Factor Analysis

Focus Paper

  • Fabrigar, L.R., Wegener, D.T., MacCallum, R. C., & Strahan, E.J. (1999). Evaluating the use of exploratory factor analysis in psychological research. Psychological Methods, 4, 272-299.
  • Schmitt, T.A. (2011). Current methodological considerations in exploratory and confirmatory factor analysis. Journal of Psychoeducational Assessment, 29, 304-321.

Wikipedia Links

Suggested further reading

Factors or components.

  • Multivariate Behavioral Research, 1990, 25,1. Target article and a large number of commentaries from top methodologists (Bentler, Mulaik, Gorsuch, Steiger, Schonemann, McArdle, Widaman etc.)
  • Widaman, K.F. (1993). Common factor analysis versus principal component analysis: Differential bias in representing model parameters? Multivariate Behavioural Research, 28, 263-311.
  • Borsboom, D., Mellenbergh, G.J., & van Heerden, J. (2003). The theoretical status of latent variables. Psychological Review, 110, 203-219.

Sample Size

  • MacCallum, R.C., Widaman, K.F., Zhang, S. & Hong, S. (1999). Sample size in factor analysis. Psychological Methods, 4, 84-99.
  • Preacher, K.J. & MacCallum, R.C. (2002). Exploratory factor analysis in behavior genetics research: Factor recovery with small sample sizes. Behavior Genetics, 32, 153-161.
  • de Winter, J.C.F. & Dodou, D. (2012). Factor recovery by principal axis factoring and maximum likelihood factor analysis as a function of factor pattern and sample size. Journal of Applied Statistics, 39, 695-710.
  • Mundfrom, D.J., Shaw, D.G., & Ke, T.L. (2005). Minimum Sample Size Recommendations for Conducting Factor Analyses. International Journal of Testing, 5, 159-168.



  • Browne, M.W. (2001). An overview of analytic rotation in exploratory factor analysis. Multivariate Behavioral Research, 36, 111-150.
  • Sass, D.A., & Schmitt, T.A. (2010). A comparative investigation of rotation criteria within exploratory factor analysis. Multivariate Behavioral Research, 45, 1-33.

Number of factors/components to select.

  • Crawford, A.V., Green, S.B., Levy, R., Lo, W-J., Scott, L., Svetina, S., & Thompson, M.S. (2010). Evaluation of parallel analysis methods for determining the number of factors. Educational and Psychological Measurement, 70, 885-901.
  • Lorenzo-Seva, U., Timmerman, M.E., & Kiers, H.A.L. (2011). The Hull method for selecting the number of common factors. Multivariate Behavioral Research, 46, 340-364.
  • Timmerman, M. E., & Lorenzo-Seva, U. (2011). Dimensionality Assessment of Polytomous Items with Parallel Analysis. Psychological Methods, 16, 209-220. doi:10.1037/a0023353.

Applied use of factor analysis

  • Ford, J.K., MacCallum, R.C., Tait, M. (2006). The application of exploratory factor analysis in applied psychology: A critical review and analysis. Personnel Psychology, 39, 291-314.
  • Henson, R.K. & Roberts, J.K. (2006). Use of exploratory factor analysis in published research; Common errors and some comment on improved practice. Educational and Psychological Measurement, 66, 393-416.

Factor Scores

  • Grice, J. W. (2001). Computing and evaluating factor scores.  Psychol Methods, 6. 430-450. doi]. PMID.
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