Exploratory Factor Analysis  
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Factor analysis is a statistical method that is used to determine the number of underlying dimensions contained in a set of observed variables and to identify the subset of variables that corresponds to each of the underlying dimensions. The underlying dimensions are referred to as continuous latent variables or factors. The observed variables are referred to as factor indicators. There are two types of factor analysis: exploratory factor analysis (EFA) and confirmatory factor analysis (CFA).

EFA is a technique that attempts to determine the minimum number of continuous latent variables or factors that can adequately describe the correlations among a set of observed variables. The model is exploratory in the sense that it does not impose a structure on the relationship between the observed variables and the continuous latent variables but only specifies the number of continuous latent variables. The goal of exploratory factor analysis is to find the smallest number of interpretable factors that can adequately explain the correlations among a set of variables. It is important that the factors be interpretable according to a recognized theory in addition to the model fitting the data well. Exploratory factor analysis results can be influenced by the set of variables included in the analysis. Therefore, it is important that the set of variables be developed carefully with the aim of measuring specific content areas prior to using EFA to study the intended dimensionality. When used with such a set of variables, EFA can be a useful tool not only for understanding the dimensionality of a set of variables but also for isolating variables that do not measure the dimensions well. EFA can be helpful during pilot work in the development of a set of items.

In Mplus, factor indicators for EFA may be continuous, categorical (binary or ordered polytomous), or a combination of continuous and categorical. When factor indicators are all continuous, Mplus has four estimator choices: maximum likelihood (ML), maximum likelihood with robust standard errors and chi-square (MLM, MLMV), and unweighted least squares (ULS). When at least one factor indicator is categorical, Mplus has four estimator choices: weighted least squares (WLS), robust weighted least squares (WLSM, WLSMV), and unweighted least squares (ULS).
Thread (Start New Thread) Last Post Last Poster Posts
Rotations1-15-13  8:46 pmThuy Nguyen86
Calculating the % variance explain4-08-13  7:48 amJJL47
Binary data and factor analysis2-03-13  11:34 amBengt O. Muthen144
Factor Scoring Coefficients6-23-12  1:13 pmLinda K. Muthen62
DF in EFA with Categorical Indicators5-26-11  10:52 amLinda K. Muthen14
Standardized loadings8-20-13  1:42 pmBengt O. Muthen6
Unrotated factor loadings8-31-12  2:38 pmBengt O. Muthen15
Loading greater than one in a EFA with categorical data9-01-09  8:19 amBengt O. Muthen16
How to set seed number in Monte Carlo study9-26-05  8:27 amLinda K. Muthen4
Second-order EFA with dichotomous variables9-06-02  10:13 amLinda K. Muthen4
EFA eigenvalues10-15-13  11:13 amLinda K. Muthen34
Standard errors with categorical indicators9-22-09  10:17 amLinda K. Muthen7
Implosion3-06-06  10:36 ampoker casino1552
