Can we use the same data for EFA and CFA? #Instrument_Development

I just reviewed several articles in BNJ, which the authors tried to develop or modify an instrument. Unfortunately, in their papers, I found that the authors used the exact data for Exploratory Factor Analysis (EFA) and Confirmatory Factor Analysis (CFA). So, I need to reject the articles.

We can’t use both EFA and CFA with the same data. The reason for this is very simple. We explore factor(s) with EFA; on the other hand, we confirm latent structure/s of the scale with CFA. So, if we try to verify the factor(s) we discovered with EFA using the same data, CFA results will most likely give good fit indices because the same data will tend to conform to the structure(s) of the scale which is discovered with EFA. Therefore, we have to use the different data obtained from a similar sample for CFA.

Or, another solution is that you can just do EFA only. That’s it, and it is acceptable. 

But, if you want to make a great instrument, CFA is recommended after EFA, with different data set. 

On the other hand, the next question is, when can you do CFA only? If you just do the translation or cross-cultural adaptation of the instrument, CFA alone is acceptable (according to my opinion). 

However, EFA is suggested if you want to reduce or add one or more items in an instrument because it may or may not change the latent or construct variable. 

You may need to understand the term adopt, adapt, modify, and translate the instrument (I talk about this in my Youtube Channel, check this out). So, you will know when you should do EFA and CFA rationally. Pros and cons are accepted, as long as logical or critical reasons are provided. 

I hope it helps! Buzz me if you have another question, opinion, or perspective. 

Don’t forget to cite!

This is an open access article distributed under Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International (CC BY 4.0)

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