A quantity which is multiplied by another quantity.

See also: divisor.

(01 Jul 2002)

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<statistics> Any variable, real or hypothetical, that is an aspect of a concept or construct.

In measurement theory, a statistical dimension defined by factor analysis. In mental measurement, a hypothetical trait, ability, or component of ability that underlies and influences performance on two or more tests and hence causes scores on tests to be correlated.

The term factor strictly refers to a theoretical variable, derived by the process of factor analysis from a table of interrelations among tests. However, it is also used to denote the psychological interpretation given to the variable, the mental trait assumed to be represented by the variable, as verbal ability or numerical ability.

(28 Feb 2006)

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<pharmacology> Any of several substances or activities that are necessary to produce a result, for example a coagulation factor.

Often, use of the term factor indicates that the chemical nature of the substance or its mechanism of action is unknown, as in endocrinology, where factors are renamed as hormones when their chemical nature is determined.

This entry appears with permission from the Dictionary of Cell and Molecular Biology

(11 Mar 2008)

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