a variable that cannot be measured directly, but is hypothesized to underlie the observed variables
a variable that cannot be observed directly and must be inferred from measured variables
A variable of interest that cannot be directly measured (for example intelligence) but has to be estimated through procedures such as factor analysis applied to a number of manifest variables deemed to be 'caused' by the latent variable (e.g. reading speed, exam results, etcâ€¦). Usually form the basis of Structural Equation Models.
a theoretical variable hypothesized to influence a number of observed variables. Common factor analysis assumes latent variables are linearly related to observed variables. Factors are sometimes construed to be estimates of latent variables. See factor pattern coefficients .
Latent variables, as opposed to observable variables, are variables that are not directly observed but are rather inferred from other variables that are observed and directly measured. Latent variables are also called hidden variables, model parameters, hypothetical variables or hypothetical constructs. Examples include quality of life, business confidence, morale, happiness, conservatism.