Quantitative Psychology is arguably one of the oldest disciplines within the field of psychology and nearly all psychologists are exposed to quantitative psychology in some form. While textbooks in statistics, research methods, and psychological measurement exist none offer a unified treatment of quantitative psychology. The SAGE Handbook of Quantitative Methods in Psychology does just that. Each chapter covers a methodological topic with equal attention paid to established theory and the challenges facing methodologists as they address new research questions using that particular methodology. The reader will come away from each chapter with a greater understanding of the methodology being addressed as well as an understanding of the directions for future developments within that methodological area.

Factor Analysis

Factor analysis


Researchers in psychology routinely observe that variables of interest are intercorrelated in sample data. Correlations among measured variables (MVs) may be due to a number of phenomena, including direct causation, indirect causation, or joint dependence on other variables. Although it may be relatively straightforwardtoexplainasimple correlation between two variables, accounting for an array of correlations among a substantial number of variables is much more difficult. Given a set of p MVs, the observed inter-correlations among them comprise a complex set of information, and the investigator seeks to understand and account for this information in a simple and meaningful way. Factor analysis models and methods provide a framework for addressing this problem.

The fundamental premise of factor analysis is that there exist latent variables (LVs) that ...

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