Application of the concept of simple structure to Alexander's data
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A battery of 20 tests originally analyzed by Alexander (1) was reworked according to the principle of simple structure. His results were sustained in general. Both analyses yielded five factors in the first-order domain. Of these, three factors in the re-analysis (v,X andF) have almost exactly the same loadings as the corresponding factors in the original work, and were interpreted in the same way. The loading pattern of a fourth factor,Z, left uninterpreted in the original study, happened to be more clear in the re-analysis, and an interpretation was attempted. It appears to be a factor of perceptual synthesis, and seems to play an important role in intellectual processes. A fifth factor, not present in Alexander's results, appeared in the new analysis: the reasoning factor, involved in inductive and deductive thinking. All four cognitive factors are related to a general factor that can be thought of as representing abstraction and education of relations and correlates, these processes being, therefore, the essential feature underlying intellectual behavior, at least in that sector surveyed by the tests of the present battery.
KeywordsPublic Policy Statistical Theory General Factor Original Study Essential Feature
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