Please confirm you are human
(

__Sign Up__for free to never see this)
← Back to Search

# Evaluating The Use Of Exploratory Factor Analysis In Psychological Research.

L. Fabrigar, D. Wegener, R. MacCallum, E. Strahan

Published 1999 · Psychology

Despite the widespread use of exploratory factor analysis in psychological research, researchers often make questionable decisions when conducting these analyses. This article reviews the major design and analytical decisions that must be made when conducting a factor analysis and notes that each of these decisions has important consequences for the obtained results. Recommendations that have been made in the methodological literature are discussed. Analyses of 3 existing empirical data sets are used to illustrate how questionable decisions in conducting factor analyses can yield problematic results. The article presents a survey of 2 prominent journals that suggests that researchers routinely conduct analyses using such questionable methods. The implications of these practices for psychological research are discussed, and the reasons for current practices are reviewed.

This paper references

10.1037/H0026434

On the Interpretation of Factor Analysis

J. S. Armstrong (1968)

10.1207/s15327906mbr1702_3

The Behavior Of Number-Of-Factors Rules With Simulated Data.

A. Hakstian (1982)

10.2307/2304512

Multiple-Factor Analysis

L. L. Thurstone (1947)

10.2307/3319768

Attitude organization and change. An analysis of consistency among attitude components.

M. Rosenberg (1960)

10.1207/s15327906mbr0702_7

EVIDENCE ON THE SIMPLE STRUCTURE AND FACTOR INVARIANCE ACHIEVED BY FIVE ROTATIONAL METHODS ON FOUR TYPES OF DATA.

T. Dielman (1972)

10.1177/014662168500900205

An Empirical Test of the Utility of the Observations-To-Variables Ratio in Factor and Components Analysis

W. Arrindell (1985)

10.1146/ANNUREV.PSYCH.47.1.563

Covariance structure analysis: statistical practice, theory, and directions.

P. Bentler (1996)

Applied Factor Analysis

R. Rummel (1970)

10.1177/001316447003000407

A Comparison of Biquartimin, Maxplane, Promax, and Varimax

R. Gorsuch (1970)

10.1177/0146167294206001

Measuring the Affective and Cognitive Properties of Attitudes: Conceptual and Methodological Issues

S. Crites (1994)

10.1207/s15327906mbr1203_2

A Comprehensive Trial Of The Scree And Kg Criteria For Determining The Number Of Factors.

R. Cattell (1977)

10.2307/1414471

"THE ABILITIES OF MAN".

C. Spearman (1928)

EzPATH: A supplementary module for SYSTAT and SYCRAPH. Evanston, 1L: SYSTAT

Steiger (1989)

10.1111/J.1744-6570.1986.TB00583.X

THE APPLICATION OF EXPLORATORY FACTOR ANALYSIS IN APPLIED PSYCHOLOGY: A CRITICAL REVIEW AND ANALYSIS

J. K. Ford (1986)

10.1207/s15327906mbr0102_10

The Scree Test For The Number Of Factors.

R. Cattell (1966)

The application of electronic comput

H. F. Kaiser (1960)

10.1207/s15327906mbr2403_6

A Comparison of Alternatives to Conducting Monte Carlo Analyses for Determining Parallel Analysis Criteria.

G. Lautenschlager (1989)

10.1037/0033-2909.115.3.475

Applications of standard error estimates in unrestricted factor analysis: significance tests for factor loadings and correlations.

R. Cudeck (1994)

10.1207/s15327906mbr2501_9

Least Squares and Latent Variables.

F. Bookstein (1990)

Multivariate procedures

D. Weiss (1976)

Cognitive, Affective and Behavioral Components of Attitudes

M. J. Rosenberg (1960)

10.15288/JSA.1980.41.1091

Factor analysis and studies on alcohol. A methodological review.

H. Skinner (1980)

A review of "An introduction to multivariate techniques for social and behavioral sciences.

M. Hills (1977)

10.3102/10769986016001035

Noniterative Factor Analysis Estimators, With Algorithms for Subset and Instrumental Variable Selection

R. Cudeck (1991)

10.1207/s15327906mbr2103_7

Notes and Commentary: Regression Equations for the Latent Roots of Random Data Correlation Matrices with Unities on the Diagonal.

