Confirmatory Factor Analysis and Profile Analysis via Multidimensional Scaling

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Psychology | Social and Behavioral Sciences


This paper describes the Confirmatory Factor Analysis (CFA) parameterization of the Profile Analysis via Multidimensional Scaling (PAMS) model to demonstrate validation of profile pattern hypotheses derived from multidimensional scaling (MDS). Profile Analysis via Multidimensional Scaling (PAMS) is an exploratory method for identifying major profiles in a multi-subtest test battery. Major profile patterns are represented as dimensions extracted from a MDS analysis. PAMS represents an individual observed score as a linear combination of dimensions where the dimensions are the most typical profile patterns present in a population. While the PAMS approach was initially developed for exploratory purposes, its results can later be confirmed in a different sample by CFA. Since CFA is often used to verify results from an exploratory factor analysis, the present paper makes the connection between a factor model and the PAMS model, and then illustrates CFA with a simulated example (that was generated by the PAMS model) and at the same time with a real example. The real example demonstrates confirmation of PAMS exploratory results by using a different sample. Fit indexes can be used to indicate whether the CFA reparameterization as a confirmatory approach works for the PAMS exploratory results.

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Peer Reviewed



APA Citation: Kim, S., Davison, M.L., & Frisby, C.L. (2007). Confirmatory factor analysis and profile analysis via multidimensional scaling. Multivariate Behavioral Research, 42(1), 1-32.