Principal component analysis and exploratory factor analysis

Stat Methods Med Res. 1992;1(1):69-95. doi: 10.1177/096228029200100105.


In this paper we compare and contrast the objectives of principal component analysis and exploratory factor analysis. This is done through consideration of nine examples. Basic theory is presented in appendices. As well as covering the standard material, we also describe a number of recent developments. As an alternative to factor analysis, it is pointed out that in some cases it may be useful to rotate certain principal components if and when that is appropriate.

Publication types

  • Comparative Study
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Anorexia Nervosa / diagnosis
  • Craniocerebral Trauma / complications
  • Craniocerebral Trauma / diagnosis
  • Diabetes Mellitus / diagnosis
  • Diabetes Mellitus / physiopathology
  • Factor Analysis, Statistical*
  • Female
  • Hematoma, Epidural, Cranial / etiology
  • Humans
  • Iris / anatomy & histology
  • Reflex / physiology
  • Research
  • Species Specificity