Factor analysis9-18-13  10:04 amJan Zirk36
EFA with 7-point items2-24-10  9:20 amLinda K. Muthen7
Comparing covariance matrices3-24-05  2:16 pmAnonymous10
Formatting the output1-30-10  8:43 amLinda K. Muthen4
CFA with tranformed variables4-23-10  8:45 amLinda K. Muthen6
ULS vs WLSMV10-08-04  12:14 pmDaniel E Bontempo1
Residuals4-26-05  8:24 amLinda K. Muthen6
Creating a Measurement Model for a Single Composite Latent Variable11-03-04  11:02 ambmuthen4
EFA with sampling weight3-10-10  9:32 amLinda K. Muthen7
Appropriate sample size for Robust WLS?1-18-05  3:40 pmLinda K. Muthen2
EFA with categorical indicators3-20-13  10:21 amLinda K. Muthen46
Reading a Configuration5-06-06  12:28 pmLinda K. Muthen45
EFA with ordinal complex data6-12-12  6:17 pmEFried12
EFA IN A CFA FRAMEWORK: Identification constraint3-30-12  6:26 amBengt O. Muthen23
Factor Loading larger than 19-15-05  2:32 pmBMuthen2
Priors11-16-10  4:08 pmLinda K. Muthen6
RMSR as an extraction criterion11-29-05  8:48 amFlorian Fiedler5
Monte Carlo Simulation12-02-05  12:29 pmLinda K. Muthen2
MPLUS sample size limitation2-16-09  8:19 amLinda K. Muthen6
Reference about the inapropiate use of EFA1-21-06  7:40 ambmuthen2
EFA in version 2 and 31-24-06  8:21 pmLinda K. Muthen2
G factor in EFA w/ ordinal data3-13-06  10:56 amEmerson Wickwire15
Factor Loading Cutoff11-18-10  9:54 amLinda K. Muthen8
Rotations in EFA4-05-06  6:46 amLinda K. Muthen8
Request for help with Two Wave SEM4-06-06  5:25 pmLinda K. Muthen2
Text8-13-13  2:39 pmLinda K. Muthen4
Non-normal Continuous Data11-30-11  10:04 amTihomir Asparouhov6
Mplus vs sas6-21-06  8:08 amLinda K. Muthen2
EFA on repeated measures9-12-13  1:24 pmLinda K. Muthen14
Binary VS Dichotomous variable.9-07-06  11:15 pmTeerasak Jindabot3
Correlation from Covariance Matrix9-21-06  7:13 pmThuy Nguyen2
When loadings depend on the order of the items10-24-06  7:30 amLinda K. Muthen2
Differences between Mplus and SPSS in EFA5-12-11  6:34 pmBengt O. Muthen6
EFA Monte Carlo11-22-06  2:34 pmBengt O. Muthen2
Problems minimizing the function12-07-06  8:54 amRoger Brown3
Mplus vs STATA12-20-06  6:40 amLinda K. Muthen2
External Monte Carlo Sets7-15-08  3:34 pmLinda K. Muthen8
Regression expression with factor scores?1-23-07  7:06 pmKoka Venkat3
Factor weights4-25-08  3:42 pmLinda K. Muthen8
Factor Analysis with Ordinal and Continuous Data12-10-12  8:13 amEFried41
Factor analysis in Mplus and SPSS9-01-08  4:31 pmaleksandar2
Programming6-10-07  6:48 pmLinda K. Muthen2
Sample size for EFA4-27-11  9:01 amLinda K. Muthen6
EFA with nominal data6-28-07  3:26 pmLinda K. Muthen2
Scores for binary/ordinal CFA?7-21-07  12:19 pmLinda K. Muthen2
No convergence3-18-12  7:02 amLinda K. Muthen20
Testlets and Factor Analysis12-26-10  1:25 pmBengt O. Muthen11
Sample size for EFA3-04-08  6:00 amAbdel3
Eigen plot in Mplus 512-03-08  1:44 pmAnjali Gupta2
Rotation in Mplus 54-14-08  6:47 pmLinda K. Muthen4
Estimator in MPlus3-21-08  12:15 pmLinda K. Muthen2
Mplus font size3-09-09  10:16 amLinda K. Muthen7
Monte Carlo Simulation with binary indicators 4-03-08  12:42 pmBengt O. Muthen4
Model constraints in montecarlo EFA4-07-08  8:55 amLinda K. Muthen4
RMSEA vs. RMSR11-04-09  5:53 amLinda K. Muthen10
Ordinal data & EFA4-22-08  8:23 amLinda K. Muthen4
Random selection for replication4-21-08  7:35 amLinda K. Muthen2