S. Allen (1986)

10.1192/BJP.126.3.237

Multivariate analysis: the need for data, and other problems.

B. Everitt (1975)

FACTOR TRANSFORMATIONS : ANALYTIC TRANSFORMATIONS From Exploratory Factor Analysis

Ledyard R. Tucker (1997)

10.1037/0022-3514.47.6.1191

Empirical validation of affect, behavior, and cognition as distinct components of attitude.

S. Breckler (1984)

10.1017/S037016460002006X

VI.—The Estimation of Factor Loadings by the Method of Maximum Likelihood

D. N. Lawley (1940)

10.1007/BF02291817

A second generation little jiffy

H. Kaiser (1970)

10.1007/BF02293865

On various causes of improper solutions in maximum likelihood factor analysis

Otto P. van Driel (1978)

10.1007/BF02288800

The factors in factoring behavior

Q. Mcnemar (1951)

10.1007/BF02289675

A monte carlo approach to the number of factors problem

R. Linn (1968)

10.1037/1082-989X.1.4.354

Effects of under- and overextraction on principal axis factor analysis with varimax rotation.

J. M. Wood (1996)

10.1007/BF02291397

A comparative evaluation of several prominent methods of oblique factor transformation

A. Hakstian (1971)

10.1207/s15327906mbr2502_2

The Need for Alternative Measures of Fit in Covariance Structure Modeling.

R. MacCallum (1990)

10.1002/BS.3830110511

Factorial stability as a function of the number of orthogonally-rotated factors.

E. Levonian (1966)

10.1177/0049124186015001011

A Cautionary Note on the Use of Principal Components Analysis

E. Borgatta (1986)

10.1037/0033-2909.103.3.391

Goodness-of-fit indexes in confirmatory factor analysis : The effect of sample size

H. Marsh (1988)

10.1016/0022-1031(69)90003-1

The relationship between the affective, behavioral, and cognitive components of attitude.

T. Ostrom (1969)

10.2307/1412107

General intelligence Objectively Determined and Measured

C. Spearman (1904)

On factors and factor

C. W. Harris (1967)

A second generation LittleJiffy

H. F. Kaiser (1970)

10.1007/978-1-4613-0893-5

Handbook of multivariate experimental psychology

J. Nesselroade (1968)

10.1037/0033-2909.99.3.432

Comparison of five rules for determining the number of components to retain.

W. Zwick (1986)

10.1111/J.2044-8317.1964.TB00244.X

PROMAX: A QUICK METHOD FOR ROTATION TO OBLIQUE SIMPLE STRUCTURE

A. E. Hendrickson (1964)

The applications of exploratory factor analysis in applied psychology: A critical review and analysis

Ford (1986)

10.2307/1494302

The Mismeasure of Man

H. J. Birx (1981)

10.1007/BF02289652

On factors and factor scores

C. W. Harris (1967)

10.1007/BF02291170

A reliability coefficient for maximum likelihood factor analysis

L. Tucker (1973)

10.1207/s15327906mbr2803_1

Common Factor Analysis Versus Principal Component Analysis: Differential Bias in Representing Model Parameters?

K. Widaman (1993)

10.1207/s15327906mbr1702_5

Factors Influencing Four Rules For Determining The Number Of Components To Retain.

W. Zwick (1982)

10.1207/s15327906mbr1201_1

An Empirical Comparison Of The Similarity Of Principal Component, Image, And Factor Patterns.

W. Velicer (1977)

10.4324/9781315802510

Factor Analysis and Related Methods

R. Mcdonald (1985)

10.1007/BF02293559

Latent roots of random data correlation matrices with squared multiple correlations on the diagonal: A monte carlo study

Richard G. Montanelli (1976)

10.1093/POQ/11.4.507

The Personal Setting of Public Opinions: A Study of Attitudes Toward Russia

M. B. Smith (1947)

The factors in factoring

Q. McNemar (1951)

10.2139/ssrn.1941469

Derivation of Theory by Means of Factor Analysis or Tom Swift and His Electric Factor Analysis Machine

J. S. Armstrong (1967)

10.1037/0033-2909.105.3.430

EVALUATION OF GOODNESS-OF-FIT INDICES FOR STRUCTURAL EQUATION MODELS

S. Mulaik (1989)

10.1177/001316446002000116

The Application of Electronic Computers to Factor Analysis

H. Kaiser (1960)

10.1037/0022-3514.59.2.217

Attitude change as a function of attitude type and argument type.

