Factor Analysis With Rorschach Data
Factor analysis is one of the most frequently employed statistical techniques in the quantitative social sciences. It is also one of the least understcxxl. This lack of understanding is due, for the most part. to the manner in which didactic materials on multivariate statistical analysis are presented. Quite often, for example, factor analysis is introduced with a myriad of technical concepts and mathematical formulae. A complete mastery of this specialized methodology, however, is not essential for acquiring a hasic understanding of the results ohtained from factor analysis. On the other hand, it is essential to understand the conceptual and logical foundations of this procedure. Our intent, therefore, is to present a detailed discussion of factor analysis that will he useful to readers of various ahility levels. The mathematics will he kept to a minimum and emphasis will he placed on a fundamental understanding of the underlying principles of factor analysis. Three issues will he stressed: the practical and theoretical applications of factor analysis with Rorschach data, the rationale for choosing factor analysis over other statistical techniques, and situations when it would he inadvisahle to apply factor analysis.