Exploratory Factor Analysis and Theory Generation in Psychology

Review of Philosophy and Psychology 8 (3):519-540 (2017)
  Copy   BIBTEX

Abstract

Exploratory factor analysis is a statistical method widely used in quantitative psychology for the construction of scales and measurement instruments. It aims to reduce the complexity of a data set and explain the common and unique variance using latent variables. In introductory textbooks, exploratory factor analysis is generally presented in contrast to confirmatory factor analysis as a theory- or a hypothesis-generating process that does not require prior background, theory or hypothesis to be performed. The aim of the present paper is to analyze this claim and clarify in which sense exploratory factor analysis is theory-laden. We provide a careful examination of the concepts it involves and thereby establish a clear limitation of the epistemic scope of exploratory factor analysis.

Links

PhilArchive



    Upload a copy of this work     Papers currently archived: 93,127

External links

Setup an account with your affiliations in order to access resources via your University's proxy server

Through your library

Similar books and articles

Exploratory factor analysis, instruments and the logic of discovery.Davis Baird - 1987 - British Journal for the Philosophy of Science 38 (3):319-337.
Constructing and validating a scale of inquisitive curiosity.Kathryn Iurino, Brian Robinson, Markus Christen, Paul Stey & Mark Alfano - 2018 - In Ilhan Inan, Lani Watson, Dennis Whitcomb & Safiye Yigit (eds.), The Moral Psychology of Curiosity. Rowman & Littlefield International.

Analytics

Added to PP
2016-11-08

Downloads
42 (#390,669)

6 months
10 (#308,815)

Historical graph of downloads
How can I increase my downloads?

Author's Profile

Clayton Peterson
Université de Montréal

Citations of this work

The epistemic vices of corporations.Marco Meyer - 2023 - Synthese 201 (5):1-22.

Add more citations

References found in this work

Models in Science (2nd edition).Roman Frigg & Stephan Hartmann - 2021 - The Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy.
The Scientific Image.William Demopoulos & Bas C. van Fraassen - 1982 - Philosophical Review 91 (4):603.
La théorie physique: son objet et sa structure.P. Duhem - 1906 - Revue Philosophique de la France Et de l'Etranger 61:324-327.

View all 20 references / Add more references