The use of exploratory factor analysis in research on presence is summarized and critically examined. We conclude that, as with research on human intelligence in the first half of the twentieth century, exploratory factor analysis has been extremely limited in its ability to test hypotheses and to advance theory. To illustrate these ideas, we examine a recent analysis by Witmer, Jerome, and Singer (2005, Presence 14, 298–312). We suggest that analyses based on confirmatory methods are in general better suited to advance our understanding of the concept of presence.

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