M. Millar (1990)

10.2307/582242

The Handbook of Social Psychology

D. Gilbert (1935)

10.1006/JRPE.1997.2194

The investigation of personality structure: Statistical models

J. F. Finch (1997)

10.1177/001316446902900303

Note On a Criterion for the Number of Common Factors

L. Humphreys (1969)

Structural equation models with non-normal variables: Problems and remedies

S. West (1995)

Factor analysis (2nd ed.). Hillsdale, NJ: Frlbaum

R. L. Gorsuch (1983)

10.1037/0003-066X.45.6.721

Graduate Training in Statistics, Methodology, and Measurement in Psychology: A Survey of PhD Programs in North America

Leona S. Aiken (1990)

A First Course in Factor Analysis 2nd Ed

A. Comrey (1973)

10.1177/0049124192021002005

Alternative Ways of Assessing Model Fit

M. Browne (1992)

10.1007/BF02310792

A general rotation criterion and its use in orthogonal rotation

C. Crawford (1970)

10.1177/001316447303300216

Using Bartlett's Significance Test to Determine the Number of Factors to Extract

R. Gorsuch (1973)

10.1037/H0046664

NOTE ON THE SCIENTIFIC STATUS OF FACTORS.

J. Overall (1964)

10.1177/001316447103100301

A Factor Analytic Interpretation Strategy

M. L. Harris (1971)

10.1207/s15327906mbr2501_12

Component Analysis versus Common Factor Analysis: Some Further Observations.

W. Velicer (1990)

10.1037/1082-989X.1.2.130

Power analysis and determination of sample size for covariance structure modeling.

R. MacCallum (1996)

10.1207/s15327906mbr2501_8

On the Equivalence of Factors and Components.

P. Bentler (1990)

10.4324/9781315807096-8

Cognitive processes in attitude change

R. Petty (1994)

Attitude structure

D. T. Wegener

Analysis and design for nonexperimental data: Addressing causal and noncausal hypotheses Handbook of research methods in social psychology

D T Wegener

10.1207/S15327906MBR1702_3

The Behavior of Number-of-Factors Rules with Simulated Data.

Hakstian Ar (1982)

10.2307/2286552

An Introduction to Multivariate Techniques for Social and Behavioral Sciences.

M. Frane (1978)

New procedures for extension analysis in exploratory factor analysis

R L Gorsuch (1997)

CEFA: Comprehensive exploratory factor analysis . Authors. [Computer program]. To obtain this program

M W Browne (1998)

10.1177/001316448004000412

Factor Score Reliabilities and Domain Validities

R. Gorsuch (1980)

A general plasmode (No. 30-10-5-2) for factor analytic exercises and research.

R. B. Cattell (1967)

10.1037/0022-3514.51.2.270

Effects of affective and cognitive focus on the attitude–behavior relation.

M. Millar (1986)

10.1037/0033-2909.109.3.512

Model selection in covariance structures analysis and the "problem" of sample size: a clarification.

R. Cudeck (1991)

The foundation of factor analysis

S. A. Mulaik (1972)

10.1007/BF02294017

A comparison of factor analysis programs in SPSS, BMDP, and SAS

R. MacCallum (1983)

10.1207/S15327906MBR1002_5

An Investigation of the Parallel Analysis Criterion for Determining the Number of Common Factors

L. Humphreys (1975)

Analysis and design for nonexperimental data : Addressing causal and noncausal hypotheses

H. T. Reis

10.2307/2282293

Modern Factor Analysis

H. H. Harman (1960)

10.1207/s15327906mbr2703_5

The Effects of Overextraction on Factor and Component Analysis.

