Fifteen Factor Questionnaire


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Note: This test review was published by BPS on 21st April 2005

Description of the Test

The 15FQ is modelled on Raymond Cattell’s 16PF and has been designed to increase the reliability of the 16PF scales and to update the scale items. The authors have set out to produce a short and reliable instrument that measures the broad personality constructs of the 16PF. The 15 scales clearly bear a close conceptual resemblance to the 15 personality scales in the 16PF (excluding Cattell’s Factor B – Intelligence). Like the 16PF, on which it is modelled, the various scales of the 15FQ are intercorrelated with one another and reduce to five second-order factors reflecting differences in extroversion, anxiety, tough mindedness, independence, and control. There are 191 items, with the number of items per scale ranging from 10 to 14. The instrument has been designed in the UK specifically for use in industrial and organisational settings, particularly in the context of selection decisions. Administration is by means of a reusable questionnaire booklet in conjunction with an answer sheet or, alternatively, via computer, using the Genesys software package designed and distributed by the test publisher for administering, scoring, norming and assisting with the interpretation of psychometric tests. Regardless of which mode of administration is adopted, scoring, norming and interpretation require the use of the software system, which produces a report based on the candidate’s profile. The B (Reasoning) factor uses conventional multiple-choice Reasoning test items, with three choices. These are grouped at the end of the question booklet, so they can be omitted if desired. The 16PF5 has a separate reuseable question book, and a self-scoring answer sheet with a carbon insert. The authors say that the 16PF5 continues to measure the same 16 primary personality factors as version 4. They are bipolar measures that are identified by an alphabetical system and a factor title, which reflects the high end of each scale. These are: A Warmth M Abstractedness B Reasoning N Privateness C Emotional Stability O Apprehension E Dominance Q1 Openness to Change F Liveliness Q2 Self-Reliance G Rule-Consciousness Q3 Perfectionism H Social Boldness Q4 Tension I Sensitivity IM Impression Management L Vigilance Second-order or global factors have been derived from factor analysis of the 16 primary factors. The global factor title describes the high end of a scale. The five global factors are: Extraversion, Anxiety, Tough-Mindedness, Independence and Self-Control. Two additional response style measures are available, an Infrequency Scale which indicates whether the candidate answered a relatively large number of items in a way different from most people and an Acquiescence scale which measures the tendency to answer ‘true’ to an item regardless of its content. Both of these scales as reported in the administrator’s manual were devised from use of the US edition with US samples.

Authors: R. Budd

Test Publisher: Psytech International Ltd.