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Strategies for Determining the Number of Factors to Retain in Exploratory Factor Analysis.

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When conducting an exploratory factor analysis, the decision regarding the number of factors to retain following factor extraction is one that the researcher should consider very carefully, as the decision can have a dramatic effect on results. Although there are numerous strategies that can and should be utilized when making this decision, researchers most often use the eigenvalue-greater-than-one rule or visual scree test. This trend is troubling, given that other, more sophisticated techniques have been shown to give more accurate appraisals of the number of factors. For this reason, understanding how advanced techniques derive the number of retainable factors is important. The present paper reviews various factor retention rules. Data from a questionnaire development study will be analyzed to make the discussion of the various techniques concrete. (Contains 4 tables and 7 figures.)

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Author:Stellefson, Michael; Hanik, Bruce
Publication:ERIC: Reports
Article Type:Author abstract
Geographic Code:1USA
Date:Feb 7, 2008
Words:202
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