J. Fava (1992)

10.1037/1082-989X.3.4.424

Fit indices in covariance structure modeling : Sensitivity to underparameterized model misspecification

Li-tze Hu (1998)

Received September

(1997)

10.1037/0022-006X.46.4.648

Common methodological problems in factor analytic studies.

A. Comrey (1978)

10.1207/S15327906MBR0401_9

On the internal consistency reliability of factors.

J. L. Horn (1969)

10.1007/BF02293557

Determining the number of components from the matrix of partial correlations

W. Velicer (1976)

10.1007/BF02293967

Factor indeterminacy in the 1930's and the 1970's some interesting parallels

J. Steiger (1979)

10.1007/BF02289162

Some necessary conditions for common-factor analysis

L. Guttman (1954)

10.1207/s15327906mbr1802_5

Factor Comparability As A Means Of Determining The Number Of Factors And Their Rotation.

J. Everett (1983)

10.1207/s15327906mbr1703_5

A Comparison Of Component And Factor Patterns: A Monte Carlo Approach.

W. Velicer (1982)

10.1037/0033-2909.112.2.351

Can test statistics in covariance structure analysis be trusted?

L. Hu (1992)

10.1207/s15327906mbr2501_5

Facts, Fictions, and Common Sense About Factors and Components.

P. H. Schonemann (1990)

10.1037/0022-3514.42.4.619

Affective and semantic components in political person perception.

R. Abelson (1982)

Statistically based tests for the number of common factors

J. Steiger (1980)

The application of electronic comput- FABRIGAR, WEGENER, MUcCALLUM, AND STRAHAN ers to factor analysis

H F Kaiser (1960)

EzPATH: A supplementary module for SYSTAT and SYCRAPH

H Steiger (1989)

Factor analysis and studies of alco

H. A. Skinner (1980)

10.1037/0022-3514.59.2.202

The Interplay of Affect and Cognition in Attitude Formation and Change

K. Edwards (1990)

10.1207/s15327906mbr2501_3

Common Factor Analysis versus Component Analysis: Some Well and Little Known Facts.

R. Gorsuch (1990)

10.1177/0146167299025003008

The Role of the Affective and Cognitive Bases of Attitudes in Susceptibility to Affectively and Cognitively Based Persuasion

L. Fabrigar (1999)

10.1007/BF02289465

Rotation for simple loadings

R. Jennrich (1966)

10.1037/1082-989X.1.1.16

The robustness of test statistics to nonnormality and specification error in confirmatory factor analysis.

P. Curran (1996)

10.1207/s15327906mbr2404_4

Single Sample Cross-Validation Indices for Covariance Structures.

M. Browne (1989)

10.1037/1082-989X.3.2.231

Affects of variable and subject sampling on factor pattern recovery.

W. Velicer (1998)

10.1207/s15327906mbr2401_4

A Regression Equation for the Parallel Analysis Criterion in Principal Components Analysis: Mean and 95th Percentile Eigenvalues.

R. S. Longman (1989)

10.1207/s15327906mbr0804_4

SOME NOTES ON THE NUMBER OF FACTORS PROBLEM.

A. Hakstian (1973)

Corrections to test statistics and standard errors in covariance structure analysis.

A. Satorra (1994)

10.1207/s15327906mbr2501_1

Component Analysis versus Common Factor Analysis: Some issues in Selecting an Appropriate Procedure.

W. Velicer (1990)

10.1007/BF02289601

Oblique factor analytic solutions by orthogonal transformations

C. W. Harris (1964)

10.1111/J.2044-8317.1984.TB00789.X

Asymptotically distribution-free methods for the analysis of covariance structures.

M. Browne (1984)

10.1007/BF02289447

A rationale and test for the number of factors in factor analysis

J. Horn (1965)

10.1207/s15327906mbr2501_4

Some Additional Thoughts on Components, Factors, and Factor Indeterminancy.

James H. Steiger (1990)

A Monte Carlo approach to the number of factors

R. L. Linn (1968)

10.1037/0033-2909.106.1.148

Component analysis versus common factor analysis: A Monte Carlo study.

