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Dimensions of Closure in Cognition and Personality USPHS

French, John Winslow, 1918-; Messick, Samuel J.
Publication Year:
Report Number:
ETS Research Memorandum
Document Type:
Page Count:
Subject/Key Words:
Office of Naval Research, United States Public Health Service (USPHS), Cognitive Style, Perceptual Closure, Factor Analysis, Perception Tests, Personality, Visual Perception


This study investigates the extent to which the perceptual factors of speed and flexibility of closure represent more general processes that also operate on cognition and personality. Thirty-five tests of speed and flexibility of figural, symbolic, and semantic closure were given to 541 Naval Aviation Cadets. Examination of the characteristic roots suggested that 14 factors be retained for rotation. A factor analysis of the intercorrelations among the first-order factors produced four second-order dimensions. The loadings of the tests on the first- and second-order factors are presented in a table in the appendix. All the factors are labeled and discussed. The study provides evidence of distinct but correlated factors for both flexibility and speed of figural closure, of verbal or symbolic closure, and of semantic closure. The task requirement of speed and flexibility of closure, therefore, each appear to involve distinct but correlated skills for figural, symbolic, and semantic materials. the pattern of intercorrelations among these dimensions indicates considerable communality of functioning at the second-order level, although the distinction between figural and symbolic domains was maintained.

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