During the last 15 years there has been a steady increase
in the popularity and sophistication of the confirmatory
factor analysis (CFA) approach to multitrait-multimethod
(MTMM) data. This approach, however,
incurs some important problems, the most serious
being the ill-defined solutions that plague MTMM studies
and the assumption that so-called method factors
reflect primarily the influence of method effects. In
three different MTMM studies, ill-defined solutions
were frequent and alternative parameterizations designed
to solve this problem tended to mask the symptoms
instead of eliminating the problem. More importantly,
so-called method factors apparently represented
trait variance in addition to, or instead of, method variance
for at least some models in all three studies.
Further support for this counterinterpretation of
method factors was found when external validity criteria
were added to the MTMM models and correlated
with trait and so-called method factors. This problem,
when it exists, invalidates the traditional interpretation
of trait and method factors and the comparison of different
MTMM models. A new specification of method
effects as correlated uniquenesses instead of method
factors was less prone to ill-defined solutions and, apparently,
to the confounding of trait and method effects.
Index terms: confirmatory factor analysis,
construct validity, convergent validity, correlated
uniquenesses, discriminant validity, empirical underidentification,
LISREL, method effects, multitrait-multimethod analysis.
Marsh, Herbert W. (1989). Confirmatory factor analyses of multitrait-multimethod data: Many problems and a few solutions. Applied Psychological Measurement, 13, 335-361. doi:10.1177/014662168901300402
Marsh, Herbert W..
Confirmatory factor analyses of multitrait-multimethod data: Many problems and a few solutions.
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