S. C. Snook (1989)

10.1207/s15327906mbr2501_6

Blurring the Distinctions Between Component Analysis and Common Factor Analysis.

S. Mulaik (1990)

10.1207/s15327906mbr1302_9

Complexity And Simplicity As Objective Indices Descriptive Of Factor Solutions.

R. J. Hofmann (1978)

10.1207/s15327906mbr2501_7

Whatever Happened to Broad Perspective?

W. Rozeboom (1990)

Psychometric Theory (2nd ed), New York: McGraw-Hill.

J. Nunnally (1978)

10.1007/BF02289233

The varimax criterion for analytic rotation in factor analysis

H. Kaiser (1958)

10.1177/0049124187016002005

A Cautionary Note on the Use of Principal Components Analysis

R. Hubbard (1987)

10.1207/s15327906mbr2501_2

Component Analysis versus Common Factor Analysis: A Case of Disputed Authorship.

J. Loehlin (1990)

Handbook of Social Cognition

R. Wyer (1993)

Psychometric theory

J C Nunnally (1978)

10.4324/9781315827506

A first course in factor analysis

A. Comrey (1973)

10.1177/001316447203200101

An Empirical Investigation of Some Special Cases of the General "Orthomax" Criterion for Orthogonal Factor Transformation

A. Hakstian (1972)

CEFA: Comprehensive exploratory factor analysis

M. W. Browne (1998)

10.1037/1082-989X.4.1.84

Sample size in factor analysis.

R. MacCallum (1999)

10.2307/3151904

Structural equation modeling: concepts, issues, and applications

R. Hoyle (1997)

New procedures for extension analysis in exploratory factor analysis

R L.Gorsuch. (1997)

10.5860/choice.43sup-0730

Encyclopedia of psychology

A. Kazdin (1984)

10.1177/0013164497057005001

New Procedure for Extension Analysis in Exploratory Factor Analysis

R. Gorsuch (1997)

10.1037/H0031448

Validation of feeling, belief, and intention to act as three components of attitude and their contribution to prediction of contraceptive behavior.

V. Kothandapani (1971)

10.1207/s15327906mbr2501_10

Principles versus Principals of Structural Factor Analyses.

J. Mcardle (1990)

10.1037/H0048441

A dynamic model of physical influences demonstrating the necessity of oblique simple structure.

R. B. Cattell (1962)

10.1016/0022-1031(89)90012-7

The effects of affective-cognitive consistency and thought on the attitude-behavior relation

M. Millar (1989)

10.1007/BF02290601

Evaluation of factor analytic research procedures by means of simulated correlation matrices

L. Tucker (1969)

Attitude structure

A Eagly (1998)

Multivariate procedures Handbook of industrial/organizational psychology

D Weiss (1976)

10.1207/s15327906mbr2501_11

Bias in Pattern Loadings Represented by Common Factor Analysis and Component Analysis.

K. Widaman (1990)

10.2307/2286681

Modern Factor Analysis, 3rd Edition Revised.@@@Methods in Geomathematics. Volume I: Geological Factor Analysis.

A. Izenman (1978)

This paper is referenced by

10.1177/0165025419851859

The multidimensional subjective financial well-being scale for emerging adults: Development and validation studies

Angela Sorgente (2019)

10.1187/CBE.15-12-0260

The PULSE Vision & Change Rubrics, Version 1.0: A Valid and Equitable Tool to Measure Transformation of Life Sciences Departments at All Institution Types

Loretta Brancaccio-Taras (2016)

10.12689/jmep.2016.504

An Empirical Evaluation of the Reversal Theory State Measure UsingThree Running Brand Video Commercials

Leo Watkins (2016)

10.1177/1010539512444119

Measuring Positive Mental Health

N. S. Ganga (2015)

Method Effects and the Need for Cognition Scale

D. Hevey (2012)

10.3389/fpsyg.2020.00507

Regularized Exploratory Bifactor Analysis With Small Sample Sizes

S. Jung (2020)

10.5964/IJPR.V11I2.272

Falling in Love and Passionate Love in an Iranian Sample

Suzanne Riela (2018)

10.1007/978-3-531-18776-1_3

Skalenkonstruktion in der Kommunikationswissenschaft

Tilo Hartmann (2013)

10.1016/j.prevetmed.2015.07.008

Preventative services offered by veterinarians on sheep farms in England and Wales: Opinions and drivers for proactive flock health planning.

