Path: Janda's Home Page > Workshop > Factor Analysis > Outline

The National Election Study uses "Feeling Thermometers" to gauge attitudes toward persons and groups. Respondents are asked whether they feel "cold" or "warm" toward a person on a scale from 0 to 100. For more information, go to Feeling Thermometers in 2000 Election.


In a panel of interviews before and after the 1992 election, respondents were asked how they felt toward the presidential candidates (Bush, Clinton, and Perot) and toward Quayle and Gore as vice-presidential candidates. Here is the correlation matrix for those variables:

Candidate/time
V29
V30
V31
V32
V33
V34
V35
V29
Bush: Pre-Election

V30
Bush: Post-Election
0.75

V31
Clinton: Pre-Election
-0.42
-0.44

V32
Clinton: Post-Election
-0.45
-0.40
0.72

V33
Perot: Pre-Election
0.00
-0.02
0.04
0.023

V34
Perot: Post-Election
-0.05
0.00
0.05
0.13
0.53

V35
Quayle: Pre-Election
0.71
0.60
-0.40
-0.41
0.06
-0.04

V36
Gore: Pre-Election
-0.33
-0.32
0.62
0.50
0.05
0.07
-0.27

The high correlations in boldface demonstrate stability in respondents' feelings toward the same candidates before and after the election. Factor analysis can uncover other patterns among these correlations.

Go to the next page, # 8: Principal components analysis of feelings toward candidates in 1992