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Topic on Advanced Research

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1. Correlational research involves collecting data to determine whether and to what degree a

relation exists between two or more variables. The degree of relation is expressed as a

correlation coefficient.

2. If two variables are related, scores within a certain range on one variable are associated with

scores within a certain range on the other variable.

3. A relation between variables does not imply that one is the cause of the other. You should not

infer causal relations on the basis of data from a correlational study.

Problem Selection

4. Correlational studies may be designed either to determine whether and how a set of variables

are related or to test hypotheses regarding expected relations. The variables to be correlated

should be selected on the basis of some rationale suggested by theory or experience.

5. A common, minimally accepted sample size for a correlational study is 30 participants. If the

variables correlated have low reliabilities and validities, a bigger sample is necessary.

6. In the basic correlational design, scores for two (or more) variables of interest are obtained for

each member of a selected sample, and the paired scores are correlated.

7. A correlation coefficient is a decimal number between -1.00 and +1.00. It describes both the size

and direction of the relation between two variables. If the correlation coefficient is near .00, the

variables are not related.

8. A correlation coefficient near +1.00 indicates that the variables are strongly and positively

related. A person with a high score on one variable is likely to have a high score on the other

variable, and a person with a low score on the other. An increase on one variable is associated

with an increase on the other.

9. If the correlation coefficient is near -1.00, the variables are strongly and negatively or inversely

related. A person with a high score on the other variable. An increase on one variable is

associated with a decrease on the other variable.

10. Correlations of +1.00 and -1.00 represent the same strength but different directions of relation.

11. A correlation coefficient much lower than .50 is generally not useful for group prediction or

individual prediction. However, a combination of correlations below .50 may yield a useful

prediction.

12. Coefficients in the .60s and .70s are usually considered adequate for group prediction purposes,

and coefficients in the .80s and higher are adequate for individual prediction purposes.

13. Although all reliabilities in the .90s are acceptable, for certain kinds of instruments, such as

personality measures, a reliability in the .70s may be acceptable.

14. Common variance (or shared variance) indicates the extent to which variables vary in systematic

way; it is computed by squaring the correlation coefficient. The higher the common variance,

the higher correlation.

15. Statistical significance refers to the probability that the study results (e.g.,a correlation

coefficient of this size) would have occurred simply due to chance. To determine whether a

correlation is statistically significant, researchers set a standard (e.g., 95% confident, or

probability of chance =.05) and then compare the obtained correlation to a table that shows

correlation coefficient values for particular significance levels and sample sizes.

16. Small sample require larger correlation coefficients to achieve significance. Additionally, the

value of the correlation coefficient needed for significance increase as the level of confidence

increases.

17. A low coefficient represents a low degree of association between the variables, regardless of

statistical significance.

18. When interpreting any correlation coefficient, remember its association between variables, not

a cause-effect relation.

RELATIONSHIP STUDIES

19. A relationship study is conducted to gain insight into the variables or factors that are related to a

complex variable, such as academic achievement, motivation, or self-concept. Such studies give

direction to subsequent causal- comparative and experimental studies.

Data Collection

20. In a relationship study, the researcher first identifies the variables to be related. A smaller

number of carefully selected variables is preferred to a large number of carelessly selected

variables.

21. The population must be one for which data on each of the identified variables can be collected,

and one whose members are available to the researcher.

22. One advantage of a relationship study is that all the data may be collected within a relatively

short time period.

23. In a relationship study, the score for one variable are correlated with the scores for another

variable, or score for a number of variable are correlated with some particular of primary

interest.

24. Methods for computing correlation are distinguished mainly by the type of data to be

correlated. The most commonly used correlation is the product moment correlation coefficient

(Pearson r), which is used when both variables are expressed as continuous (i.e. ratio or

interval) data. The Spearman rho correlation is used when ordinal data (i.e. ranks) are

correlated.

25. Most correlational techniques are concerned with investigating linear relations, ones in which

an increase (or decrease) in one variable is associated with a corresponding increase (or

decrease) in another variable. In contrast, in a curvilinear relation, an increase in one variable is

associated with a corresponding increase in another variable up to a point at which further

increase in the first variable results in a corresponding decrease in the other variable (or vice

versa)

26. In addition to computing correlation coefficients for a total sample group, researchers may

examine relations among variables for certain defined subgroups, if the sample size is large

enough.

27. Attenuation is the reduction in correlation coefficients that tends to occur if the measures have

low reliability. In relationship studies, a correction for attenuation can be applied to provide an

estimate of what the correlation coefficient would be if both measures were perfectly reliable.

28. An narrow or restricted range of scores can lead to correlation coefficient underrepresenting a

true relation. A correction for restriction in range may be applied to obtain an estimate of what

the coefficient would be if the range of scores were not restricted.

PREDICTION STUDIES

29. A prediction study is an attempt to determine which of a number of variables are most highly

related to the criterion variable. Prediction studies are often conducted to facilitate decision

making about individuals or to aid in the selection of individuals.

30. The variable used to predict is called the predictor, and the variable that is predicted is a

complex variable called the criterion.

31. If several predictor variables each correlate well with a criterion, then a prediction based on a

combination of those variables will be more accurate than a prediction based on any one of

them.

Data Collection

32. The major difference in data collection procedures for a prediction study and relationship study

is that in a prediction study the predictor variables are generally obtained earlier than the

criterion variable, whereas in a relationship study all variables are collected within a relatively

short period of time. After the strength of the predictor variable is established, the predictive

relation is tested with a new group of participants to determine how well it predicts for other

groups.

33. Shrinkage is the tendency for the prediction to be less accurate for a group other than the one

on which it was originally developed.

34. Data analysis in prediction studies involves correlating each predictor variable with the criterion

variable.

35. A prediction study using multiple variables results in a prediction equation referred to as a

multiple regression equation, which combines all variables that individually predict the criterion

to make a more accurate prediction.

36. The accuracy of prediction can be lowered by unreliable variables, length of time between

gathering data about the predictors and the criterion variable, and the generality of the

criterion.

37. Predicted scores should be reported as a range, not a single number.

38. The coefficient of determination indicated the percentage of variance in the criterion variable

that is predicted by the predictor variables (s).

OTHER CORRELATION-BASED ANALYSES

39. More complex correlation-based analyses include discriminant function analysis, canonical

analysis, path analysis, structural equation modelling, and factor analysis.

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