Skip to main content

scree test

scree test An alternative method of deciding how many factors should be retained in any particular factor analysis. The principal method of deciding how many of the smaller factors to exclude, after retaining those which explain most of the common variance in a set of variables, utilizes Kaiser's criterion to select out those factors which have an eigenvalue of less than one. In effect, this excludes those factors which explain less variance than a single variable, a procedure that is done automatically by most statistical computer packages. However, as an alternative or complement to this technique, a graph can be generated which shows the descending variance accounted for by the factors extracted in the analysis. The term ‘scree’ derives from the geological analogy of debris found at the bottom of a rocky slope. For example, in the hypothetical instance shown in the illustration, the scree test suggests that there is a clear break between the steep slope of the initial factors and the gentler slope of those extracted later. Unfortunately, interpretation of the plot is rarely as clear-cut as this, and in practice tends to involve a fairly subjective assessment of which factors fall below an imaginary straight line extrapolated from the plots of the smaller factors.

Cite this article
Pick a style below, and copy the text for your bibliography.

  • MLA
  • Chicago
  • APA

"scree test." A Dictionary of Sociology. . Encyclopedia.com. 14 Dec. 2018 <https://www.encyclopedia.com>.

"scree test." A Dictionary of Sociology. . Encyclopedia.com. (December 14, 2018). https://www.encyclopedia.com/social-sciences/dictionaries-thesauruses-pictures-and-press-releases/scree-test

"scree test." A Dictionary of Sociology. . Retrieved December 14, 2018 from Encyclopedia.com: https://www.encyclopedia.com/social-sciences/dictionaries-thesauruses-pictures-and-press-releases/scree-test

Learn more about citation styles

Citation styles

Encyclopedia.com gives you the ability to cite reference entries and articles according to common styles from the Modern Language Association (MLA), The Chicago Manual of Style, and the American Psychological Association (APA).

Within the “Cite this article” tool, pick a style to see how all available information looks when formatted according to that style. Then, copy and paste the text into your bibliography or works cited list.

Because each style has its own formatting nuances that evolve over time and not all information is available for every reference entry or article, Encyclopedia.com cannot guarantee each citation it generates. Therefore, it’s best to use Encyclopedia.com citations as a starting point before checking the style against your school or publication’s requirements and the most-recent information available at these sites:

Modern Language Association

http://www.mla.org/style

The Chicago Manual of Style

http://www.chicagomanualofstyle.org/tools_citationguide.html

American Psychological Association

http://apastyle.apa.org/

Notes:
  • Most online reference entries and articles do not have page numbers. Therefore, that information is unavailable for most Encyclopedia.com content. However, the date of retrieval is often important. Refer to each style’s convention regarding the best way to format page numbers and retrieval dates.
  • In addition to the MLA, Chicago, and APA styles, your school, university, publication, or institution may have its own requirements for citations. Therefore, be sure to refer to those guidelines when editing your bibliography or works cited list.