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ERIC Number: EJ945273
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2011-Sep
Pages: 18
Abstractor: As Provided
Reference Count: 59
ISSN: ISSN-1082-989X
Masking Misfit in Confirmatory Factor Analysis by Increasing Unique Variances: A Cautionary Note on the Usefulness of Cutoff Values of Fit Indices
Heene, Moritz; Hilbert, Sven; Draxler, Clemens; Ziegler, Matthias; Buhner, Markus
Psychological Methods, v16 n3 p319-336 Sep 2011
Fit indices are widely used in order to test the model fit for structural equation models. In a highly influential study, Hu and Bentler (1999) showed that certain cutoff values for these indices could be derived, which, over time, has led to the reification of these suggested thresholds as "golden rules" for establishing the fit or other aspects of structural equation models. The current study shows how differences in unique variances influence the value of the global chi-square model test and the most commonly used fit indices: Root-mean-square error of approximation, standardized root-mean-square residual, and the comparative fit index. Using data simulation, the authors illustrate how the value of the chi-square test, the root-mean-square error of approximation, and the standardized root-mean-square residual are decreased when unique variances are increased although model misspecification is present. For a broader understanding of the phenomenon, the authors used different sample sizes, number of observed variables per factor, and types of misspecification. A theoretical explanation is provided, and implications for the application of structural equation modeling are discussed. (Contains 6 tables.)
American Psychological Association. Journals Department, 750 First Street NE, Washington, DC 20002-4242. Tel: 800-374-2721; Tel: 202-336-5510; Fax: 202-336-5502; e-mail:; Web site:
Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Evaluative
Education Level: N/A
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A