by Maike Rahn, PhD
Why use factor analysis?
Factor analysis is a useful tool for investigating variable relationships for complex concepts such as socioeconomic status, dietary patterns, or psychological scales.
It allows researchers to investigate concepts that are not easily measured directly by collapsing a large number of variables into a few interpretable underlying factors.
What is a factor?
The key concept of factor analysis is that multiple observed variables have similar patterns of responses because they are all associated with a latent (i.e. not directly measured) variable.
[Read more...] about Factor Analysis: A Short Introduction, Part 1