From Data to Information: Using Factor Analysis with Survey Data
Fricker, Ronald D. Jr.
Kulzy, Walter W.
Appleget, Jeffrey A.
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In irregular warfare, surveys are routinely used to gain insight into population attitudes, perceptions, and beliefs. Understanding these types of population traits can provide insight into the human terrain. However, population attitudes, perceptions, and beliefs o!en manifest as latent traits that can be only indirectly, incompletely, and sometimes imperfectly measured via single survey questions. Factor analysis is a method for estimating these latent traits from question-level survey data. Because survey analysis in general, and factor analysis in particular, are typically not taught as part of operations research curricula, this paper is intended to provide an introduction to factor analysis for the military operations research analyst.
Phalanx, 45:4, 30-34.
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