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The goal of this book is to foster a basic understanding of factor analytic techniques so that readers can use them in their own research and critically evaluate their use by other researchers. Both the underlying theory and correct application are emphasized. The theory is presented through the mathematical basis of the most common factor analytic models and several methods used in factor analysis. On the application side, considerable attention is given to the extraction problem, the rotation problem, and the interpretation of factor analytic results. Hence, readers are given a background of understanding in the the theory underlying factor analysis and then taken through the steps in executing a proper analysis -- from the initial problem of design through choice of correlation coefficient, factor extraction, factor rotation, factor interpretation, and writing up results.
This revised edition includes introductions to newer methods -- such as confirmatory factor analysis and structural equation modeling -- that have revolutionized factor analysis in recent years. To help remove some of the mystery underlying these newer, more complex methods, the introductory examples utilize EQS and LISREL. Updated material relating to the validation of the Comrey Personality Scales also has been added. Finally, program disks for running factor analyses on either an IBM-compatible PC or a mainframe with FORTRAN capabilities are available. The intended audience for this volume includes talented but mathematically unsophisticated advanced undergraduates, graduate students, and research workers seeking to acquire a basic understanding of the principles supporting factor analysis.
Disks are available in 5.25" and 3.5" formats for both mainframe programs written in Fortran and IBM PCs and compatibles running a math co-processor.
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...balanced, comprehensive, and clear discussions of the available options for factor-analytic statistical models....an excellent supplement because of the discussions of different factor-analytic criteria and comparisons between various algorithms presented in the book.
...it has considerable merit as an intermediate-level text....readers will find this to be a useful (albeit challenging) volume for increasing their knowledge of the mathematical basis of factor analysis. It contains the most readable treatment I have found of the matrix algebra involved in factor analysis....I know of no better source for developing an understanding of the computations involved in factor analysis.
The discussions of rotational criteria, planning, design issues, factor interpretation (essential reading by anyone using factor analysis) and the writing up of results are excellent. The description and insights into how factor analysis was used in the development of the Comrey personality scales I found extremely useful and informative. The blend of both theory and practice adds tremendous value to the book.
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