, Volume 41, Issue 3, pp 321–327

Determining the number of components from the matrix of partial correlations

  • Wayne F. Velicer

DOI: 10.1007/BF02293557

Cite this article as:
Velicer, W.F. Psychometrika (1976) 41: 321. doi:10.1007/BF02293557


A common problem for both principal component analysis and image component analysis is determining how many components to retain. A number of solutions have been proposed, none of which is totally satisfactory. An alternative solution which employs a matrix of partial correlations is considered. No components are extracted after the average squared partial correlation reaches a minimum. This approach gives an exact stopping point, has a direct operational interpretation, and can be applied to any type of component analysis. The method is most appropriate when component analysis is employed as an alternative to, or a first-stage solution for, factor analysis.

Key words

common variancefactor analysisimage component analysis

Copyright information

© Psychometric Society 1976

Authors and Affiliations

  • Wayne F. Velicer
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of PsychologyUniversity of Rhode IslandKingston, R. I.