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I have conducted exploratory factor analysis with psych and confirmatory factor analysis with lavaan (following the code on ch 15 of this book: https://doi.org/10.1515/9783110786088) on a dataset. Everything seems fine with the analyses, the model fit is good (I am adapting a previously used scale to my dataset), and all items load cleanly on the factors. I want to create a scale from the dataset, with scores to use for further analysis.

It is my understanding that this can be done with factor scores, however after searching on here and around the internet I am just more confused about:

  1. what exactly are factor scores

  2. how do I estimate them in R (i know this is more of a coding question but I don't even know what I should provide in terms of code to give a reproducible example - however, you can disregard this question is inappropriate and I will figure it out in a different way)

  3. of all the seemingly available methods, how do I choose the best one for my data?

All of my variables are numeric and measured on Likert scales (different scales for different variables but from what I understood this should not be a problem). My sample has 2056 observations and 17 variables.

I am very new to both R and data analysis so please explain this to me like I am a 5 year old of below-average intelligence

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