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The 16 Personality Factors: Factor Q4 – Tension


The next 16PF scale for discussion is the Factor "Q4" scale, which is Tension (Tense vs. Relaxed).  What exactly does this scale measure?

High scorers tend to be fidgety and restless when they have to wait for something.  In some cases, a person might be irritable or very impatient.  These people tend to become quickly frustrated with people and get annoyed when their plans have to be changed.  Some tension is useful to help focus or take action and can help motivate some people.

In contrast, low scorers tend to be tranquil and relaxed.  They report not being upset when people interrupt them, and tend not to get fidgety or restless when waiting.  They tend to be patient people and slow to become frustrated.  However, they might be so comfortable that they lack the motivation to make changes or push themselves to accomplish a task.

Factor Q4 is the most important factor in the global Anxiety scale. Likewise, this factor correlates with the Impression Management scale.  Sometimes people want to appear more favorably (low score) or less favorably (high score) than they really are.

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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