Armstrong, J. Scott (1967): Derivation of theory by means of factor analysis or Tom Swift and his electric factor analysis machine. Published in: American Statistician No. 21 (1967): pp. 1721.

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Abstract
Problems in the use of factor analysis for deriving theory are illustrated by means of an example in which the underlying factors are known. The actual underlying model is simple and it provides a perfect explanation of the data. While the factor analysis "explains" a large proportion of the total variance, it fails to identify the known factors in the model. The illustration is used to emphasize that factor analysis, by itself, may be misleading as far as the development of theory is concerned. The use of a comprehensive, and explicit à priori analysis is proposed so that there will be independent criteria for the evaluation of the factor analytic results.
Item Type:  MPRA Paper 

Original Title:  Derivation of theory by means of factor analysis or Tom Swift and his electric factor analysis machine 
Language:  English 
Keywords:  factor analysis, statistics 
Subjects:  C  Mathematical and Quantitative Methods > C1  Econometric and Statistical Methods and Methodology: General C  Mathematical and Quantitative Methods > C4  Econometric and Statistical Methods: Special Topics 
Item ID:  81667 
Depositing User:  J Armstrong 
Date Deposited:  09 Nov 2017 20:55 
Last Modified:  09 Nov 2017 20:55 
References:  Cattell, R. B. (1949), “The dimensions of culture patterns by factorization of national characters,” Journal of Abnormal and Social Psychology, 44, 443469. Overall, J, (1964), “Note on the scientific status of factors,” Psychological Bulletin, 61 (4), 270276. 
URI:  https://mpra.ub.unimuenchen.de/id/eprint/81667 