1st Edition

A Step-by-Step Guide to Exploratory Factor Analysis with R and RStudio

By Marley Watkins Copyright 2021
    198 Pages 146 Color Illustrations
    by Routledge

    198 Pages 146 Color Illustrations
    by Routledge

    This is a concise, easy to use, step-by-step guide for applied researchers conducting exploratory factor analysis (EFA) using the open source software R.

    In this book, Dr. Watkins systematically reviews each decision step in EFA with screen shots of R and RStudio code, and recommends evidence-based best practice procedures. This is an eminently applied, practical approach with few or no formulas and is aimed at readers with little to no mathematical background. Dr. Watkins maintains an accessible tone throughout and uses minimal jargon and formula to help facilitate grasp of the key issues users will face while applying EFA, along with how to implement, interpret, and report results. Copious scholarly references and quotations are included to support the reader in responding to editorial reviews.

    This is a valuable resource for upper-level undergraduate and postgraduate students, as well as for more experienced researchers undertaking multivariate or structure equation modeling courses across the behavioral, medical, and social sciences.


    1. Introduction

    2. Data

    3. R and RStudio Software

    4. Importing and Saving Data and Results

    5. Decision Steps in Exploratory Factor Analysis

    6. Step 1: Variables to Include

    7. Step 2: Participants

    8. Step 3: Data Screening

    9. Step 4: Is Exploratory Factor Analysis Appropriate

    10. Step 5: Factor Analysis Model

    11. Step 6: Factor Extraction Method

    12. Step 7: How Many Factors to Retain

    13. Step 8: Rotate Factors

    14. Step 9: Interpret Exploratory Factor Analysis Results

    15. Step 10: Report Exploratory Factor Analysis Results

    16. Exploratory Factor Analysis with Categorical Variables

    17. Higher-order and Bifactor Models

    18. Exploratory Versus Confirmatory Factor Analysis

    Practice Exercises

    References and resources


    Marley W. Watkins earned a Ph.D. in Educational Psychology and Measurements with a specialty in School Psychology from the University of Nebraska-Lincoln, USA. He is currently Research Professor in the Department of Educational Psychology at Baylor University, USA, and has authored more than 200 articles, books, and chapters and presented more than 150 papers at professional conferences.

    "This book is an important contribution to the field. I have been publishing articles using EFA for over 30 years, yet it provided me with new insights and information on EFA. More importantly, the material is easy to follow and accessible to researchers and graduate students new to EFA. I highly recommend it to anyone seeking to become competent in EFA."Joseph J. Glutting, Ph.D. University of Delaware, USA

    "A Step-by-Step Guide to Exploratory Factor Analysis with R and RStudio is an important contribution to the applied exploratory factor analytic literature. It is extremely well-written and portends to be a useful resource to researchers and students alike. It does a commendable job of describing how to implement exploratory factor analysis using R. I highly recommend this book." – Stefan C. Dombrowski, Ph.D. Rider University, USA

    "This book is an amazing resource for those new to factor analysis as well as those who have used it for some time. It is a terrific guide to best practices in exploratory factor analysis with rich explanations and descriptions for why various procedures are used and equally terrific in providing resources and guidance for using R for conducting factor analysis. I highly recommend this book." – Gary L. Canivez, Ph.D. Eastern Illinois University, USA