Exploratory factor analysis (EFA) is a procedure for establishing the relationship between measured variables in a data set and the latent factors that explain the covariation between these measured variables. EFA is an important tool for communication researchers because it is a standard procedure used in scale design and the validation of constructs. EFA is also a procedure that requires various decisions to be made in the analytical process—decisions that can appear opaque to those unfamiliar with the analysis. This entry provides an examination of EFA by delineating what it is, how to distinguish it from procedures with similar use cases, and the procedures and decision making required to conduct the EFA.
Unlike most statistical analyses, the ...
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