Why using factor analysis?

(dedicated to the centenary of factor analysis)

Alexander S. Kaplunovsky

Research Center for Quantum Communication Engineering
Holon Academic Institute of Technology, 52 Golomb Str., Holon 58102, Israel

e-mail: alex_ka@netvision.net.il


100 years ago Charles Spearman published the paper about the factor of a general intelligence, being situated on the study of the correlation matrix of tests connected with intellectual functions. In our days, factor analysis has become an important statistical instrument of investigation in modern science, being an adequate tool to investigate the principles of interaction of components and their integration into a system. This approach to the study of the form of organization, called integratism, proposes the dismembering the system to correlated elements, analyzing their cross-relations and picking out system-forming elements, their relations and hierarchy. Therefore, the requested mathematical technique should obey all these requirements. Properties of factor analysis as a method of integratism, are considered and discussed. The history of factor analysis and its various modifications are reviewed on the sample of 3460 publications.


Full text PDF (221 KB)