Behavior Research Methods, Instruments, & Computers

, Volume 32, Issue 3, pp 396-402

First online:

SPSS and SAS programs for determining the number of components using parallel analysis and Velicer’s MAP test

  • Brian P. O’connorAffiliated withDepartment of Psychology, Lakehead University Email author 


Popular statistical software packages do not have the proper procedures for determining the number of components in factor and principal components analyses. Parallel analysis and Velicer’s minimum average partial (MAP) test are validated procedures, recommended widely by statisticians. However, many researchers continue to use alternative, simpler, but flawed procedures, such as the eigenvaluesgreater-than-one rule. Use of the proper procedures might be increased if these procedures could be conducted within familiar software environments. This paper describes brief and efficient programs for using SPSS and SAS to conduct parallel analyses and the MAP test.