CHAPTER 9

CATTELL'S STRUCTURE-
BASED SYSTEMS THEORY

Structure-Based Systems Theory • Set of traits that guide behavior. but can be modified by complex interactions with the culture and situations. • Individual cannot be understood by bivariate research along (variables are only bits of a person) .

hypothetico-deductive spiral-approach to theory construction and validation in which facts are collected first and then generalized into hypotheses.technique designed to simplify a complex set of data by accounting for them in terms of underlying factors.form of factor analysis that permits assessment of the unique trait structure of an individual. usually fewer in number than the original number of variables in the original data set. . Structure-Based Systems Theory (cont.) • Theoretical Approach to Study of Personality – inductive . which lead to deductions that can be tested empirically. • R technique . • P technique . • Empirical Approach to Study of Personality – factor analysis .form of factor analysis used to infer underlying source traits in large subject populations.

Factor Analysis • development of the correlation coefficient. "frequency of exercise" and "blood pressure level“. . which measures the degree to which two variables are related or tend to go together. • Calculate the correlation coefficients among a multitude of variables in a particular domain (such as abilities or personality) to determine the basic.e. • i. unitary factors at work behind the superficial variables of behavior found in that domain.

– constitutional . includes such variables as the person’s moodiness. traits initiate and guide behavior. – ability . Defining Personality • Traits . .traits determined by experience.innate tendencies to react to the environment in particular ways. excitability. and activity level.traits determined by biology. – environmental .mold .relatively permanent and broad reaction tendencies that serve as the building blocks of personality. – temperament .skills that enable individuals to cope effectively with problems posed by the environment.

characteristics that embrace people’s motives and interests.) • Traits (cont. • subsidiation . – surface . .observable trait that is controlled by an underlying source trait. – source .process involving the interrelatedness of traits within the dynamic lattice or organizational structure of personality. • dynamic lattice . or surface traits.organized system of traits within human personality. sentiments are dependent on ergs.) – dynamic . Defining Personality (cont. attitudes are dependent on sentiments.underlying characteristic inferred from the intercorrelations among a number of measured variables.

Personality Sphere • Listing of all the traits used to describe behavior in a culture.factor-analytically derived questionnaire designed to measure the primary or basic underlying traits of personality. – Sixteen Personality Factor Test . includes the 16 PF traits and 12 other psychopathological traits. – Clinical Analysis Questionnaire . .test designed to measure normal and deviant personality traits.

[ • 16 primary traits • Big Five secondary traits . Sixteen Personality Factor Questionnaire (or 16PF).

Econetic Model • Model that postulates a complex interaction between traits and the physical. and cultural environments in the prediction of behavior. – Environmental Sphere . social. .listing of all the terms used in a culture to designate situations.

disorder in which person is highly anxious and emotionally unstable.) • Abnormal Development – neurosis . – psychosis . . Personality Development (cont.very severe disorder in which person often loses contact with reality and may be a threat to himself or others.

everyday life behaviors. measuring their characteristic behavior patterns • Questionnaire data (or Q-data). Therapeutic Assessment Techniques • Life data (or L-data).. . which involves collecting data from the individual’s natural. • Experimental data (or T-data) which involves reactions to standardized experimental situations created in a lab where a subject’s behavior can be objectively observed and measured. which involves responses based on introspection by the individual about their own behavior and feelings.

Theory's Implications for Therapy • Relies heavily on the use of psychometric instruments in the diagnosis of the disorder and to gauge effectiveness of treatment. .

– Restrictive Eugenics . Cattell advocated this program in the belief that such individuals are a costly burden to society and slow its evolutionary growth. . Cattell believed this new set of ethics would help society progress beyond its current state of instability. Beyondism • New morality based on scientific research and data. – Creative Eugenics .program designed to increase the birth rate of more intelligent people in the belief that such individuals will develop sounder ethical values and contributes more to society’s well being. confusion. and crisis.program to reduce the birth rate of the mentally handicapped.

• Precision and Testability . .broad in scope.precise and testable. but little support for the econetic model as yet.high in parsimony.empirical support for the predictive validity of the 16 PF test is good in the area of occupational psychology. • Parsimony . Evaluative Comments • Comprehensiveness .considerable influence in the clinical diagnosis of psychopathology and tremendous impact on occupational psychology. • Empirical Validity . especially those interested in the Big Five factors (See Chapter 18). • Applied Value .theory has not proved very stimulating to mainstream researchers. but some of Cattell's pioneering ideas about the role of traits have had an impact on contemporary personality psychologists. • Heuristic Value .