The three EcoTypes themes are Big Patterns derived from all survey results and thirteen EcoTypes axes used in 2017-18 (N = 1009) using a common statistical procedure called exploratory factor analysis. Factor analysis helps us group these axes into a smaller number of underlying themes, suggested by the axes with the highest loadings onto that theme. Following the procedure we used, each factor is statistically independent (orthogonal)—though you may detect conceptual linkages between themes!
It’s best to view factors not as clusters but as axes of differentiation. What this means is that factor analysis discovers the biggest differences (variance) in the data, and summarizes these differences in descending order. Rearranged to provide a more coherent narrative, the three resultant factors include:
- Factor 3: Place (Nonhuman/Human). What world do we want, and what would be the place of nonhumans vs. humans?
- Factor 2: Knowledge (Old/New). What old vs. new ways of knowing will help us build the world we want?
- Factor 1: Action (Small/Big). What action at small vs. big scales will help us build the world we want?
Look at the factor analysis results below, and feel free to draw your own interpretation of the three factors. For connections between these factors and participant demographics and other variables, see this June 2018 presentation [to be linked].