Exploratory Factor Analysis (EFA) is commonly used as a validation tool to discover the factor structure of a measure and to examine its internal reliability. It is often recommended when researchers have no hypotheses about the nature of the underlying factor structure of their measure
EFA is used to explore the possible underlying factor structure of a measurement instrument and to determine the minimum number of common factors required to adequately represent the data
It is also employed to identify a measurement model and evaluate factors
EFA involves making important decisions such as determining the number of factors, choosing an extraction method, and choosing a rotation method
Additionally, reliability in EFA is tested by computing Cronbach’s alpha for each factor, with a value above 0.7 generally considered acceptable
Before moving on to confirmatory factor analysis (CFA), researchers should use EFA to determine underlying factors/constructs for a set of measured variables
Overall, EFA serves as a valuable tool in the development and validation of measurement instruments.