16 PF Test: Your Guide to the 16 Personality Factors Assessment

by Sarah Duncan

 

Have you ever wanted to gain a better understanding of your own personality from an unbiased source?

This is where the 16 PF test comes into play! The 16 PF (or 16 Personality Factors) assessment is based on the research of psychologist Raymond Cattell, who proposed 16 distinct personality types that can explain the way that personalities differ between individuals.

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If you want to learn a bit more about the 16 PF test, then stick around because we’ll be covering everything you need to know in this personality assessment guide such as:

  • Understanding the 16 PF test
  • Key traits assessed
  • Preparation tips and strategies
  • Interpreting test results.

Let’s go ahead and jump right into it!

Understanding the 16 PF Test

The story of the 16 PF test begins with psychologist Gordon Allport, who studied different personality types found in humans.

Allport searched the English language for words that could be used to describe personalities and came up with over 4,000.

In order to make these personality types a bit more useful, psychologist Raymond Cattell analyzed this list and further narrowed it down to 171 characteristics by cutting out terms that were uncommon or irrelevant.

From here, Cattell used factor analysis to find common links between the remaining personality characteristics. By doing so, he was able to narrow down the list even further to 16 distinct personality types.

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Key Traits Assessed in the 16 PF Test

So, what personality traits does the 16 PF test measure? The key personality traits that form the 16 PF test are as follows:

  • Abstractedness: Imaginative or practical
  • Apprehension: Anxious or confident
  • Dominance: Forceful or submissive
  • Emotional stability: Calm or tense
  • Liveliness: Spontaneous or restrained
  • Openness to change: Flexible or set in routine
  • Perfectionism: Controlled or undisciplined
  • Privateness: Discreet or open
  • Reasoning: Abstract or concrete
  • Rule-consciousness: Conforming or non-conforming
  • Self-reliance: Independent or reliant on others
  • Sensitivity: Emotional or tough-minded
  • Social boldness: Uninhibited or shy
  • Tension: Inpatient or relaxed
  • Vigilance: Suspicious or trusting
  • Warmth: Outgoing or reserved

While you may see these personality traits described slightly differently depending on where you look, they are the 16 traits that compile the standard version of the 16 PF test.

Preparation Tips for the 16 PF Test

Looking for tips when it comes to 16 PF test preparation?

Don’t worry –  we’ve got you covered! There are a few ways that you can prepare yourself to take the 16 PF test.

For one, you can familiarize yourself with the types of questions that will be presented to you during the test as well as the traits being measured.

There are many sources online that will help you get an idea of what types of questions will be on this test.

By far the most important thing to keep in mind as you prepare for this test is honesty!

In order to get an accurate result, you need to be completely honest while taking the test.

Often, when people are aware that others are going to view what answers they have selected, they tend to change them to please this hypothetical audience.

Practice answering questions with complete honesty as if you are the only person who is ever going to know which answers you select.

Many people may even be so conscious of others that they don’t even know their entirely truthful answers to these questions.

One great exercise is to select one or two of the most thought-provoking questions and have a moment of personal reflection to discover your truthful thoughts.

This will help you to understand yourself better and answer the test questions more honestly.

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Test-Taking Strategies

Often when a test is mentioned, the initial reaction is panic and stress. With the 16 PF test, there is no reason to be stressed.

However, that doesn’t mean that your brain is immediately going to be convinced of this. This is where 16 PF test strategies can be a huge help.

Time management and remaining calm can make a huge difference while taking this test.

Do not rush through all of the questions, giving them half-hearted answers because you are worried about time constraints.

On the other hand, do not linger on a particularly difficult question too long and stress yourself out trying to think of the most honest answer. Remain focused and maintain a good pace as you work through the test.

Practicing beforehand is a great way to improve your results on the 16 PF test. JobTestPrep‘s tailored simulations and feedback reports can greatly improve your experience when the time comes to take your 16 PF assessment.

Sample Questions and Answers

To answer the questions in the 16 PF test, you will read the statement and then select one of three options.

These options are ‘Agree’, ‘Disagree’, or ‘I don’t know’. The subject of the questions will vary and each one is intended to uncover more information about your specific personality.

Some hypothetical examples of some questions that you can expect to see on the 16 PF test are:

  • ‘I frequently initiate conversations with strangers in public.’
  • ‘A night at home alone is more appealing to me than a large party.’
  • ‘When completing a task or project, I will not rest until I deem it completely perfect.’
  • ‘I find myself frequently taking leadership roles in groups when the opportunity arises.’
  • ‘I get easily bored when I am not around other people.’

Keep in mind that these are not exact questions that can be found on a 16 PF test, but rather fabricated statements that closely follow the types of questions that are typically found on the test.

Utilizing the 16 PF Test Results

So, what is the point of taking a 16 PF test? What influence can this have in the long term, if any?

The answer may surprise you.

Your personal 16 PF test results can have many uses in your daily life. This is something that is often overlooked by many people but can be a huge advantage to you when it comes to both personal and professional development.

Understanding your specific personality type can help you better understand the way that your brain functions. In turn, this can help you to discover more about yourself and your capabilities.

For example: when it comes to career planning, knowing that you have an introverted personality that is highly imaginative may help you decide between a high-pressure role that requires a lot of public speaking and social interaction and instead drive you toward a creative industry.

It is important to not let your personality test results entirely limit or confine you, but instead deepen your understanding of yourself and what scenarios, fields, and roles you flourish in.

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Final Thoughts

At the end of the day, the 16 Personality Factors assessment can have a huge range of benefits in your personal and professional life.

Understanding your unique personality type can do wonders when it comes to uncovering the way that your brain works, which positional and roles you may be best suited to, and finding specific tips that can help you navigate the world with your personality type.

The most important thing to keep in mind when taking the 16 PF test is to be as honest as possible.

Carefully considering each question and selecting the answer that you believe to be entirely truthful is going to get you the most accurate and beneficial results.