the use of one of several methods for reducing a set of variables to a lesser number of new variables, each of which is a function of one or more of the original variables.
Origin of factor analysis
First recorded in 1930–35
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statistics any of several techniques for deriving from a number of given variables a smaller number of different, more useful, variables
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012