Factor analysis is a multi-variate statistical process that relates a multitude of variables to common basic dimensions based on their mutual correlative relationships.
a statistical technique that determines the degree of correlation between performances on various tasks to determine the extent to which they reflect particular underlying characteristics, which are known as factors. (359)
A type of study used to find the underlying causes and characteristics of something. The general purpose of this test is to take the information in a large number of “variables” and to link it with a smaller number of “factors” or causes.