The Townsend Personality Questionnaire™ (TPQ®) is developed for both personal as well as workplace development of people. Unlike most assessments that are based on theories of personality that have resulted from one particular psychologist’s theory and opinion about human nature, the TPQ® is based on the Five-Factor model – a concept that it is founded on the idea that five main factors are necessary and sufficient for broadly describing human personality.
The TPQ® is based on language and the ‘natural’ systems that people use to understand one another.
“… Language is the one ingredient that all theories have in common. So, it is from language itself, and not theories, that we must extract the source metaphor for describing personality”
Howard & Howard, 2004.
The questionnaire was developed by Dr Gary C. Townsend of Skillworx Africa (Pty) Ltd (Skillworx).
The TPQ® is a shift from the old bi-modal distribution type, four dimensional models to a distinctly different and more scientifically appropriate model. This new paradigm involves:
- Five dimensions of personality
- A normal distribution of scores on these dimensions
- An emphasis on individual personality traits as opposed to type
- Preferences indicated by a strength of score
- A model based on experience, not theory
The data are grouped into five Personality Dimensions (Extraversion (E), Sociability (S), Constancy (C), Conscientiousness (Co), Originality (O)) and thirty facets. These dimensions represent the most common behavioural styles exhibited by people in general and are comprised of the typical behaviours (facets) constituting each dimension. In the TPQ® report, each dimension is defined and the data analysis on each facet is used to provide a targeted approach to personality style.
The Background to the TPQ®
The Townsend Personality Questionnaire was developed using the Five Factor Model of personality and validated using Rasch Methodology (Journal of Applied Quantitative Methods. Vol. 12, Issue 1, March 2017. http://jaqm.ro/issues/volume-12,issue-1/1_GA.PHP).
The Five Factor Model, often referred to as the ‘Big Five’ (Ewen, 1998, p.140), represents the most widely acknowledged general model of the structure of personality (Betram and Brown, 2005). It incorporates five different variables into a conceptual model for describing personality (Popkins).
The Five Factor theory (FFM) is among the newest models developed for describing personality and has demonstrated that it is among the most practical and applicable models available in the field of personality psychology (Digman, 1990).
The Big Five are, collectively a taxonomy of personality traits: a framework for understanding which traits go together. They are empirically based phenomenon, not a theory of personality (Srivastava, 2006).
In addition, the TPQ® uses Rasch methodology as its primary point of departure during the instrument development process since “… for any measurement to be meaningful, it must be based on the arithmetical properties of the interval scales used (Townsend, 2007)”.
The TPQ® Model
Because the TPQ® model is a universal measurement of behaviour based on language and the ‘natural’ systems that people use to understand one another, it forms the basis for understanding the individual across all facets of life. Its efficacy extends to self-understanding, interpersonal interaction, workplace dynamics, leadership ability, and management qualities.
The outer ring represents the Big 5 Dimensions as proposed by the Five Factor Theory. As mentioned, this represents the newest of models developed for describing personality and has demonstrated that it is among the most practical and applicable models available in the field of personality psychology.
The theoretical Big 5 are as follows:
- Surgency or Extraversion (Extraversion as defined in the TPQ®),
- Agreeableness (Sociability as defined in the TPQ®),
- Neuroticism or Emotional regulation (Constancy as defined in the TPQ®),
- Conscientiousness and,
Intellect, Imagination, or Openness to experience (Originality as defined in the TPQ®)