1 In experimental design, another name for an independent variable.
2 In factor analysis, one of the underlying dimensions derived from the larger number of original variables. It is a derived, hypothetical dimension that accounts, in part, for the correlations between a number of variables. The term is also commonly applied to the psychological construct associated with the dimension derived from factor analysis, as when the common factor g is interpreted as general intelligence. See also group factor.
3 More generally, anything that contributes to an outcome or result. factorial adj. [From Latin factor something that acts, from facere to do]