Factor Analysis

The 2 Faces of Sadism & Executions

The 8 items were subjected to exploratory factor analysis (EFA). Factors with eigenvalues greater than 1.0 were to be rotated to a Varimax solution. Two factors emerged. The vicarious sadism factor accounted for 48.2% of the explained variance. The actual sadism factor accounted for 15.7% of the explained variance. Note that three of the items on the vicarious sadism factor cross-load (factor coefficients greater than .20)  with the actual sadism factor. That means that people with high scores on the actual sadism index also enjoy news about executions, including last meal, final words and any 'glitches.' They also favor executions before large crowds and feel that executions should be televised live. This overlap helps account for the strong positive Pearson correlation coefficient between the two indices, r (1600)=.51, p<.001. Cronbach's alpha coefficient for the 5-item vicarious sadism index is .82. Cronbach's alpha for the 3-item actual sadism index is .80. This indicates that both indices are reliable. When combined together, the reliability of the 8-item sadism index is .84.


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