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Statistics: correlation and causation

What is correlation?

How is correlation used to understand the relationship between two variables?
What is the difference between positive and negative (inverse) correlation?

What is the correlation coefficient (r-value)?

What values can the correlation coefficient (r-value) have and what do these values reveal about the relationship they describe?

How is SPSS used to calculate the correlation (also called the Pearson Correlation)?

How do you identify the dependent and independent variables in a correlation analysis?

Does correlation imply causation?

Solution Preview

Statistical measure

What is correlation?

Correlation is a statistical measure that indicates the extent to which two or more variables fluctuate together.

How is correlation used to understand the relationship between two variables?

What is the difference between positive and negative (inverse) correlation?

A positive correlation indicates the extent to which those variables increase or decrease in parallel; a negative correlation indicates the extent to which one variable increases as the other decreases.

When the fluctuation of one variable reliably predicts a similar fluctuation in another variable, there's often a tendency to think that means that the change in one causes the change in the other.

What is the correlation coefficient (r-value)?

The quantity r, called the linear correlation coefficient, measures the strength and the direction ...

Solution Summary

How the correlation is used to understand the relationship between two variables is discussed.

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