Warning Message for EFA12-04-11  8:37 amMaria Efthymiou16
EFA with twin data12-22-08  4:48 pmLinda K. Muthen9
EFA Rotations5-27-08  10:27 amLinda K. Muthen2
Good value for percentage of variance explained6-03-08  1:21 pmLinda K. Muthen4
EFA Monte Carlo study6-09-08  8:31 amLinda K. Muthen2
Problems in running EFA7-15-08  9:28 amStudent8
Specify Decimal Places7-28-08  11:40 amYu Kyoum Kim3
Standard Errors with ULS Estimator 7-29-08  7:07 amYu Kyoum Kim3
CFI/TLI7-31-08  8:58 amLinda K. Muthen2
Saving factor scores in ESEM4-12-13  8:58 amLinda K. Muthen13
EFA in SPSS, CFA in Mplus10-28-09  8:58 amHeidi Keeler13
AIC/BIC with EFA10-10-08  4:32 pmLinda K. Muthen2
EFA with categorical indicators10-26-08  9:09 amLinda K. Muthen2
Modification indices for EFA in version 511-10-08  8:05 amLinda K. Muthen2
Handling Heywood Cases8-17-12  8:52 amMat Weldon4
EFA plus monte carlo question3-21-11  12:58 pmLinda K. Muthen8
WLS vs MLR in EFA w ordinal data7-01-13  10:45 amBengt O. Muthen11
Can I use Mplus to analyse my data1-25-09  8:03 amJoanne Pybis0
Correlation Matrix in Mplus and other softwares4-19-13  4:11 pmLinda K. Muthen16
Please help1-31-09  3:35 amPaul Brzozowsky0
MLF/MLR2-04-09  3:19 pmLinda K. Muthen2
CFA followed by EFA2-10-09  7:59 amThomas A. Schmitt3
Basic MPLUS Question2-16-09  7:02 amNicole Stanoff0
EFA w/ Skewed Dichotomous Variables2-23-09  3:36 pmLinda K. Muthen2
Kaiser-guttman rule3-08-09  11:45 amBengt O. Muthen2
RMSEA and SRMR <0.05 but Chi-quare P-value=0.0003-20-09  10:56 amBengt O. Muthen2
Determining rotated factor loading Significance 3-22-09  11:46 amLinda K. Muthen2
Efa simulations4-07-09  12:06 pmLinda K. Muthen2
Inquiry about number of observations4-21-09  4:02 pmLinda K. Muthen4
Monte Carlo EFA has been disallowed.4-17-09  9:00 amLinda K. Muthen4
Modern Multidimensional Scaling4-24-09  11:15 amSean Mullen3
Path Analysis11-06-09  1:08 pmLinda K. Muthen6
Principal component analysis6-18-09  10:47 amManuel3
General Syntax Question7-28-09  12:42 pmLinda K. Muthen2
Exploratory factor solutions8-02-09  7:36 ammonica0
Model Comparison EFA3-03-10  8:15 amLinda K. Muthen12
WLSMV versus WLSM8-11-09  4:25 pmLinda K. Muthen2
Factor Loading Greater than one8-16-09  12:53 pmBengt O. Muthen2
Variance accounted for in EFA9-17-09  8:34 amLinda K. Muthen2
Saving latent variables11-01-10  8:43 pmBo Fu2
EFA with categorical and continuous variables4-14-11  1:09 pmLinda K. Muthen10
Tucker's coefficient of congruence in EFA11-07-09  11:59 amLinda K. Muthen2
Unexpected Termination11-16-09  7:32 amChristopher Gonwa-Re0
Principal axis factoring1-12-12  8:31 pmBengt O. Muthen4
Factor loading signs flipped2-18-10  11:12 amLinda K. Muthen2
Wish list9-18-12  12:04 pmEFried9
ESEM3-28-13  1:19 pmZachary Isoma35
Number of Reported Observations3-17-10  2:48 pmLinda K. Muthen2
EFA with covariate4-10-13  11:29 amLinda K. Muthen4
RMSEA too high3-26-13  11:49 amXu, Man12
Less than 2 categories?4-20-10  7:31 amRules Comm3
Hanging Variables/ NS Paths within my Model4-21-10  8:58 amLinda K. Muthen2
Interpreting Two-Level EFA Model Test Results4-12-13  9:02 amLinda K. Muthen12
Splitting sample for EFA and CFA4-22-10  9:01 amLinda K. Muthen2
Two stage least squares5-03-10  10:09 amLinda K. Muthen2
Residual variances4-24-12  6:07 amLinda K. Muthen6
