods of measuring personality limited the number of personality
types to a relatively small number. Although many traits exist, Eysenck identified
only three major types.
A. What Are the Major Personality Factors?
Eysenck's theory revolves around only three general bipolar types: extraversion/introversion,
neuroticism/stability, and psychoticism/superego function. All three have a
strong genetic component. Extraverts are characterized by sociability, impulsiveness,
jocularity, liveliness, optimism, and quick-wittedness, whereas introverts are
quiet, passive, unsociable, careful, reserved, thoughtful, pessimistic, peaceful,
sober, and controlled. Eysenck, however, believes that the principal differences
between extraverts and introverts is one of cortical arousal level. Neurotic
traits include anxiety, hysteria, and obsessive compulsive disorders. Both normal
and abnormal individuals may score high on the neuroticism scale
of the Eysenck's various personality inventories. People who score high on the
psychoticism scale are egocentric, cold, nonconforming, aggressive, impulsive,
hostile, suspicious, and antisocial. Men tend to score higher than women
B. Measuring Superfactors
Eysenck and his colleagues developed four personality inventories to measure
superfactors, or types. The two most frequently used by current researchers
are the Eysenck Personality Inventory (which measures only E and N) and the
Eysenck Personality Questionnaire (which also measures P).
C. Biological Bases of Personality
Eysenck believed that P, E, and N all have a powerful biological component,
and he cited as evidence the existence of these three types in a wide variety
of nations and languages.
D. Personality and Behavior
Eysenck argued that different combinations of P, E and N relate to a large number
of behaviors and processes, such as academic performance, creativity, and antisocial
behavior. He cautioned that psychologists can be misled if they do not consider
the various combinations of personality dimensions.
E. Personality and Disease
For many years, Eysenck researched the relationship between personality factors
and disease. He teamed with Ronald Grossarth-Maticek to study the connection
between characteristics and both cancer and cardiovascular disease and found
that people with a helpless/hopeless attitude were more likely to die from cancer,
whereas people who reacted to frustration with anger and emotional arousal were
much more likely to die from cardiovascular disease.
XIII. Related Research
The theories of both Cattell and Eysenck have been highly productive in terms
of research, due in part to Cattell's 16 PF questionnaire and Eysenck's various
personality inventories. Some of this research has looked at personality factors
and the creativity of scientists and artists. In addition, some of Eysenck's
research attempted to show a biological basis of personality.
A. Personalities of Creative Scientists and Artists
Early research using the 16 PF found that creative scientists, compared with
either the general population or less creative scientists, were more intelligent,
outgoing, adventurous, sensitive, self-sufficient, dominant, and driven. Other
research found that female scientists, compared to other women, were more dominant,
confident, intelligent, radical, and adventurous. Research on the personality
of artists found that writers and artists were more intelligent, dominant, adventurous,
emotionally sensitive, radical, and self-sufficient than other people. Later
research found that creative artists scored high on Eysenck's neuroticism and
psychoticism scales, indicating that they were more anxious, sensitive, obsessive,
impulsive, hostile, and willing to take risks than other people.
B. Biology and Personality
If personality has a strong biological foundation, then researchers should find
very similar personality types in various cultures around the world. Studies
in 24 countries found a high degree of similarity among these different cultures.
Eysenck's later work investigated personality factors across 35 European, Asian,
African, and American cultures and found that personality factors are quite
universal, thus supporting the biological nature of personality.
XIV. Critique of Trait and Factor Theories
Cattell and Eysenck's theories rate high on parsimony, on their ability to generate
research, and on their usefulness in organizing data; they are about average
on falsifiability, usefulness to the practitioner, and internal consistency.
XV. Concept of Humanity
Cattell and Eysenck believe that human personality is largely the product of
genetics and not the environment. Thus, both are rated very high on biological
influences and very low on social factors. In addition, both rate about average
on conscious versus unconscious influences and high on the uniqueness of individuals.
The concepts of free choice, optimism versus pessimism, and causality versus
teleology do not apply to Cattell and Eysenck.