A method for selecting between K-dimensional linear factor models and (K + 1) - class latent profile models is proposed. In particular, it is shown that the conditional covariances of observed variables are constant under factor models but nonlinear functions of the conditioning variable under latent profile models. The performance of a convenient inferential method suggested by the main result is examined via data simulation and is shown to have acceptable error rate control when deciding between the 2 types of models. The proposed test is illustrated using examples from vocational assessment and developmental psychology.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Statistics and Probability
- Experimental and Cognitive Psychology
- Arts and Humanities (miscellaneous)