Discover Your Personality

The 16PF®– The 16 Personality Factors: Factor A – Warm vs. Reserved


This issue we’ll start discussing the 16 factors of the 16PF, starting with the first, or "A" scale, which is Warmth.  What exactly does this scale measure?

Basically, this scale measures a person's tendency to be socially and interpersonally reserved or warmly involved with other people.  Either side is normal; there's no good or bad score on this scale.  Warmth is generally considered a socially desirable trait to have. 

Reserved people tend to be cautious in their interactions with other people.  Many like to work alone, particularly on intellectual, mechanical, or artistic tasks.  They can be uncomfortable in situations that require a lot of personal interactions or emotional closeness.  They would often prefer to work in a laboratory on some invention rather than show people what it does.  Others report they would rather be an architect than any kind of counselor.  Reserved people frequently are uncomfortable talking about or showing feelings of caring or affection.  Still, they can be effective and accomplished workers.  One research study found some famous researchers are reserved people.

Warm people usually have an interest in people, and often enjoy occupations dealing with others.  They frequently are comfortable in situations that require them to be close to others.  Women tend to score higher on this scale than men.  People with high scores on this scale often report enjoying working in a busy office, especially with people who openly show their emotions.  Friends might describe these high scorers as comforting types.

There is some correlation with the Myers-Briggs on this scale.  Extraverts tend towards the Warm pole and Introverts towards the Reserved.

As with all the 16PF scales, major insights come from the interactions among the 16 scales, and not from each scale in isolation.


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