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A slightly belated Happy 83rd Birthday (December 16th) to the inspiration that is Heather Birkett Cattell; an American Clinical Psychologist by training, however, she is much better known for her work in Organisational Psychology, along with her husband, Raymond Cattell. Raymond is, without a doubt, the most influential and important Psychologist in the history of Psychometric Testing and, in particular personality assessment.

For those of us who use, appreciate and understand that not all personality tests are created equally and that so called “expert systems” may produce a “report” – actually, it’s an insult to call them reports – they may produce documents describing the results, they are hopelessly limited in terms of how they explain the interaction of different factors. If the personality profile produces a very unusual interaction, or even just a score, they will, of course, have a stock phrase to explain this highly unusual interaction. Stop!!! This is supposed to be a birthday wish.

Apart from her extensive work on the 16PF, Heather wrote the seminal work, in my opinion, on the 16PF: The 16PF Personality in Depth by Heather Birkett Cattell,  1989 

It is also worth mentioning Essentials of 16PF® Assessment by Heather E. P. Cattell and John Schuerger, 2003 (yes, it’s a different Heather Cattell. This Heather is the daughter of Raymond and Heather Birkett).

While we’re on the subject of personality tests, please do not ever use the DiSC. I will ask Dr. Steve Blinkhorn to put together a few words on the DiSC. If you don’t already know about it’s origins, you will be utterly amazed!