Message/Author 

xiangyu cong posted on Wednesday, December 05, 2012  6:55 am



Dear Dr. Muthen: I am doing EFA with 31 categorical indictors. After first run , I think 8 factors is good fit. Among 8 factors extracted, only one factor has three negative loading with absolute value greater than 0.4. After I removed 7 indicators that did not have any significant loadings on any of the 8 factors, suddenly, there are three factors have negative loadings. It is very hard to interpret the results. Any comments? Thanks! 


If the signs of all loadings switch from positive to negative, this is not a problem. 

xiangyu cong posted on Wednesday, December 05, 2012  11:56 am



Dear Linda: Thanks so much for your reply. Through EFA, I now have 8 factors and 24 indicators. The factors we identified through EFA are obviously correlated. Next, I will run CFA with my model based on my EFA results. But, two of eight factors only has two indicators with loading higher than 0.3. Should I include additional indicators for these two factors (maybe lower the cutoff from 0.3 to 0.2) to make them each has at least three indicators each? I guess short version of my question is: "Is it OK that two out of eight factors in my model only has two indicators each in CFA?" Thanks! 


I would never recommend less than four factor indicators. This is a good question for SEMNET where I think there has recently been a discussion of this topic. 

xiangyu cong posted on Thursday, December 06, 2012  8:10 am



Thank so much! Linda. Your comments are deeply appreciated. I am going back to my EFA results and refine my model before I going into CFA. I will look into SEMNET for the discussion you mentioned. Torry 

Daniel Lee posted on Monday, August 07, 2017  11:10 am



Hi Dr. Muthen, I found several negative factor loading in a bifactor EFA. The items in the scale are all very similar however (i.e., very positively correlated and non are in reverse). I was wondering how this might be possible. If this is potentially a product of model misspecification, do you know of any papers that can support this possibility? Thank you, Dan 


I'm not familiar with that result. Try Starts = 10. Also, this may perhaps be more unusual for the general factor than for a specific factor given that the latter considers residual correlation after the general factor has been taken into account. For the general factor I would think the loading signs would reflect the sample item correlations but for the specific factors I'm not so sure. 


Hello, Using EFA for categorical indicators, we settled on an 8factor structure. Item B21 was adopted onto a factor, with a negative loading. We intended to use equally weighted subscale scores rather than factor scores, so we reversecoded B21 when summing the scores. In order to check the correspondence between the factor score and the subscale score, we ran a CFA on the raw, unrecoded scores (same data as the EFA). Obviously, the fit was good, but the sign of B21 loading had flipped to positive. I double checked that I was not accidentally using the reversecoded data. The other relevant piece of information is that we only adopted 3 items onto this factor (not good practice, I know!). Can you think of why this signswitching might occur, or what aspects of the model I should check to find out? As always, thank you! Cristan 


ETA: I think I figured out the problem. I had omitted an item from the factor because it's toohigh correlation with another variable was causing problems elsewhere in the model. The item I deleted also had a negative factor loading. When I reran the EFA without that deleted item, the loading of B21 was reversed (positive, as in the CFA). 

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