Linking Human Capital With Strategic Intent

Chalk Talk Factor L

CHALK TALK provides advanced interpretation for 16PF users and is designed to assist in a greater understanding of the various performance factors outlined in the 16PF Personality Questionnaire.  This edition features…..

Factor L – Vigilance

Factor L; vigilance is a primary contributor to the global scale Anxiety which adds a distrustful component and Independence which enables the individual to think strategically and adds a competitive edge.

High scorers:

Individuals with high Factor L scores are effective strategic thinkers and do well in competitive situations because they will most certainly question the reasons behind what others say and their actions.  They are naturally distrustful of the motives of others and will not be swayed by them.

High scorers take pride in being skeptical and not easily fooled.   As critical observers they are particularly sensitive to the intentions of others and are able to quickly adapt to the present circumstances.  This can be valuable in situations where a change of direction can alleviate pressure and move a solution forward.

Extremely High (9-10)

Individuals with extremely high Factor L scores are often hard to get along with.  They approach things more often than not from a ‘what can go wrong’ perspective.  Their negative expectations cause them to be oppositional and so distrustful that it has a negative impact on their relationships; both personal and professional.

They have displaced angry feelings that result in a level of insecurity that allows them to expect to be misunderstood and taken advantage of.  They look for things that will support their suspicions such as hidden meanings and ulterior motives.  They are quick to defend themselves and blame others when things go wrong.

They may harbor feelings of jealousy, envy and resentment; feeling they are being deprived of things they want that others have.  If these feelings persist they can lead to depression or hostility directed towards those they blame for standing in the way.  Often times these feelings become validated as people try to make them happy or settle them down.  The reinforcement and consistent reward of their behavior causes the habit to persist.  They may actually be unaware of the depth of their feelings and how it is affecting their behavior.

Low scorers:

People with Low Factor L scores are very trusting and accepting of others.  They assume that people have the best of intentions and will be fair in their dealings with them.  Their accepting nature makes them easy to get along with.  They lack a competitive or jealous spirit, so they are seen as cooperative and good team players.

Their optimistic viewpoint that most people are honest and virtuous enables them to truly feel good when others experience good fortune.

They do not criticize others because they are not suspicious of their motives.  For that reason people feel accepted by the individual with a low Factor L score.  They tend to be popular.

Extremely Low (1-2)

People with extremely low scores are easily taken advantage of.  They tend to be unable to discern when a situation or individual should be held at arm’s length.  Their lack of thought about the intentions or motivations of others make them targets.  This causes them to be surprised and hurt when people act hostile towards them or intentionally act in a way that causes them pain.

Descriptors for Factor L (Vigilance)

Low High
Trusting, unsuspecting Vigilant, suspicious
May be taken advantage Skeptical, hard to fool
Easy to get along with, tolerant Thinks strategically
Forgives and forgets Dwells on affronts and frustrations
May be exploited Oppositional, competitive
Gullible Resentful, holds grudges


When considering any factor on the 16PF Questionnaire, it is important to remember that correlations exist between factors.  These correlations contribute to an individual’s vigilance and help us gain a true or clearer view of the individual.

Factors that correlate with Factor L are a positive Factor O (apprehension), Factor Q4 (tension), with a negative Factor C (emotional stability).  A positive Factor L also correlates with a positive Factor E (dominance), Factor H (social boldness) and Factor Q1 (openness to change).


A high L score is a very desirable trait in occupations that benefit from a having a questioning or slightly distrustful nature such as; lawyers, investigators, military officers, or social workers.  These individuals benefit from having an awareness of people’s motives and closely examining their intentions.  A salesperson would benefit from the competitive nature of having a high L score which has a high correlation to salespeople who have a higher closing ratio.

For more insight on Factor “L” or to discuss a profile, contact the office.

The Executive Group
80 E US Hwy 6
Valparaiso, IN 46383

Tel: 219.477.6378
Fax: 219.477.6379
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