Factors are fictions, and other comments on individuality theory


  • The preparation of this manuscript was supported in part by NIMH grant R01–29209. The comments of Kenneth Howard, Merton Kraus, and Yossi Tal are greatly appreciated. I particularly wish to thank Donald Broadbent and Jeffrey Gray for the hours of conversation which led to some of the ideas discussed in this article.

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Three of the assumptions in Royce's (1983) theory of personality integration are examined more closely. Royce assumes that: (1) The results from factor analysis are something more than convenient ways to summarize complex covariance structures; (2) it is useful to separate cognitive, affective, sensory, motor, style, and value systems from each other; and (3) it is useful to think of normative “setpoints.” These assumptions are challenged and evidence for alternative assumptions is discussed.