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CORRELATION

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Overview of Correlation u What is a Correlation? u Correlation Coefficients u Coefficient of Determination u Test for Significance u Correlation and Causality u Partial and Part Correlations

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What is a Correlation? u Degree of linear relationship between variables u Each individual is measured on both variables

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What is a Correlation? u Comparison of the way scores deviate from their means on the two variables u Standardized covariance

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Cross-Product Deviation u Find the difference between each person’s scores and the mean of the variable (deviation). u For each person, multiply the two deviations together. u Do the deviations tend to go in the same direction?

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Covariance u Add up all the cross-product deviations and average them. u The more covariance, the more the two variables go together, or co-vary. u Covariance is not standardized, so it’s hard to interpret.

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Pearson r u Standardized covariance u Used for two interval/ratio variables u Varies from -1 to +1

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Pearson r u Absolute value indicates strength of relationship u.1 - small u.3 - medium u.5 - large

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Pearson r u Sign indicates direction of correlation u Positive: increases on one variable correspond to increases on the other variable u Negative: increases on one variable correspond to decreases on the other variable

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Other Correlation Coefficients u Ordinal variables u Spearman rho or Kendall’s tau u Dichotomous variable with interval/ratio variable u Point biserial r (discrete dichotomy) u Biserial r (continuous dichotomy)

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Other Correlation Coefficients u Two dichotomous variables u Phi coefficient

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About Dichotomous Variables u Dichotomous variables are usually at the nominal level. u Numbers are assigned to the two categories in an arbitrary way. u The way the numbers are assigned determines the sign of the correlation coefficient.

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Review Question! How is covariance related to the correlation coefficient?

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Coefficient of Determination u Measures proportion of explained variance in Y based on X u r 2

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Testing r for Significance u Null hypothesis is usually that r is zero in the population. u One tailed vs. two-tailed

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Assumptions u Appropriate types of data u Independent observations u Normal distributions u Linear relationship

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Example APA format Example APA format The Pearson r was computed between rated enjoyment of frog legs and level of neuroticism. The correlation was statistically significant, r (58) =.28, p =.03.

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Review Question If r =.28, then r 2 =.08. What does the.08 represent?

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Review Question! If p =.03, what probability does the.03 represent? There is a 3% chance of…..?

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Correlation and Causality u A correlation by itself does not show that one variable causes the other. u A correlation may be consistent with a causal relationship.

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The Third Variable Problem u A correlation between X and Y could be caused by a third variable influencing both X and Y.

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The Directionality Problem u A correlation between X and Y could be a result of X causing Y or Y causing X.

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Partial Correlation u Used to “partial out” the effects of a third variable (X2) on the relationship between X1 and Y u Correlation between X1 and Y with the influence of X2 removed from both X1 and Y

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Y X1 X2 Partial r 2

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Interpreting Partial Correlations u Compare the simple bivariate correlation to the partial correlation. u If the partial correlation is lower, it suggests that X2 is mediating the relationship between X1 and Y.

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Part Correlation u Also called: semi-partial correlation u Correlation between X1 and Y with the influence of X2 (and other predictor variables) removed from just X1 u Indicates amount of unique variance in Y explained by X1 u Used in Multiple Regression Analysis

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X2 X1 Part r 2 Y

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Y X1 X2 Partial r 2

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Choosing Stats Patrons at a bar are randomly assigned to one of three information conditions. In one condition, they taste a beer without being given any information about it. In a second condition, they are told that it is an inexpensive brand of beer. In a third condition, they are told that it is an expensive brand of beer. Their ratings of the taste quality are compared across the three conditions.

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