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1 In experimental design, another name for an independent variable.

2 In factor analysis, one of the underlying dimensions derived from the larger number of original variables. It is a derived, hypothetical dimension that accounts, in part, for the correlations between a number of variables. The term is also commonly applied to the psychological construct associated with the dimension derived from factor analysis, as when the common factor g is interpreted as general intelligence. See also group factor.

3 More generally, anything that contributes to an outcome or result. factorial adj. [From Latin factor something that acts, from facere to do]

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