Personal Attributes Questionnaire (PAQ)

The Personal Attributes Questionnaire (PAQ) is a 24-item measure to determine the sex-typing of personality. The traits are classified into 3 subscales: Masculine, Feminine and Masculine-Feminine.


Geographies Tested: United States of America

Populations Included: Female, Male

Age Range: Adolescents, Adults


1. Not at all independent; Very independent
2. Very passive; Very active
3. Not at all competitive; Very competitive
4. Can make decisions easily; Has difficulty making decisions
5. Gives up very easily; Never gives up easily
6. Not at all self-confident; Very self-confident
7. Feels very inferior; Feels superior
8. Goes to pieces under pressure; Stands up well under pressure

9. Not at all emotional; Very emotional
10. Not at all able to devote self completely to others; Able to devote self completely to others
11. Very rough; Very gentle
12. Not at all helpful to others; Very helpful to others
13. Not at all kind; Very kind
14. Not at all aware of feelings of others; Very aware of feelings of others
15. Not at all understanding of others; Very understanding of others
16. Very cold in relations with others; Very warm in relations with others

17. Not at all aggressive; Very aggressive
18. Very submissive; Very dominant
19. Not at all excitable in a major crisis; Very excitable in a major crisis
20. Very home oriented; Very worldly
21. Indifferent to others approval; Highly needful of others approval
22. Feelings not easily hurt; Feelings easily hurt
23. Never cries; Cries very easily
24. Very little need for security; Very strong need for security

Response Options:
5 point scale from 0-4

Scoring Procedures

Scores on each scale are obtained by summing item scores and can range from 0-32; the M and M-F scales are scored in a masculine direction and the F scale in a feminine direction

Original Citation

Helmreich, R. L., Spence, J. T., & Wilhelm, J. A. (1981). A psychometric analysis of the Personal Attributes Questionnaire. Sex Roles, 7(11), 1097-1108.

Psychometric Score

Ease of Use Score

Scoring breakdown

Formative Research

Qualitative Research

Existing Literature/Theoretical Framework

Field Expert Input

Cognitive Interviews / Pilot Testing








Criterion (gold-standard)



Ease of Use


Scoring Clarity


Join the EMERGE Community

to get the latest updates on new measures and guidance for survey researchers