Many researchers have proposed a minimum ratio
of observations to variables or an absolute minimum
of observations in order to obtain stable factor configurations.
However, hardly any empirical studies employing
real data are available that attest to the tenability
of these proposals. A systematic analysis of the
problem was undertaken, using self-report data from
two large phobic samples on the Fear Survey Schedule-
III (N = 1104) and the Fear Questionnaire (N =
960). The data sets were randomly split into subsamples
with ratios varying from 1.3:1 to 19.8:1. Neither
the observations to variables ratio nor an absolute
minimum of observations had any influence on factor
Arrindell, Willem A & Van der Ende, Jan. (1985). An empirical test of the utility of the observations-to-variables ratio in factor and components analysis. Applied Psychological Measurement, 9, 165-178. doi:10.1177/014662168500900205
Arrindell, Willem A.; Van der Ende, Jan.
An empirical test of the utility of the observations-to-variables ratio in factor and components analysis.
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