SOCY201-10-Correlation.pdf - Correlation Alan Neustadtl...

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CorrelationAlan NeustadtlDepartment of SociologyUniversity of Maryland, College Park
Correlation—Basic ConceptsCorrelation is a statistical technique that allowsthe exploration of the relationship between twocontinuous measuresor variables that approx-imate continuous measures.There are several significant characteristics of correlation coefficients orPearson’s r:Positive Characteristics:ranges from -1 to +1 indicating both the direction and degree of therelationshipis invariant to changes in the scale of the variablescontrols for sample sizeNegative Characteristics:can only detect linear relationshipsis sensitive to extreme casesdoes not determine causality–correlation is a necessary but notsufficient causal condition
Correlation—Characteristics of RelationshipsType ofRelationshipCharacteristicspositiveLarge values ofXare typically paired with large valuesofY; average values ofXare typically paired withaverage values ofY; and small values ofXare typi-cally paired with small values ofY.negativeLarge values ofXare typically paired with small valuesofY; average values ofXare typically paired withaverage values ofY; and small values ofXare asso-ciated with large values ofY.no linearrelationshipValues ofXare randomly paired with values ofY.
Example Correlation Matrixsexfreqagesocbarsocrelsocommunsocfrendage-0.36***socbar0.20***-0.29***socrel-0.08**-0.13***0.04socommun0.03-0.06*0.15***0.13***socfrend0.14***-0.24***0.32***0.22***0.22***mean53.8147.972.464.703.504.12sd66.3117.681.701.642.061.60N1,7522,0411,4261,4251,4261,425Source: GSS 2010*p<0.05**p<0.01***p<0.001 (two-tailed tests)Correlation Coefficient Example020406080Sexual Frequency18-2425-2930-3435-3940-4445-4950-5455-5960-6465-6970-7475-7980-8485-89Source: General Social Survey, 2010Average Yearly Sexual Frequency by Age Group4050607080Sexual Frequencyneveroncea yearsevtimes ayearonce a monthsevtimesa mnthsevtimesaweekalmost dailySource: General Social Survey, 2010Average Yearly Sexual Frequency by Going to Bars

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