Sample statistics problem6-25-10  2:54 pmLinda K. Muthen2
Factor determinacy7-01-10  7:54 amLinda K. Muthen2
Cross loading7-13-10  8:18 amBengt O. Muthen3
GEOMIN ROTATED LOADINGS 8-01-10  8:32 pmBengt O. Muthen2
High-dimensional EFA (optimize run time)8-06-10  9:40 amJaime Derringer0
High-dimensional EFA (optimize run time)8-07-10  8:29 amBengt O. Muthen8
Compare factor loadings?8-08-10  11:09 amLinda K. Muthen2
Ratio of factor loading to standard error3-02-13  7:45 amLinda K. Muthen4
What is the default method of EFA in MPLUS?8-12-10  2:30 pmLinda K. Muthen2
Maximum number of factors in EFA8-19-10  1:20 pmOlga Maslovskaya3
Negative residual variance9-05-10  11:46 amLinda K. Muthen6
Factor extraction9-08-10  11:18 amLinda K. Muthen2
Sample size for Multilevel EFA9-14-10  5:36 pmdavid john allsop6
Bootstrapping the EFA9-17-10  8:04 amLinda K. Muthen2
CFI/TLI > 15-06-13  6:19 pmkja16
Plot loading factors9-30-10  11:32 amLinda K. Muthen2
Correlation structure 10-27-10  12:16 pmLinda K. Muthen8
Data entry problem11-05-10  2:23 pmLinda K. Muthen4
EFA with Bayes estimation11-06-12  10:52 amJan Zirk18
Contribution proportion for each factor in EFA11-08-10  8:12 amBengt O. Muthen2
EFA with ML5-21-11  9:58 amBengt O. Muthen4
EFA - Estimator with Planned Missing Data8-19-11  6:19 pmBengt O. Muthen9
Significance of factor correlations5-15-13  8:44 amLinda K. Muthen8
EFA interpretation 4-26-11  11:00 amLinda K. Muthen4
Number of factors5-04-11  11:17 amLinda K. Muthen2
One factor EFA vs CFA for categorical5-09-11  6:09 amLinda K. Muthen2
EFA question5-23-11  10:36 amLinda K. Muthen5
Strange Error Message with ESEM6-23-11  11:06 amLinda K. Muthen4
Longitudinal Factor Analysis3-20-12  6:13 pmBengt O. Muthen4
Factor structure with negative correlations6-16-11  10:54 amLinda K. Muthen3
EFA in Mplus vs EFA in SPSS7-24-11  11:44 amLinda K. Muthen2
EFA with categorical indicators10-26-11  1:12 pmLinda K. Muthen4
Significance of factor scores7-26-11  2:55 pmLinda K. Muthen4
MGA ESEM Syntax question8-03-11  1:05 amLouis De Page3
Factor Scores6-24-13  1:14 pmLinda K. Muthen6
Which Example details ESEM?10-19-11  11:30 amDoug Samuel6
EFA model comparison11-02-11  1:24 pmLinda K. Muthen2
EFA with formative11-03-11  11:14 amLinda K. Muthen2
EFA rotated solutions: SPSS v. Mplus11-10-11  1:13 pmBengt O. Muthen6
Overfactoring11-18-11  5:53 pmBengt O. Muthen4
Unconstrained ESEM with target rotation12-05-11  8:59 amLinda K. Muthen2
Chi-square interpretation12-05-11  9:02 amLinda K. Muthen2
Number of integration points in Monte Carlo EFA12-19-11  3:24 pmLinda K. Muthen6
ULSMV and EFA12-13-11  9:50 amLinda K. Muthen2
EFA negative factor loading12-18-11  3:14 pmLinda K. Muthen3
Two-Level Exploratory Factor Analysis12-25-11  9:32 amAlan Johnson7
WLS vs ULS for ordinal items?1-05-12  12:21 pmLinda K. Muthen2
What is wrong with this code?1-12-12  8:24 pmLinda K. Muthen2
Simple descriptives1-22-12  5:46 pmJoel Nigg3
DIFFTEST with EFA3-06-13  9:37 amLinda K. Muthen5
Replicating EFA results with CFA3-18-12  7:01 amLinda K. Muthen5
Output of EFA4-08-12  8:57 amLinda K. Muthen2
EFA taking a long time4-22-12  2:09 pmLinda K. Muthen2
Increase N of iterations for rotation algorithm4-30-12  1:51 pmLinda K. Muthen2
Exploratory bi-factor analysis5-08-12  2:43 pmLinda K. Muthen8
