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The 16 Personality Factors: Factor Q3 – Perfectionism


The next 16PF scale for discussion is the Factor "Q3" scale, which is Perfectionism (Perfectionistic vs. Tolerates Disorder).  What exactly does this scale measure?

High scorers tend to want to do things correctly, be organized, have a place for everything and everything in its place, and to plan ahead.  They often keep their possessions in top condition, and believe if you're going to do a job, you need to do it thoroughly and properly.  Many high scorers dislike unpredictable situations, and can be inflexible.  They are usually more comfortable in highly structured situations. 

In contrast, low scorers tend to want leave things to chance and are more at ease with disorder.  They often report they don't care if their rooms are messy, that some tasks do not need to be done as carefully as others, or that they spend little time thinking about steps to take before starting a task.  These types can be seen as unprepared, disorganized, or lackadaisical.  They might have trouble with motivating themselves to take action.

Factor Q3 is related to the Myers-Briggs Extraversion Judging – Perceiving scale.  Low scorers on Q3 tend to come out as Perceivers on the Myers-Briggs, while high scorers tend to show up as Judgers.  This scale also contributes to the Self-Control global factor on the 16PF.

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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