Marketing Papers

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Journal Article

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The importance of the researcher’s interpretation of factor analysis is illustrated by means of an example. The results from this example appear to be meaningful and easily interpreted. The example omits any measure of reliability or validity. If a measure of reliability had been included, it would have indicated the worthlessness of the results. A survey of 46 recent papers from 6 journals supported the claim that the example is typical, two-thirds of the papers provide no measure of reliability. In fact, some papers did not even provide sufficient information to allow for replication. To improve the current situation some measure of factor reliability should accompany applied studies that utilize factor analysis. Three operational approaches are suggested for obtaining measures of factor reliability: use of split samples, Monte Carlo simulation, and a priori models.


Postprint version. Copyright American Psychological Association. Published in Psychological Bulletin, Volume 70, Issue 5, November 1968, pages 361-364. This article may not exactly replicate the final version published in the APA journal. It is not the copy of record. Publisher URL: The author has asserted his/her right to include this material in ScholarlyCommons@Penn.

NOTE: At the time of publication, author J. Scott Armstrong was affiliated with the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. Currently (June 2006), he is a faculty member in the Marketing Department of the Wharton School at the University of Pennsylvania.

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Date Posted: 27 June 2006