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The Objective Definition of Simple Structure in Linear Factor Analysis

Tucker, Ledyard R
Publication Year:
Report Number:
ETS Research Bulletin
Document Type:
Page Count:
Subject/Key Words:
Factor Structure, Factor Analysis, Linear Relationships


Requirements for an objective definition of simple structure are investigated and a number of proposed objective criteria are evaluated. A distinction is drawn between exploratory factorial studies and confirmatory factorial studies with the conclusion drawn that objective definition of simple structure depends on study design as well as on objective criteria. A proposed definition of simple structure is described in terms of linear constellations. This definition lacks only a statistical test to compare with possible chance results. A computational procedure is also described for searching for linear constellations. This procedure is very laborious and might best be accomplished on high-speed automatic computers. There is no guarantee that the procedure will find all linear constellations, but it probably would yield satisfactory results for well-designed studies.

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