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Thread: what is the difference between latent class analysis and factor analysis?

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    what is the difference between latent class analysis and factor analysis?




    I read some papers and most of them used EFA/SEM, and one paper used LCA (latent class analysis).
    So, when do you need to use LCA but not FA?

    It seems SPSS cannot do LCA for now. Mplus and R can do it.

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    Re: what is the difference between latent class analysis and factor analysis?

    when you assume your latent variable is categorical/groups, the latent class analysis is ideal.

    when you assume your latent variable is continuous, then factor analysis/traditional SEM.

    SPSS cannot do any kind of latent variable modelling aside from basic EFA (and even it doesn't do that particularly well). Mplus is the most popular/advanced software for this kind of analysis. still, R's packages (lavaan, OpenMX, poLCA, etc.) are an excellent, much more flexible alternative.
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    Re: what is the difference between latent class analysis and factor analysis?


    Well AMOS does SEM and that is from SPSS....

    EQS is pretty good I have been told by my professors (but then what do they know)
    "Very few theories have been abandoned because they were found to be invalid on the basis of empirical evidence...." Spanos, 1995

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