KMO statistic5-07-12  9:01 amLinda K. Muthen4
EFA with dichotomous variables6-14-12  10:39 amPhilip C Higgins12
Geomin rotated loadings > 16-13-12  1:22 pmLinda K. Muthen2
Correlation Matrix for EFA6-13-12  3:05 pmLinda K. Muthen2
Factor Loadings2-15-13  1:31 pmBengt O. Muthen8
WLSMV vs. MLR in EFA/ESEM and what to do?7-17-12  1:41 amClio Berry7
Warning Messages11-23-12  7:36 amLinda K. Muthen4
EFA in CFA format8-03-12  3:47 pmLinda K. Muthen2
SE for factor scores from EFA output6-06-13  8:41 amXu, Man10
LCGA of factor analysis of count variables8-13-12  9:07 amLinda K. Muthen4
ESEM - correlations different between groups test9-13-12  10:43 amLinda K. Muthen4
Reverse coding9-10-12  1:34 pmBengt O. Muthen2
PAF code9-12-12  9:46 amLinda K. Muthen3
Target rotation2-15-13  10:40 amLinda K. Muthen6
ESEM example 5.279-26-12  4:08 pmLinda K. Muthen2
Parallel analysis and bifactor EFA10-02-12  12:28 amPhilippe Golay3
DEMO version of MPLUS10-29-12  4:54 pmQianLi Xue3
Error 59???? EFA11-09-12  12:06 amKaterina Gk3
EFA with count variables and exposure indicators11-12-12  3:34 amPaul Norris3
Diagrammer and EFA11-13-12  8:04 amBengt O. Muthen2
Negative loading and sign swtiching in EFA12-06-12  8:10 amxiangyu cong5
EMPTY CELL warning 12-09-12  5:38 pmLinda K. Muthen2
Factor analysis1-05-13  4:11 pmBengt O. Muthen2
EFA positive definite2-11-13  8:06 amLinda K. Muthen6
EFA with Mixed Variables2-06-13  11:48 amLinda K. Muthen19
EFA items sum to 12-04-13  6:25 pmBengt O. Muthen4
WLSMV2-12-13  1:05 pmLinda K. Muthen2
Posterior Probability for the Number of Factors3-06-13  9:38 amLinda K. Muthen2
Factors in exploratory bi-factor analysis3-14-13  8:46 amBengt O. Muthen8
Parallel analysis for categorical data6-04-13  8:36 amBengt O. Muthen9
Output - sample statistics3-13-13  4:25 pmLinda K. Muthen2
Mplus 5 and 6 - different results3-26-13  6:05 amLinda K. Muthen2
Polychoric correlation3-28-13  6:01 amLinda K. Muthen2
RMSEA3-30-13  11:39 amCesar Daniel Costa B7
Bifactor EFA4-06-13  1:50 pmEric Deemer5
Changing defaults in EFA4-08-13  11:39 amLinda K. Muthen2
Addfrequency4-16-13  8:54 amLinda K. Muthen2
EFA with Parallel option4-19-13  11:46 amLinda K. Muthen2
ESEM: Factor structure and external covariates5-01-13  4:10 pmLinda K. Muthen4
Modification index in EFA6-03-13  10:57 amLinda K. Muthen2
Ordered Ploynmous Rating Scale in Muplus?6-08-13  8:57 amLinda K. Muthen2
EFA Warning bivariate table empty cell6-21-13  11:46 amLinda K. Muthen3
EFA -No Convergence: number of iterations exceeded6-21-13  3:24 pmLinda K. Muthen2
Scalar invariance Mplus 7.16-25-13  10:20 amLinda K. Muthen4
Sample Size EFA7-05-13  8:42 amLinda K. Muthen2
Centering error7-29-13  11:59 amLinda K. Muthen2
The Power of ESEM ?8-02-13  6:16 amBengt O. Muthen4
Monte carlo for EFA8-10-13  9:20 amBengt O. Muthen2
Save Factor Scores from EFA?8-26-13  11:29 amLinda K. Muthen2
Maximum likelihood EFA with categorical indicators9-08-13  4:52 pmBengt O. Muthen4
EFA with three-level model10-16-13  2:09 pmLinda K. Muthen8
Two-level item bi-factor EFA9-30-13  11:27 amLinda K. Muthen2
ESEM - Multiple groups & factors10-08-13  7:28 amElizabeth Salib4
Conditional Normality - Categorical Variables 10-11-13  11:46 amBengt O. Muthen2
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