15. Factor Analysis and Principal Component Analysis

  1. Todd L. VanPool and
  2. Robert D. Leonard

Published Online: 20 APR 2011

DOI: 10.1002/9781444390155.ch15

Quantitative Analysis in Archaeology

Quantitative Analysis in Archaeology

How to Cite

VanPool, T. L. and Leonard, R. D. (2010) Factor Analysis and Principal Component Analysis, in Quantitative Analysis in Archaeology, Wiley-Blackwell, Oxford, UK. doi: 10.1002/9781444390155.ch15

Publication History

  1. Published Online: 20 APR 2011
  2. Published Print: 22 NOV 2010

ISBN Information

Print ISBN: 9781405189514

Online ISBN: 9781444390155



  • factor analysis and principal component analysis;
  • interpretive and mathematical structure of methods;
  • good analyst, understanding both aspects - using quantitative method to its fullest;
  • using regression analysis, archaeologist - demonstrating degree to which one variable controls form of second variable;
  • two types of dimensional analysis - in archaeology, principal component analysis and closely related factor analysis;
  • conceptual structure of methods - analyst measuring attributes of prehistoric pottery, pot volume, pot height and pot width;
  • factor analysis and principal component analysis - identifying “new” dimensions capturing “ essence” of correspondence among original variables;
  • objectives of principal component and factor analysis;
  • scree plot for factor analysis - Ventana Cave projectile point data evaluation;
  • squared factor loadings - of variable for first six factors


This chapter contains sections titled:

  • Objectives of Principal Component and Factor Analysis

  • Designing the Principal Component/Factor Analysis

  • Assumptions and Conceptual Considerations of Factor Analysis

  • An Example of Factor Analysis

  • Factor Analysis vs. Principal Component Analysis