factor analysiseducation dictionary

<statistics> A statistical method that describes the interrelationships of a set of variables by statistically deriving new variables, called factors. These define the correlations between variables. These factors are fewer in number than the original set of variables.

Factor analysis reveals how much of the variation in each of the original measures arises from, or is associated with, each of the hypothetical factors. Factor analysis has contributed to an understanding of the organisation or components of intelligence, aptitudes, and personality, and it has led to the development of improved tests of several components.

(28 Feb 2006)

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