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The first of these requires the courage to be arbitrary—to propose, essentially by fiat, that a small set of concepts comprehends the important, necessary ways of differentiating people.
These concepts serve—or should serve—a heuristic purpose; they provide a way to begin and, subsequently, a way of indicating and integrating diverse phenomena that may fall under the rubric of this conceptual assertion.By and large, this approach has employed the method of factor analysis, with all of its strengths and weaknesses.A good illustration of the approach is the work of R. Cattell, recently presented in an integrating, summary volume (1965). In the study of personality, however, there is no escaping an immediate, insistent, incessant preoccupation with the problem of linking concepts and empirical operations. By and large, measuring length by a ruler and weight by a scale does not generate controversy; the relation of these concepts to their respective methods of measurement seems obvious and beyond dispute.