, Volume 23, Issue 3, pp 187–200

The varimax criterion for analytic rotation in factor analysis

  • Henry F. Kaiser

DOI: 10.1007/BF02289233

Cite this article as:
Kaiser, H.F. Psychometrika (1958) 23: 187. doi:10.1007/BF02289233


An analytic criterion for rotation is defined. The scientific advantage of analytic criteria over subjective (graphical) rotational procedures is discussed. Carroll's criterion and the quartimax criterion are briefly reviewed; the varimax criterion is outlined in detail and contrasted both logically and numerically with the quartimax criterion. It is shown that thenormal varimax solution probably coincides closely to the application of the principle of simple structure. However, it is proposed that the ultimate criterion of a rotational procedure is factorial invariance, not simple structure—although the two notions appear to be highly related. The normal varimax criterion is shown to be a two-dimensional generalization of the classic Spearman case, i.e., it shows perfect factorial invariance for two pure clusters. An example is given of the invariance of a normal varimax solution for more than two factors. The oblique normal varimax criterion is stated. A computational outline for the orthogonal normal varimax is appended.

Copyright information

© Psychometric Society 1958

Authors and Affiliations

  • Henry F. Kaiser
    • 1
  1. 1.University of IllinoisUSA

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