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RE: st: RE: % of variance in factor analysis

From   Mash Hamid <>
To   "" <>
Subject   RE: st: RE: % of variance in factor analysis
Date   Thu, 30 May 2013 10:22:13 +0000

Thanks Nick

From: [] on behalf of Nick Cox []
Sent: 30 May 2013 10:44
Subject: Re: st: RE: % of variance in factor analysis

Your reply in turn does not help us to know what else to say.

Googling hasn't helped you, so you need an approach that will.
Indeed, here as elsewhere, Googling a very popular technical term is
as likely to turn up dross as gold.

There are many, many sources that explain factor analysis informally
as well as formally. You are at the University of Birmingham, which is
a large British university. Its library will contain dozens of texts
with some account of factor analysis. Find a textbook

1. in your field (we don't know what that is)

2. at your mathematical or statistical level

3. with a chapter on factor analysis

and start there. Or move down-market: look at textbooks for fields
with many students who are _less_ mathematical or statistical than is
typical in your field. (No names here.)


On 30 May 2013 10:19, Mash Hamid <> wrote:

Thanks but my aim is to understand it but understand it in layman's
terms not in statistical language. More googling has not helped and no
pages are specific about what it stand for. My background is not in
statistics thats why I am looking for a simple explanation.

JVerkuilen (Gmail) []

> More Googling will help but this is a good set of slides that isn't
> misleading. I also recommend the discussion in:
> James Lattin, J. Douglas Carroll, & Paul E. Green. (2003). Analyzing
> Multivariate Data. Duxbury.

Mash Hamid

>> Thanks for this but this still does not help me understand it.

JVerkuilen (Gmail) []

>> On Wed, May 29, 2013 at 8:38 PM, Mash Hamid <> wrote:
>>> I have been performing factor analysis and I am having trouble understanding the % of variance and to explain it in layman's terms.
>>> I have a dataset with 40 variables and the first factor has an eigenvalue of 13 and the second factor has an eigenvalue of 2. Now the first factor accounts for  40% of the variance, and the second has variance of 8% after rotation. Now in layman's terms, what does  "% of the variance of each factor" mean?

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