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Workshop by Tenko Raykov on the subject of index formation


In a 2-day workshop on the subject of index formation held on November 27 and 28, 2012, Tenko Raykov of the Michigan State University (USA) presented procedures of factor analysis for the process of dimension reduction. Example analyses in Mplus and additionally in R were conducted and analyzed in detail. In this way, the workshop also contained an introduction into the statistics software Mplus.

Initially, the difference between principal component analysis and factor analysis was pointed out. Afterwards, the workshop focused on procedures of factor analysis for creating indexes as a multiphase process. For the creation of a preliminary index, explorative as well as confirmative factor analysis were introduced as options for examining the data- and factor structure for both interval-scaled and categorical indicators. After steps for the selection of suitable indicators and the revision of indexes had subsequently been considered, the determination of a convenient extent of reliability was discussed critically. Thus, the importance of one-dimensional constructs was particularly highlighted. At the same time, it became apparent that the decisive factor for social- and behavioral scientific measurements is their validity. Consequently, the index formation can by no means be regarded as being isolated from textual considerations concerning the validity of a measurement or a construct. During the workshop, Tenko Raykov answered in great detail all the questions posed by the attendees, also on further topics.