There are two main types of factor analysis: exploratory and confirmatory. Exploratory factor analysis (EFA) is data driven, such that the collected data determines the resulting factors. Confirmatory factor analysis (CFA) is used to test factors that have been developed a priori.
Think of CFA as a process for testing what you already think you know.
CFA is an integral part of structural equation modeling (SEM) and path analysis. The hypothesized factors should always be validated with CFA in a measurement model prior to incorporating them into a path or structural model. Because… garbage in, garbage out.
CFA is also a useful tool in checking the reliability of a measurement tool with a new population of subjects, or to further refine an instrument which is already in use.
Elaine will provide an overview of CFA. She will also (more…)