Factors are fictions, and other comments on individuality theory

Authors


  • 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.

Requests for reprints should be sent to William Revelle, Department of Psychology, Northwestern University, College of Arts and Sciences, Kresge Centennial Hall, Evanston, Illinois 60201.

Abstract

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.

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