Correlational research can provide information about relationships between variables. For example, is unemployment associated with depression? Is having children associated with increased life satisfaction? Is exercise associated with happiness? In addition to providing information about whether or not two variables are correlated, correlations can inform about the direction of the association and the strength of the relationship.
Find a correlational study in the Online Library. It can help to use Academic Search Complete and PsycArticles and to check “full text,” “scholarly articles,” “exclude book reviews” and “exclude non-article content.” In the search box, you can use search terms such as “correlational evidence” or “correlational findings” and search the title, abstract, or the entire study. Download the full text of the article and use it to answer the following questions.
- What two variables were being tested for a correlation?
- How were these variables operationally defined?
- What correlation coefficient was found? What does the number (coefficient) mean?
- How can this correlation be interpreted? How could it be misinterpreted?