Factor analysis

Factor analysis

By Ertel, Suitbert
Book Description

Exploratory factor analysis (EFA) is a statistical tool for digging out hidden factors which give rise to the diversity of manifest objectives in psychology, medicine and other sciences. EFA had its heyday as psychologist Leon Thurstone (1935 and 1948) based EFA on what he called the “principle of simple structure” (SS). This principle, however, was erroneous from the beginning what remained unrecognized despite subsequent inventions of more sophisticated statistical tools such as confirmatory analysis and structural equation modeling. These methods are highly recommended today as tolerable routes to model complexities of observation. But they did not remove the harmful errors that SS had left behind. Five chapters in this book demonstrate and explain the trouble. In chapter 2 the ailment of SS is healed by introducing an unconventional factor rotation, called Varimin. Varimin gives variables of an analysis an optimal opportunity to manifest functional interrelations underlying correlational observations. Ten applications of Varimin (in chapter 2) show that its results are superior to results obtained by the conventional Varimax procedure. Further applications are presented for sports achievements (chapter 3), intelligence (chapter 4), and personality (chapter 5). If Varimin keeps on standing the tests new theoretical building blocks will arise together with conceptual networks promoting a better understanding of the domains under study. Readers may check this prognosis by themselves using the statistical tool (Varimin) which is provided by open access in the internet.

Table of Contents
  • Titelei
  • Contents
  • Abbreviations
  • Foreword
  • Preface
  • Chapter 1: Critique of the simple structure doctrine
    • Introduction
    • 01. The present state of factor analytical research
    • 02. The doctrine of simple structure (SS)
    • 03. The fallacy’s consequences
    • 04. Detailed error analysis
    • 05. Reorientation
    • 06. Where did we go wrong?
    • 07. Unheeded critical voices
    • 08. Can non-factorial procedures take us forward?
    • Discussion of chapter 1 and outlook
  • Chapter 2: Finding complex structures
    • Introduction
    • Questions and Test Runs
    • Test run 1: Evaluating phoneme similarities
    • Test run 2: Similarity judgments of British coins
    • Test run 3: Differentiation of response styles at responding to questionnaires
    • Test run 4: Semantic features of kinship terms
    • Test run 5: Intellectual development in childhood
    • Test run 6: Body size and body shape in cattle
    • Test run 7: Intelligence tests and performance tests
    • Test run 8: Psychophysiological activity indicators
    • Test run 9: Knowledge test with varying test methods
    • Test run 10: Self-assessment and external assessment of children
    • Discussion of chapter 2
  • Chapter 3: Decathlon data under analysis
    • Introduction
    • Description of data
    • Results: Factor analyses
    • 1. Interpreting Varimin factors
    • 2. Attempt at an interpretation of Varimax factors
    • 3. Attempt at an interpretation of initial factors
    • 4. Expert rankings for validating Varimin factors
    • Discussion of chapter 3
  • Chapter 4: Intelligence data under analysis
    • Point of departure and objectives
    • Study I: Varimin analysis of IST factors
    • Study II: Validations of Varimin-rotated IST factors
    • Discussion of chapter 4
  • Chapter 5: Varimin factors from Big Five personality data
    • Point of departure
    • Material and analysis
    • Towards an interpretation of Varimin factors of personality
    • More preliminaries
    • Varimin factor interpretations
    • Concluding remarks
    • The interpretations of Varimin factors on probation
    • Re-interpreting Varimax factors by profiles of Varimin factors
    • Discussion of chapter 5
  • Insight and Outlook
  • Review of chapters 1 to 5
  • Appendix
  • References
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