Factor Analysis: An Applied Approach

Factor Analysis: An Applied Approach

Factor Analysis: An Applied Approach

Factor Analysis: An Applied Approach

Excerpt

This book is written primarily as a text for a course in factor analysis at the advanced undergraduate or graduate level. It is most appropriate for students of the behavioral and social sciences, though colleagues and students in other disciplines also have used preliminary copies. It does not pretend to be a comprehensive treatise. It presents only those methods and procedures which the writers are able to recommend for practical use. Other methods are either ignored or mentioned only briefly. We have not hesitated, moreover, to include rules of thumb from the common lore and our own experience. Factor analysis is partly a mathematical science and partly an art.

We have tried to develop understanding by presenting models and theories, but without the use of advanced mathematics. Almost everything that can be derived by elementary algebra is so derived. The rudiments of analytical geometry and trigonometry are used sparingly, but calculus and advanced analysis are almost entirely avoided. Some elements of matrix algebra are used extensively, but these are discussed explicitly in Chapter III. Propositions requiring more mathematics than we have assumed or presented are merely stated without proof, and acknowledged to be beyond the scope of our treatment.

We begin with a description of Spearman-type procedures. All of the necessary theorems can be derived by elementary algebra, which clarifies basic concepts and definitions. Back-references are inserted later wherever appropriate, to show how modern methods are related to these earlier methods.

Computational procedures are treated in some detail along with discussions of theory. It is our belief that the student should not use an electronic computer to solve a large factor-analysis problem until he has solved a similar but much smaller problem using a hand or desk calculator. This requires him to go through . . .

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