Date of Award

1974

Degree Type

Report

Degree Name

Master of Science (MS)

Department

Mathematics and Statistics

First Advisor

Ronald V. Canfield

Abstract

The principal-factor solution is probably the most widely used technique in factor analysis and a relatively straight forward method to determine the minimum number of independent dimensions needed to account for most of the variance in the original set of variables.

The principal components approach to parsimony was first proposed by Karl Pearson (1901) who studied the problem for the case of nonstochastic variables, and in a different context. Hotelling provided the full development of the method (1933) and Thomson (1947) was the first to apply it to the principal factor analysis.

This method was first developed to deal with problems in psychology but has since been applied in fields as varied as sociology, meteorology, economics, biometry, political science, medicine, geography and business.

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