Understanding Correlation in Psychology Research

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12 Questions

Which term refers to the measurement of the extent to which pairs of related values of two variables tend to change together?

Correlation

In a positive correlation, what happens as one variable tends to increase?

The other variable also increases

What type of relationship is described as when one variable increases, so does the other variable, but only up to a certain point?

Curvilinear relationship

In which type of curvilinear relationship do both variables increase together up to a certain point?

Curvilinear relationship

What is the primary focus of correlational methods in research?

Finding relationships between variables

What distinguishes an experimental method from a correlational method?

Experimental methods establish causation

What is a key difference between experimental and correlational research?

Experimental research involves manipulating an independent variable, while correlational research only involves observing variables.

Which type of study is best for generalizing conclusions to other populations or settings?

Correlational study

What is one common way to collect data for a correlational study?

Using questionnaires and surveys

How are variables treated in a correlational study compared to an experimental study?

Variables are observed in both correlational and experimental studies.

What type of analysis is commonly used to determine the association between variables in a correlational study?

Regression analysis

Which type of research allows for drawing conclusions about cause-and-effect relationships?

Experimental research

Study Notes

Correlation

  • Correlation is the measurement of the extent to which pairs of related values of two variables tend to change together or co-vary.
  • Positive correlation: one variable tends to increase with the other variable.
  • Negative correlation: one variable tends to decrease as the other variable increases.

Types of Correlation

  • Curvilinear relationship: when one variable increases, the other variable increases up to a certain point, after which, the other variable decreases.
  • Inverted U-shaped curve: graph representation of a curvilinear relationship where one variable increases, the other variable increases up to a certain point, then decreases.
  • U-shaped curve: graph representation of a curvilinear relationship where one variable increases, the other variable decreases up to a certain point, then both variables increase together.

Research Methods

  • Experimental methods: used to test cause-and-effect relationships between variables.
  • Correlational methods: used to test the association between variables.

Experimental vs Correlational Research

  • Experimental research:
    • Manipulates an independent variable and measures a dependent variable.
    • Controls extraneous variables to ensure high internal validity.
    • Allows for conclusions about causality.
  • Correlational research:
    • Observes variables without manipulation.
    • Limited control over extraneous variables.
    • High external validity, allows for generalizability to other populations or settings.

Correlational Study

  • A correlational study has no manipulation by the researcher and yields statistical results.
  • Common data collection techniques: questionnaires, surveys, and psychometric tests (e.g. IQ tests, measures of depressive symptoms, and tests of attitudes).
  • Data is typically plotted on a scatterplot and analyzed using regression analysis to determine the line-of-best fit.

Learn the difference between a correlation and correlational study in psychology research. Explore how correlation is measured and identified, including positive and negative correlations between variables.

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