Superfactors P, E And N In A Comprehensive Factor Space

Multivariate Behav Res. 1978 Oct 1;13(4):475-81. doi: 10.1207/s15327906mbr1304_7.


Browne and Howarth, in a recent study, selected 400 items from 1726 non-repeated items appearing in previous personality studies, representing twenty hypothetical factors, analysis, followed by rotation, resulted in a multiplicity of factors, many of them similar to those hypothesized. A table is given of the intercorrelations between factors, but no higher order factor analysis was carried out. The writer's system predicts that three such factors should be found in any comprehensive study of this kind, and this paper reports a factor analysis of the correlations among the Browne and Howarth factors. A very clear three-factor picture emerges, with the hypothetical psychcoticism, extraversion and neuroticism factors having very much the predicted loading pattern. It is concluded that primary factor analysis without extraction of higher order factors leaves the analysis incomplete and omits what may be the most important part of the whole procedur. The results are interpreted as supporting the writer's theoretical position.