factor analysis


: the analytical process of transforming statistical data (such as measurements) into linear combinations of usually independent variables
factor analytic adjective

Examples of factor analysis in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web The developer of a statistical method called factor analysis, Charles Spearman, concluded in 1904 that a general factor of intelligence, called a g factor, must underlie the concordance of measurements for varying human cognitive skills. Eka Roivainen, Scientific American, 28 Mar. 2023 Osgood did something similar with factor analysis. James Somers, The New Yorker, 29 Nov. 2021 Five reliable personality factors were found using principal axis factor analysis: Neuroticism, Extraversion, Dominance, Impulsiveness and Agreeableness. Seriously Science, Discover Magazine, 25 Sep. 2017 Most personality tests are designed by psychologists to be user-friendly and offer positive insight, but the Big Five traits were derived by applying factor analysis to human observations. Gabe Allen, Discover Magazine, 4 Jan. 2022 Perhaps my brain uses factor analysis to distill thousands of attributes—height, fashion sense, tone of voice—into a single point in an abstract space. James Somers, The New Yorker, 29 Nov. 2021 The regulations replaced a complex factor analysis that determined whether an entity could be taxed as a partnership. Peter J Reilly, Forbes, 1 Oct. 2021 In an interview Thursday morning, Bernhardt said the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service used the five-factor analysis required by law to delist a species, and concluded the wolf is no longer endangered or threatened. Jennifer Bjorhus, Star Tribune, 29 Oct. 2020 Through factor analysis of those five sub-scores, computing a factor score on overall effectiveness for each firm, which, in turn, was also transformed into a T-Score. WSJ, 5 Dec. 2017 See More

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'factor analysis.' Any opinions expressed in the examples do not represent those of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback about these examples.

Word History

First Known Use

1928, in the meaning defined above

Time Traveler
The first known use of factor analysis was in 1928

Dictionary Entries Near factor analysis

Cite this Entry

“Factor analysis.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/factor%20analysis. Accessed 29 Feb. 2024.

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