Validation of existence of secondorder factors in Cattell's 16PF Personality Inventory


  • Alija Selimović Department of Pedagogy – Psychology, Faculty of Philosophy University of Tuzla, Bosnia and Herzegovina
  • Ljubica Tomić Selimović Department of Pedagogy – Psychology, Faculty of Philosophy University of Tuzla, Bosnia and Herzegovina
  • Mujo Hasković Faculty of Criminal Justice and Security, University of Sarajevo, Bosnia and Herzegovina



Cattell's 16PF, second-order factors, evaluation, factor analysis


According to the number of published research studies, Cattell's 16PF Inventory is the most commonly used tool for exploration of 'normal' personality ever. Besides confirmed cross-cultural validation and standardization on a very large number of respondents, from the early start this inventory was followed with a controversy regarding its factorial structure, especially its second-order factors. The ambiguity among studies that examined the 16PF leads us to the problem of this research which is evaluation of general factors of the 16PF personality inventory-5th edition. The main goal of this research is to explore the factorial structure of the second-order factors congruent with Cattell’s hypothesis. The research was conducted on a sample of students from Tuzla and Sarajevo (N = 512, average age M = 21.74; SD = 3.72). The 16PF showed relatively modest psychometric properties on first-order factors level. Reliability coefficients varied between α = .47 and α = .73. Only H and Q2 factors have satisfactory reliability. The second-order factor analysis, using promax rotation, extracted 4 factors which accounted for 54% of variance. The first factor, accounting for about 20% of variance, could be identified as Anxiety. The second factor, accounting for about 13% of variance, conditionally corresponds to Self-Control factor. The third factor accounts for about 11% of variance and can be conditionally designated as Extroversion. The fourth factor accounts for 10% of variance and is most similar to Cattell’s factor of Independence. Cattell’s fifth factor, Tough- Mindedness, was not confirmed. We can conclude that the 16PF in general has very poor psychometric properties, and that the factorial structure proposed by the authors was not entirely confirmed.


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How to Cite

Selimović, A., Tomić Selimović, L., & Hasković, M. (2012). Validation of existence of secondorder factors in Cattell’s 16PF Personality Inventory. Primenjena Psihologija, 5(4), 319–334.