Online Program

Saturday, February 23
CS18 Theme 4: Software and Graphics #4 Sat, Feb 23, 10:45 AM - 12:15 PM
Napoleon D1&2

Under the Hood with Exploratory Factor Analysis: What is Rotation, Really? (302302)

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Elizabeth W. Hoag-Carhart, Old Dominion University 
*Jason W. Osborne, Old Dominion University 

Keywords: Factor analysis, rotation, best practices

Exploratory factor analysis, for better or worse, is one of the most popular statistical techniques reported in the social and behavioral sciences. Yet few researchers understand the mathematics and mechanics of rotation-- a technique routinely used to help clarify the results of initial extraction. Reviews of research using EFA suggests that most researchers use software default settings (e.g., principal components extraction with varimax rotation), which may not meet the researchers goals (e.g., Osborne, Costello, & Kellow, 2008).

Our goal of this presentation is to provide an intuitive, visual, nontechnical overview of what statistical computing software is actually doing when it performs various types of rotations (i.e., common orthogonal and oblique rotations). Through this better understanding of what rotation is doing, and the various options available, we hope to assist researchers in making more informed choices about their exploratory factor analyses. References: Osborne, J. W., Costello, A. B., & Kellow, J. T. (2008). Best Practices in Exploratory Factor Analysis. In J. W. Osborne (Ed.), Best Practices in Quantitative Methods (pp. 205-213). Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage Publishing.