Factor analysis and Psychometrika: Major developments

  • Mulaik S
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Abstract~~Papers on factor analysis appearing inPsychometrika reflect the initial efforts of the Thurstonians to reformulate psychology as a quantitative science. The Thurstonians' emphasis on the development of factor analysis as an exploratory methodology was not new with them but was taken from British statisticians and psychologists who preceded them, whose literature the Thurstonians otherwise tended to ignore. The Thurstonians' rejection of general factors and focus on rotation to simple structure reflected an attempt to avoid statistical artifact and to identify factors with psychological substance. Much of the literature on factor analysis inPsychometrika concerned solving technical problems in the exploratory factor analysis method. Factor analysis took a major shift in direction in the 1970's with the development of confirmatory methodologies, many of which now receive greater attention than the method of exploratory factor analysis, most of the problems of which are now resolved.

Author-supplied keywords

  • Psychometrika
  • factor analysis
  • history
  • multivariate statistics

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  • Stanley A. Mulaik

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