The Influence of Reliability on Four Rules for Determining the Number of Components to Retain
Imperfectly reliable scores impact the performance of factor analytic procedures. A series of Monte Carlo studies was conducted to generate scores with known component structure from population matrices with varying levels of reliability. The scores were submitted to four procedures: Kaiser rule, scree plot, parallel analysis, and modified Horn’s parallel analysis to find if each procedure accurately determines the number of components at the different reliability levels. The performance of each procedure was judged by the percentage of the number of times that the procedure was correct and the mean components that each procedure extracted in each cell. Generally, the results show that when component loading was high, an increase in reliability resulted in an improvement of the accuracy of parallel analysis and modified horn’s parallel analysis.
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