19 Traits Theories II: Raymond Cattell & the rise of factor analysis Flashcards Preview

2014 Personality and Intelligence > 19 Traits Theories II: Raymond Cattell & the rise of factor analysis > Flashcards

Flashcards in 19 Traits Theories II: Raymond Cattell & the rise of factor analysis Deck (27):

Birth/death dates of Raymond Bernard Cattell?



Who did Cattell do his PhD with at King's College London?

Charles Spearman, inventor of factor analysis


What is the difference in psychometric and behaviourist approach to measurement?

Behaviourist – if I can see it, I can measure it and study it

Psychometric – if I can measure it, I can study it


What did Cattell's wife say when she left him?

"Our relationship has too many orthogonal dimensions"


What is Cattell's (operational) definition of personality?

The characteristics of the individual that allow predictions of how they will behave in a given situation


What is Cattell's (operational) definition of personality?

The relatively stable and long-lasting building blocks of personality that possess predictive value.


What is syntality?

The condition when group differences are exclusively a result of combined trait actions - i.e. differences in personality.


What is the difference between constitutional and environmental-mold traits?

Constitutional is 100% genetic; environmental-mold is 100% environmentally determined.


How did Cattell conceptualise the relationship between constitutional and environmental-mold traits?

On a spectrum. Each trait is on a spectrum between genetic and environmental.


Why did Cattell develop multivariate abstract variance analysis (MAVA)?

To determine the heritability of traits – effect of genes vs environment


What three types of traits did Cattell identify?

1. Ability traits
2. Temperament traits
3. Dynamic traits


What are ability traits?

Ability traits relate to how we deal with specific situations and how well we reach our goals (determine success/failure). e.g. intelligence or talents


What are temperament traits?

Temperament traits are the styles we adopt when pursuing our goals. Highly heritable. e.g. easygoing, anxious. [this is a very idiosyncratic view of temperament]


What are dynamic traits

Dynamic traits are the personality elements that guide our motivation and that change across lifetime. e.g. ambitious, competitive, cooperative, altruistic.


What are the three levels of dynamic traits?

1. Attitudes: constructs that express our particular interests in people or objects in specific situations. – Surface level.

2. Sentiments (metaergs): complex (deeper) aggregates of attitudes (e.g. interests, values, patriotism, religiosity). – Deep level

3. Ergs: innate drives (related to instincts): of motives that cause us to attend to some stimuli more readily than others (e.g. parental care, curiosity, fear, hunger, pride). – Deepest level


What is the dynamic lattice?

The organised complexity and interrelation of dynamic traits.


How do ergs generate sentiments?

It's a dynamic system, several ergs create several sentiments, which creates several attitudes (a process called subsidiation).


What are surface traits?

Surface traits possess phenotypically observable/directly measurable expressions.
- relate to overt behaviours (e.g. worry, fear)
- cluster together and thus have high intercorrelations
- first order traits


What are source traits?

Source traits are what are usually called dimensions today. There are 16 of them.
- consist of clusters of surface traits e.g. Apprehension: can observe doubt, worry, guilt, self-blame


What is Cattel's specification equation and what does it predict?

P = S1T1 + S2T2 + S3T3... etc.

P = performance in given situation
T = source traits involved in situations
S = situational indexes (roles) unique to each source trait in this situation

Equation predicts individual behaviour in a given situation.


What is different about Cattell's developmental theory?

It goes from birth to death. We change across the lifespan.


What is Galton's Lexical Hypothesis?

If individual differences (personality) are important, they should be encoded in language through trait descriptors. [Otherwise, if it's not in language, how can it be important for humankind?]


What are the linguistic indicators of importance of a trait?

1. Frequency of word use – importance of trait
2. Number of synonyms – importance of difference (e.g., in intensity of trait)
3. Cross-cultural presence – universality of traits


What did Cattell do with Allport's 4508 trait descriptors?

Deleted synonyms, got to 171.

Experts rated psychological similarity of 171 traits and got 36 surface traits (dimensions)

Added clinical traits (from medical manuals) and got to 46 surface traits.


How many surface traits are there, selon Cattell?



What three kinds of data did Cattell recommend for comprehensive sampling, to capture the full range of personality dimensions?

L-data - life record data - behavioural records collected primarily from peer-ratings (e.g. school records)

Q-data - questionnaire data – psychometric self-report assessment

T-data - test data - objective tests in standardised conditions (e.g. physiological tests)


How many personality factors were identified by Cattell?

16 (measured by the 16PF questionnaire)

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