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Factor loadings are part of the outcome from factor analysis, which serves as a data reduction method designed to explain the correlations between observed variables using a smaller number of factors. Because factor analysis is a widely used method in social and behavioral research, an in-depth examination of factor loadings and the related factor-loading matrix will facilitate a better understanding and use of the technique.

Factor Analysis and Factor Loadings

Factor loadings are coefficients found in either a factor pattern matrix or a factor structure matrix. The former matrix consists of regression coefficients that multiply common factors to predict observed variables, also known as manifest variables, whereas the latter matrix is made up of product-moment correlation coefficients between common factors and observed variables.

The pattern matrix and the ...

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