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Basic Concepts and Procedures of Confirmatory Factor Analysis.

Stapleton, Connie D.

Abstract: Exploratory and confirmatory factor analytic techniques are compared, and how to conduct a confirmatory factor analysis is reviewed. A sampling of "fit" statistics and suggestions for methods to improve models for testing are also presented. Exploratory factor analysis is used to explore data to determine the number of the nature of factors that account for the covariation between variables when the researcher does not have, a priori, sufficient evidence to form a hypothesis about the number of factors underlying the data. Confirmatory factor analysis is a theory-testing model as opposed to a theory-generating method like exploratory factor analysis. In confirmatory factor analysis, the researcher begins with a hypothesis prior to the analysis. This model specifies which variables will be correlated with which factors, and which factors are correlated. The process of confirmatory factor analysis is described, and it is emphasized that it is important to realize that more than one model may accurately describe the data and that a number of fit indices should be used to determine the fit of the various models. Methods that may increase the fit of the researcher's model to the data are described. (Contains 22 references.) (SLD)

Title: Basic Concepts and Procedures of Confirmatory Factor Analysis.
Author: Stapleton, Connie D.
Note: 15p.; Paper presented at the Annual Meeting of the Southwest Educational Research Association (Austin, TX, January 23-25, 1997).
Publication Year: 24 Jan 1997
Document Type: Evaluative Report (142); Conference Paper (150)
Target Audience: Students
ERIC Identifier: ED407416
Clearinghouse Identifier: TM026437

Descriptors: * Correlation; * Educational Testing; Factor Analysis; * Factor Structure; * Goodness of Fit; Models

Identifiers: *Confirmatory Factor Analysis; Exploratory Factor Analysis

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