Sample size for EFA PreviousNext
Mplus Discussion > Exploratory Factor Analysis >
 Abdel posted on Monday, March 03, 2008 - 12:34 pm
Can a sample size be too large when using EFA?

I am doing a EFA on a set of 10 categorical items. When I did a test-run on a sample of about 3000 subjects, the findings were exactly as I expected them and theoretically very interpretable.

When I did the test again on a sample of about 10.000 subjects, the outcome was suddenly much less interpretable and the amount of factors that gave a non-significant chi-value with the small sample suddenly gave a significant chi-value. I used a sample of 10.000 subjects, because I plan to follow up the EFA with a CFA, which requires such a large sample to avoid empty cells.

I was not able to find any literature on a possible maximum sample sizes. I hope someone can help me on this, thanks in advance!
 Linda K. Muthen posted on Monday, March 03, 2008 - 1:32 pm
It sounds like your sample of 3,000 is not a random sample of the 10,000. I would think the differences are a function of the two samples having very different sample statistics and not the size of the sample.
 Abdel posted on Tuesday, March 04, 2008 - 12:00 pm
The means and variances do not differ that much, but I did find a clear age difference between the two samples. Maybe that has something to do with it..
Thanks for your answer!
Back to top
Add Your Message Here
Username: Posting Information:
This is a private posting area. Only registered users and moderators may post messages here.
Options: Enable HTML code in message
Automatically activate URLs in message