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APA Reporting SPSS Factor Analysis

Introduction

Creating APA style tables from SPSS factor analysis output can be cumbersome. This tutorial therefore points out some tips, tricks & pitfalls. We'll use the results of SPSS Factor Analysis - Intermediate Tutorial.

All analyses are based on 20-career-ambitions-pca.sav (partly shown below).

SPSS Factor Analysis Promax Rotation Variable View

Note that some items were reversed and therefore had “(R)” appended to their variable labels;
We'll FILTER out cases with 10 or more missing values.

After opening these data, you can replicate the final analyses by running the SPSS syntax below.

*ACTIVATE FILTER VARIABLE.

filter by filt01.

*PCA VI - AS PREVIOUS BUT REMOVE TOU04.

FACTOR
/VARIABLES Car01 Car02 Car03 Car04 Car05 Car06 Car07 Car08 Conf01 Conf02 Conf03 Conf05 Conf06
    Comp01 Comp02 Comp03 Tou01 Tou02 Tou05 Succ01 Succ02 Succ03 Succ04 Succ05 Succ06
    Succ07
/MISSING PAIRWISE
/PRINT INITIAL EXTRACTION ROTATION
/FORMAT SORT BLANK(.3)
/CRITERIA FACTORS(5) ITERATE(25)
/EXTRACTION PC
/ROTATION PROMAX
/METHOD=CORRELATION.

Creating APA Tables - the Easy Way

For a wide variety of analyses, the easiest way to create APA style tables from SPSS output is usually to

  1. adjust your analyses in SPSS so the output is as close as possible to the desired end results. Changing table layouts (which variables/statistics go into which rows/columns?) is also best done here.
  2. copy-paste one or more tables into Excel or Googlesheets. This is the easiest way to set decimal places, fonts, alignment, borders and more;
  3. copy-paste your table(s) from Excel into WORD. Perhaps adjust the table widths with “autofit”, and you'll often have a perfect end result.
Word Autofit Tables Example Autofit to Contents, then Window results in optimal column widths

Table I - Factor Loadings & Communalities

The figure below shows an APA style table combining factor loadings and communalities for our example analysis.

Apa Reporting Factor Analysis Factor Loadings Table Example APA style factor loadings table

If you take a good look at the SPSS output, you'll see that you cannot simply copy-paste these tables for combining them in Excel. This is because the factor loadings (pattern matrix) table follows a different variable order than the communalities table. Since the latter follows the variable order as specified in your syntax, the easiest fix for this is to

Tip: try and replace the line breaks between variable names by spaces as shown below.

SPSS Find Replace In Syntax Example Replace line breaks by spaces in an SPSS syntax window

Also, you probably want to see only variable labels (not names) from now on. And -finally- we no longer want to hide any small absolute factor loadings shown below.

SPSS Pca Pattern Matrix This table is fine for an exploratory analysis but not for reporting

The syntax below does all that and thus creates output that is ideal for creating APA style tables.

*SHOW ONLY VARIABLE LABELS, NOT NAMES.

set tvars labels.

*RERUN PREVIOUS ANALYSIS WITH VARIABLE ORDER AS IN PATTERN MATRIX TABLE.

FACTOR
/VARIABLES Car02 Car04 Car05 Car03 Car01 Car08 Car07 Car06 Succ01 Succ02 Succ03 Succ05 Succ07 Succ04 Succ06
Conf03 Conf01 Conf05 Conf02 Conf06 Tou02 Tou05 Tou01 Comp02 Comp03 Comp01
/MISSING PAIRWISE
/PRINT INITIAL EXTRACTION ROTATION
/FORMAT SORT
/CRITERIA FACTORS(5) ITERATE(25)
/EXTRACTION PC
/ROTATION PROMAX
/METHOD=CORRELATION.

You can now safely combine the communalities and pattern matrix tables and make some final adjustments. The end result is shown in this Googlesheet, partly shown below.

Apa Style Factor Loadings Table Googlesheets An APA table for WORD is best created in a Googlesheet or Excel

Since decimal places, fonts, alignment and borders have all been set, this table is now perfect for its final copy-paste into WORD.

Table II - Total Variance Explained

The screenshot below shows how to report the Eigenvalues table in APA style.

Apa Reporting Factor Analysis Eigenvalues Table APA style Eigenvalues example table

The corresponding SPSS output table comes fairly close to this. However, an annoying problem are the missing percent signs.

SPSS Pca Total Variance Explained Table

If we copy-paste into Excel and set a percentage format, 34.57 is converted into 3,457%. This is because Excel interprets these numbers as proportions rather than percentage points as SPSS does. The easiest fix is setting a percent format for these columns in SPSS before copy-pasting into Excel.

The OUTPUT MODIFY example below does just that for all Eigenvalues tables in the output window.

*APPLY PERCENTAGE FORMAT TO PERCENT COLUMNS IN ALL TOTAL VARIANCE EXPLAINED TABLES.

output modify
/select tables
/tablecells select = ["% of Variance"] format = 'pct6.2'
/tablecells select = ["Cumulative %"] format = 'pct6.2'.

After this tiny fix, you can copy-paste this table from SPSS into Excel. We can now easily make some final adjustments (including the removal of some rows and columns) and copy-paste this table into WORD.

Table III - Factor Correlations

If you used an oblique factor rotation, you'll probably want to report the correlations among your factors. The figure below shows an APA style factor correlations table.

Apa Reporting Factor Analysis Correlations Among Factors Table

The corresponding SPSS output table (shown below) is pretty different from what we need.

SPSS Pca Component Correlation Matrix APA style factor correlation table

Adjusting this table manually is pretty doable. However, I personally prefer to use an SPSS Python script for doing so.

You can download my script from LAST-FACTOR-CORRELATION-TABLE-TO-APA.sps. This script is best run from an INSERT command as shown below.

*Run Python script for adjusting factor correlation table.

insert file = 'D:\DOWNLOADS\LAST-FACTOR-CORRELATION-TABLE-TO-APA.sps'.

I highly recommend trying this script but it does make some assumptions:

If you've any trouble or requests regarding my script, feel free to contact me and I'll see what I can do.

Final Notes

Right, so these are the basic routines I follow for creating APA style factor analysis tables. I hope you'll find them helpful.

If you've any feedback, please throw me a comment below.

Thanks for reading!

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