skip to main content skip to footer

Symposium: Rotation of Axes in Factor Analysis

Tucker, Ledyard R
Publication Year:
Report Number:
ETS Research Memorandum
Document Type:
Page Count:
Subject/Key Words:
Factor Analysis, Oblique Rotation, Orthogonal Rotation


Rotation of axes to correlated factors in factor analysis is discussed using a simplified example of speeds at which a person can lift different weights with each arm. It is noted beforehand that 1) the purpose of the analysis determines the theoretical structure and method used in the analysis, and 2) a theoretical structure may be under-defined, adequately defined, or over- defined. Failure to obtain an adequate definition yields non-unique solutions; over-definition can yield inconsistencies such that the system cannot reflect the observable facts. It is concluded that, in this author's opinion, rotation of axes in analysis with correlated factors is overdefined because "simple structure with correlated factors seems workable. There remains a point for separate justification and observation related to use of simple structure with uncorrelated factors."

Read More