Confirmatory factor analysis is an advanced statistical technique used to detect or make inferences regarding the presence of latent variables. The latent variables are not directly observed, but instead emerge as inferences made from verifying the structure of an observed or measured set of variables. The verification of the factor structure from the observed variables provides grounds to establish evidence from which to argue about various hypotheses to theoretically confirm latent factor structures.

This entry defines confirmatory factor analysis and describes various aspects of confirmatory factor analysis. First, the various levels of analysis are discussed in respect to the order of computation. Then, the process of confirmatory factor analysis is discussed in respect to a more practical application for communication studies. The conclusion includes various limitations ...

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