Some new methods for exploratory factor analysis of socioeconomic data

Open Quantitative Sociology & Political Science, 2016, ISSN: 2446-3868


Some new methods for factor analyzing socioeconomic data are presented, discussed and illustrated with analyses of new and old datasets. A general socioeconomic factor (S) was found in a dataset of 47 French-speaking Swiss provinces from 1888. It was strongly related (r’s .64 to .70) to cognitive ability as measured by an army examination. Fertility had a strong negative loading (r -.44 to -.67). Results were similar when using rank-transformed data. The S factor of international rankings data was found to have a split-half factor reliability of .93, that of the general factor of personality extracted from 25 OCEAN items .55, and that of the general cognitive ability factor .68 based on 16 items from the International Cognitive Ability Resource.

general socioeconomic factor, S factor, exploratory factor analysis, research methods, Switzerland, reliability, intelligence, cognitive ability, IQ

Reviewed by
Davide Piffer, Noah Carl, L. J. Zigerell

Review time 427 days.