Notes on Technology and the Moral Order

By Alvin W. Gouldner; Richard A. Peterson | Go to book overview

CHAPTER 4
The Relative Magnitudes of the Factors

Having indicated that kingship, technology, and Apollonianism (or norm-sending) appear as factors, we may note that the "star actors" have at least made their appearance. How important their roles are remains, however, to be seen. For our purposes, we need not be much concerned about the other factors; at least, we need not characterize them specifically to explore the problem in which we are interested. (Those interested in the other factors can find them in Appendices D and E.) Since we successively extracted ten orthogonal and eleven oblique factors in all, a relatively large number as such matters go, it seems likely that if there were any important competitors they could be found among the remaining factors.

We are now, therefore, in a position to return to the central issue with which we began: Which is the most influential factor, kingship, technology, or norm-sending? More specifically, what is the is the importance of these factors in relation to each other and in relation to all the others extracted? At this point we must consider the way in which the relative influence of a factor might be defined operationally, and we need operationalizations or measures that are in reasonable agreement with our notion of "importance."

One crude method might be to define "influence" as the proportion of variance which a given factor extracts from the total variance in the original correlation matrix. In this case, variance means the sum of the squares of all the factor loadings for each factor. This

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