Information theory versus factor analysis in typology

Date of publication: September 1, 1990

Abstract:

Values and lifestyles are taking on an increasingly significant role in, product communication and environment design. Social, economic, demographic, anthropological changes lead to the differentiation of products and services that are targeted to a segmented market. Researchers are after new methods and formulae to keep up with the changes. The problem is to decide which characteristics to be chosen and which method is best to analyze. This paper discusses methods of data analysis in lifestyle surveys and presents a practical contribution by introducing information theory concepts as an alternative to factor analysis for reducing the number of variables. As an application. Values and Lifestyles Survey held in Turkey during 1988-1989 by DAP is chosen and the results of both factor analysis and information theory approaches are tabulated and compared. The results indicate that the new approach for data reduction is worthy of consideration as an alternative. An approach is presented for the use of proposed method and some possible improvements are discussed. Furthermore a computer program and its manual is available on request.

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