16pf® Fifth Edition

16pf® Fifth Edition


Sixteen Personality Factor Questionnaire Fifth Edition Fifth Edition (16pf®) is an assessment of normal personality used in multiple settings.

Sixteen Personality Factor Questionnaire Fifth Edition Fifth Edition (16pf®) is an assessment of normal personality used in multiple settings.


Raymond B. Cattell, PhD, A. Karen Cattell, Heather E.P. Cattell, PhD


Assessment of normal personality used in multiple settings

Age Range:

Individuals 16 years and older

Reading Level:

5th Grade

Completion Time:

35–50 minutes (185 multiple-choice items, with an additional 26 multiple-choice items in the Couples'' Counseling Report)


Stratified random sampling reflecting 2000 U.S. Census; 10,261 adults


Tips on using this test in your telepractice

Publication Date:


Since its introduction more than 40 years ago, the 16pf instrument has been widely used for a variety of applications, including treatment planning and couples’ counseling and to provide support for vocational guidance, hiring and promotion recommendations. The 16pf Fifth Edition includes significant enhancements to the 16pf Fourth Edition that did not change the tests’ basic structure, such as:

  • Global Factors that combine related primary scales into global factors of personality
  • Updated language and simpler, shorter questions
  • Reduced administration time
  • Consistent response format
  • A normative sample that reflects contemporary U.S. Census statistics on sex, age and race

How to Use This Instrument

Psychologists and counselors can use the 16pf assessment to:

  • Provide information for general vocational guidance to help determine occupations for which the individual is best suited
  • Assist with personnel selection and career development through measurement of five primary management dimensions frequently identified to forecast management potential and style
  • Assist with clinical diagnosis, prognosis and therapy planning. The 16pf instrument helps provide clinicians with a normal-range measurement of anxiety, adjustment, and behavioral problems.
  • Help identify personality factors that may predict marital compatibility and satisfaction. Results also highlight existing or potential problem areas.
  • Help identify students with potential academic, emotional, and social problems.

Key Features

  • The 16pf assessment is easy to administer, requiring only 35 to 50 minutes to complete.
  • Five distinct report options give the 16pf test utility in a wide variety of settings.
  • Because the relationship between the test items and the traits measured by the 16pf instrument is not obvious, it is difficult for the test-taker to deliberately tailor responses to achieve a desired outcome.
  • The Couple’s Counseling Report includes an easy-to-understand narrative summary of results to share with the couple.


Bipolar Dimensions of Personality
Warmth (Reserved vs. Warm; Factor A)
Reasoning (Concrete vs. Abstract; Factor B)
Emotional Stability (Reactive vs. Emotionally Stable; Factor C)
Dominance (Deferential vs. Dominant; Factor E)
Liveliness (Serious vs. Lively; Factor F)
Rule-Consciousness (Expedient vs. Rule-Conscious; Factor G)
Social Boldness (Shy vs. Socially Bold; Factor H)
Sensitivity (Utilitarian vs. Sensitive; Factor I)
Vigilance (Trusting vs. Vigilant; Factor L)
Abstractedness (Grounded vs. Abstracted; Factor M)
Privateness (Forthright vs. Private; Factor N)
Apprehension (Self-Assured vs. Apprehensive; Factor O)
Openness to Change (Traditional vs. Open to Change; Factor Q1)
Self-Reliance (Group-Oriented vs. Self-Reliant; Factor Q2)
Perfectionism (Tolerates Disorder vs. Perfectionistic; Factor Q3)
Tension (Relaxed vs. Tense; Factor Q4)

Global Factors

Criterion Scores
Emotional Adjustment*
Social Adjustment*
Emotional Expressivity*
Emotional Sensitivity*
Emotional Control*
Social Expressivity*
Social Sensitivity*
Social Control*
leadership Potential*
Creative Potential*
Creative Achievement*
Dyadic Adjustment*

*Not included on all reports

Vocational Themes

*Not included on all reports

Validity Scales
Impression Management

Degree of Compatibility
Degree of Compatibility (DOC)*

*Not included on all reports

Couple’s Compatibility Score
Couple’s Compatibility (COM)*

*Not included on all reports

Leadership Scores
Leadership Style*

*Not included on all reports

Psychometric Information

A stratified random sampling that reflects the 2000 U.S. Census was used to create the normative sample, which consisted of 10,261 adults.

Q-global™ Web-based Administration, Scoring & Reporting, Q Local™ Software, Mail-in Scoring Service

Report Options

16pf Profile Report (Product Number 22517)
Covers the basic 16 personality scores.

View a sample 16pf Profile Report.

16pf Interpretive Report (Product Number 51406)
Covers the basic 16 personality scores. The report contains:

  • Information about characteristics that are relevant to personal and vocational counseling
  • A narrative profile of each Global Factor and its related primary factors
  • Brief interpretive statements about the particular Global Factor and any primary factors outside the average range of scores
  • Criterion-based dimensions and information about how the client’s personality relates to six vocational orientations

View a sample 16pf Interpretive Report.

16pf Management Potential Report (Product Number 51405)
Designed for use by industrial and organizational professionals to help support hiring and promotion recommendations. This report provides:

  • Information about an individual’s management style and potential for future career development
  • Descriptions of the 16 primary personality factors and five management dimensions that are critical to effective management according to recent human resource development research: leadership style, interaction with others, decision-making abilities, initiative, and personal adjustment.

View a sample 16pf Management Potential Report.

Couple’s Counseling Report (Product Number 51418)
Examines the self-reports of two individuals. This report provides:

  • 4–6 pages of easy-to-understand narrative to share with the couple that presents information about their relationship history and their current level of satisfaction.
  • Useful profiles and narrative sections designed for the professional, which provide a discussion of the couple’s respective personality organization, relational compatibility and adjustment, and potential sources of conflict or rapport.

View a sample Couple’s Counseling Report.

Karson Clinical Report (Product Number 51401)
Designed for use by psychologists, psychiatrists, and psychiatric social workers. This report provides:

  • Clinical information helpful for diagnostic support and treatment planning
  • 2-3 pages of narrative that give a complete oeverview of the patient’s basic areas of functioning, including emotional adjustment, interpersonal issues, self-control, and cognition and communication
  • A profile of the personality and clinical patterns of the patient
  • Recommendations for other areas where the patient may benefit from counseling

View a sample Karson Clinical Report.

Scoring Options

Q-global™ Web-based Administration, Scoring, and Reporting– Enables you to quickly and efficiently organize examinee information, generate scores, and produce accurate comprehensive reports. Link to Q-global page.

Q™ Local Software – Enables you to score assessments, report results, and store and export data on your computer.

Mail-in Scoring Service – Specially designed answer sheets are mailed to us for processing within 24–48 hours of receipt and returned via regular mail.

– Allows you to score the assessments at your site.


Notice: Use of psychological tests in employment-related situations may be subject to certain laws, including Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, as amended; the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990, as amended; and state law.

Getting Started with Q-Global Training Series

View these brief training modules about Q-global

Module 1: Gaining Access to Q-global

Module 2: Signing in and setting up your account

Module 3: Managing sub-accounts

Module 4: How to generate reports


Frequently asked questions follow. Click on a question to see the response.

  • What is the difference between the 16pf Fifth Edition and the original 16pf assessments?
As part of Pearson’s commitment to provide you with the best possible service, we are making several updates to our internal systems and processes. These changes will come into effect in early November 2022.Learn More
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