BSN414 Quantitative Research Methods
Factor Analysis and Confirmatory Factor Analysis
Background: You are part of a research team looking to develop a measure of Tolerance of
Ambiguity (TOA) at Work. Ultimately, this test should measure the extent to which workers
are comfortable with uncertain, unclear of ambiguous situations in the workplace. The
research team believes that employees who can tolerate ambiguity at work will be better
leaders, more creative and better overall performers.
Previously, questionnaires measuring TOA general have been developed, however recent
research tends to indicate that general TOA questionnaires do not accurately measure TOA at
Work. Your team therefore decides to develop a measure of workplace TOA.
In developing this new measure, your team conducted a comprehensive literature review and
determined that TOA is a multi-dimensional construct (i.e. it consists of multiple, correlated
subscales). Your team therefore developed a new workplace TOA questionnaire that
consisted of 45 questions (five per dimension/subscale) designed to measure the 9 TOA
The 9 dimensions/subscales of TOA developed by the team are listed below (in no particular
Comfort with Difficult Problems
Comfort with Others
Managing the Lack of Clarity
Comfort with Unfamiliarity
Desire for Complexity
Desire for Problem Solving
Comfort with Shades of Grey
Desire for Risk Taking
Managing the Situation
Your team assigns you the task of assessing the factor structure of this new set of dimensions.
Specifically they ask you to assess whether there are two, three, or four higher order factors.
They also want you to determine which subscale belongs to which factor. They believe that
‘Comfort with Difficult Problems’ and ‘Comfort with Others’ belong to the same factor.
They also believe that Desire for Complexity and Desire for Problem Solving also belong to
the same factor. However they are unsure about the remaining subscales. The team
acknowledges that some subscales may need to be dropped if necessary.
You administer the newly developed test of TOA to a sample of 329 fulltime Australian
Your task for this assignment is to:
1. Conduct an Exploratory Factor Analysis (EFA) using SPSS.
2. Write up the results of the EFA including labels for the factors.
3. Conduct a confirmatory factor analysis (CFA) based on the outcome of the EFA.
4. Write up the results of the CFA.
Please note: There are no objectively right or wrong solutions for this task; the important
thing is that you justify your key decisions. Very different solutions/results can potentially get
full marks if correctly justified.
In addition, you will be expected to produce a number of tables that are referred to in your
write up of the results of your analyses. These tables include:
1. A table of the results of the EFA
2. A table of the results of the CFA
3. A table of descriptive statistics for the variables you have created based on the FA and
CFA (such mean, standard deviation, correlations, and Cronbach’s alpha reliability
All Tables need to be numbered and appear after the first time they are mentioned in the text
of your write up. Reporting of all statistics is to conform to either APA (5 th ) or Harvard
This assignment should be adequately reported within approximately 1500 words (however
there is no strict limit). Word limit does not include tables. You will need to include a list of
references cited in your write-up.
For this assignment you may assume that the data has been cleaned and is ready to start using
with SPSS. The data is located on the Blackboard site under the Assessment tab.
This is an individual assignment. The write-up of the results is to be conducted on an