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Statistics: Correlation

**Inferential Statistics Pearson’s product moment correlation, r Spearman’s rho: rs
**

What is it? Correlation is used to determine if there is a significant relationship between two variables. Two variables are related if knowing the value of one variable allows you to know something about the value of the other variable. More specifically, the Pearson’s product moment correlation, r, analyzes if there is a linear relationship between two variables. When is it used? Type of question answered • Is there a relationship? Type of data • Variables: Two (2) continuous variables • Measurement levels: Interval, ratio (for Pearson’s r) Ordinal, interval, ratio (for Spearman’s rho) What do you need to know? All the above, plus • recognition of the SPSS output for the procedure, including scatterplots; • linearity assumption • r2 (coefficient of determination). How to report? See the specific examples that follow.

1

Under “Test of Significance”. 2 .e. b. Click on “Statistics” Check “Skewness” and “Kurtosis”. Click Define. Analyze > Descriptive Statistics > Frequencies Click the two variables into the box. a Difference between scores). and click ►. Pearson r Spearman’s rho is appropriate when either of the following two conditions are met: a. check Pearson and Spearman. One variable is an ordinal scale and the other is an ordinal scale or higher. Click one of the variables into the “X Axis” box. Check the variables’ skewness and kurtosis and if they are less than +/. Graphs > Scatter Choose “Simple”.. Choice: Pearson or Spearman? (cf. Check “Flag significant correlations”. Highlight the appropriate section. Click one of the variables into the “Y Axis” box. Go to the syntax file. and click ►. One of the distributions is markedly skewed or has an extreme kurtosis value. Click “Paste”. Click “Paste”. Under “Correlation Coefficients”. check Two-tailed or One-tailed as appropriate. use Pearson r Where D= Rank of X – Rank of Y (i. don’t worry about the forumula) Usually.3.COMM 301: Empirical Research in Communication Statistics: Correlation Procedures in SPSS Analyze > Correlate > Bivariate Click the two variables into the box. Highlight the appropriate section. Go to the syntax file.

COMM 301: Empirical Research in Communication Statistics: Correlation Scatter plot examples 3 .

Example of violation (curvilinear relationship) Correlation is very sensitive to outliers. You should check outliers before conducting correlation analyses 4 . -.COMM 301: Empirical Research in Communication Statistics: Correlation Correlation assumes the linearity of relationship. If it is violated. you should not use correction.

and expectations for a communication course.COMM 301: Empirical Research in Communication Statistics: Correlation Example 1 Research question: Is there a relationship between students’ existing GPA and their expectations regarding how well they will do in a course? H0: ? H1: ? Research design: Survey of 25 students with items measuring age. 5 . Expectation is measured by a 7-point agreement question: I expect to do well for this course. current GPA.

0 3.6800 1.464 -.8000 1.1080 .070 .0 4.007 . Error of Kurtosis 25 0 21.5 GPA Correlations Correlations 6 . Error of Skewness Kurtosis Std.464 -.52751 . Deviation Skewness Std.5 3.84210 -.5 4.902 GPA 25 0 3.965 .902 8 7 6 expectation for COMM301 5 4 3 2 1 2.464 -.902 expectation for COMM301 25 0 4.374 .COMM 301: Empirical Research in Communication Statistics: Correlation Correlation Statistics AGE N Valid Missing Mean Std.0 2.236 .698 .32288 -.

COMM 301: Empirical Research in Communication Statistics: Correlation expectation for COMM301 expectation Pearson 1 for COMM301 Correlation Sig.629(**) .01 level (2-tailed).63)2 = 0. This coefficient of determination refers to the amount of variance explained (or the variance two variables share with each other).000 .001). GPA explains (0.01 level (2-tailed). (2-tailed) N ** Correlation is significant at the 0. The correlation coefficient ranges from -1 to +1. the analysis gives a value for r.621(**) . you get r2. GPA . expectation increases. 7 . N 25 GPA Pearson . (2-tailed) .001 25 1. r2 is known as the coefficient of determination. 25 . The meaning of r2 (coefficient of determination) As you noticed.001 25 GPA . 25 Correlations expectation for COMM301 Correlation Coefficient Sig.3969. (2-tailed) . p < 0.001 N 25 ** Correlation is significant at the 0. which is the correlation coefficient.001 25 1 . Spearman's rho expectation for COMM301 1. there was a significant positive relationship between GPA and expectations (r = 0.000 . As GPA increases. It is one of the measures of effect size.629(**) Correlation Sig. In the example above. (2-tailed) N GPA Correlation Coefficient Sig. or approximately 40% of the variance in expectations for Comm301. When you take r and square it. 25 Report Analysis revealed that for the 25 students surveyed.621(**) .63.

COMM 301: Empirical Research in Communication Statistics: Correlation Example 2 Research question: Is there a relationship between students’ age and their expectations regarding how well they will do in a course? H0: ? H1: ? Research design: Survey of 25 students with items measuring age. and expectations for a communication course. current GPA. 8 . Expectation is measured by a 7-point agreement question: I expect to do well for this course.

147 .483 25 1 .483 25 AGE -. 25 -.147 . (2-tailed) N Pearson Correlation Sig. 25 Graph 8 7 6 expectation for COMM301 5 4 3 2 1 18 19 20 21 22 23 24 25 26 AGE Report How would you write the report? 9 . (2-tailed) N 1 .COMM 301: Empirical Research in Communication Statistics: Correlation Output for Example 2 Correlation Correlations expectation for COMM301 expectation for COMM301 AGE Pearson Correlation Sig.

So what should you do then? 10 .COMM 301: Empirical Research in Communication Statistics: Correlation Cautions Although correlation analysis can tell you if a significant linear relationship exists. it does not analyze other types of relationships well. A significant curvilinear relationship can be missed by linear correlation analysis. such as curvilinear relationship.

COMM 301: Empirical Research in Communication Statistics: Correlation 11 .

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