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Factor Analysis

A “factor analysis” is a statistical method used to group variables (or, in the case of surveys, items) by the closeness of their relationships to each other. Closely related items are thought to measure the same issue or aspect of work; the factor is interpreted and named by using the items which belong in the group. Ideally, the statistics show that each item only belongs in one factor. Factors are often called “dimensions” in survey research, although not all dimensions have been determined through a factor analytic process.