C. Bellet (2015)

10.3928/01484834-20131022-10

Keeping the theory in measurement.

L. Schmidt (2013)

10.1007/S10984-014-9167-9

The Medical School Learning Environment Survey: an examination of its factor structure and relationship to student performance and satisfaction

Shayna A Rusticus (2014)

10.1080/21683603.2014.895462

Psychometric Properties and Factor Structure of the Greek Version of the Preschool Learning Behavior Scale

Efthymia Penderi (2014)

10.1002/JEE.20199

What Drives Engineering Students to Be Entrepreneurs? Evidence of Validity for an Entrepreneurial Motivation Scale.

Soohyun Yi (2018)

10.1016/j.jpag.2014.02.010

Factorial validity of a subjective outcome evaluation tool for implementers of a positive youth development program.

D. Shek (2014)

10.1363/4005614

Evaluation of a communication campaign to improve continuation among first-time injectable contraceptive users in Nyando District, Kenya.

Holly McClain Burke (2014)

10.1017/S0954579417000037

Childhood abuse and neglect and insecure attachment states of mind in adulthood: Prospective, longitudinal evidence from a high-risk sample.

K. L. Raby (2017)

10.1108/13555851211218048

Factors affecting credit card use in India

A. Khare (2012)

10.1371/journal.pone.0088669

Generalization of Clustering Coefficients to Signed Correlation Networks

G. Costantini (2014)

10.1007/s10926-012-9357-1

Measuring Workplace Social Support for Workers with Disability

R. Lysaght (2012)

10.1016/j.jpsychores.2009.07.007

The Emotional Processing Scale: scale refinement and abridgement (EPS-25).

Roger Baker (2010)

10.1111/jan.12831

The development and psychometric testing of a theory-based instrument to evaluate nurses' perception of clinical reasoning competence.

Shwu-Ru Liou (2016)

10.1016/j.chb.2014.11.089

Acute exposure to difficult (but not violent) video games dysregulates cognitive control

Christopher R. Engelhardt (2015)

10.1177/1526924820958119

The Development and Validation of the Islamic Knowledge of Living Organ Donation Knowledge Scale for Measuring Organ Donation Knowledge Among Muslim Communities

A. Padela (2020)

10.1177/1094428116631417

Getting Through the Gate

J. Green (2016)

10.1111/ppc.12371

Sexual Orientation Myhts Scale (SOMS): Development, validity and reliability in Turkey.

Funda Evcili (2019)

10.1007/S10902-012-9383-X

Refinement and Psychometric Properties of the Eight-Item Brazilian Positive and Negative Affective Schedule for Children (PANAS-C8)

B. Damásio (2013)

10.19044/ESJ.2013.V9N20P%P

PRINCIPAL COMPONENTS AND THE MAXIMUM LIKELIHOOD METHODS AS TOOLS TO ANALYZE LARGE DATA WITH A PSYCHOLOGICAL TESTING EXAMPLE

Markela Muça (2013)

10.1016/j.jpsychores.2012.12.018

Development of a multidimensional measure of fibromyalgia symptomatology: the comprehensive rating scale for fibromyalgia symptomatology.

S. López-Pousa (2013)

10.1016/j.pain.2013.11.006

The relationship between fear of social and physical threat and its effect on social distress and physical pain perception

P. Riva (2014)

10.1080/15299732.2013.856370

Psychometric Properties of the Cambridge Depersonalization Scale in Puerto Rico

Michell R. Aponte-Soto (2014)

10.1016/j.healthplace.2014.02.015

Using multi-level data to estimate the effect of an 'alcogenic' environment on hazardous alcohol consumption in the former Soviet Union.

A. Murphy (2014)

10.1016/J.PAID.2013.11.008

Development and validation of a measure of cognitive and behavioural social self-efficacy.

Rachel Grieve (2014)

See more