In Factor Analysis, How Do We Decide Whether to Have Rotated or Unrotated Factors?

January 20th, 2017 by

I recently gave a free webinar on Principal Component Analysis. We had almost 300 researchers attend and didn’t get through all the questions. This is part of a series of answers to those questions.

If you missed it, you can get the webinar recording here.

Question: How do we decide whether to have rotated or unrotated factors?


Great question. Of course, the answer depends on your situation.

When you retain only one factor in a solution, then rotation is irrelevant. In fact, most software won’t even print out rotated coefficients and they’re pretty meaningless in that situation.

But if you retain two or more factors, you need to rotate.

Unrotated factors are pretty difficult to interpret in that situation. (more…)