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Using Spearman's to Determine if Data is Significant

Hi there,
I used excel to analyze my data with spearmans rank order co efficient test and came up with the attached table.

I have a query about finding out whether my correlation coefficient - 0.420- is statistically significant. This is what i understand (not much!)

- take the t value and compare it to the critical value (my hypothesis is 1-tailed, my confidence level is .05) so i compare 1.308 and 1.860

- if the critical is equal to or less than t, it is significant (which it's not)

But i'm a bit confused because i read in a stats book that you have to compare your coefficient to a critical table of coefficients to find out if it is significant. The book had the table in there and the coefficient for N=10 didn't match anything i have on the data table that exel came up with. has excel already done this for me?

also, i know i have to compare one of these numbers to my p value (.05) but don't know which one. what is a p value and how is it different from confidence levels?

As you can see, i am very confused and basically need help interpreting my data and also in explaining it accurately in my project. i need it explained in very simple terms tho!


Solution Preview

----------------------------------------------------------------------We can use rs(the correlation coefficient) as an hypothesis testing statistic. Every time you use this test your null hypothesis will be:
<br>"There is no correlation between the two sets of data".
<br>To accept or reject this hypothesis you must compare your value ...