factor analysis

Specificities of Applying Factor Analysis in Political Science Research

The article compares the applicability of two types of factor analysis – exploratory and confirmatory – as research methods of political science. The author argues that exploratory factor analysis provides better understanding of complex political phenomena by constructing a hypothesis on their potential structure. Instead, confirmatory factor analysis aims to test an already proposed hypothesis by means of experiment. Yet experimenting seems to be of limited use in political science.