2. Learning Objectives
Understand what is meant by a
Be able to explain the difference
between a positive, negative and zero
Be able to explain the strengths and
weaknesses of using a correlation study.
4. Correlation Studies.
A process, rather than an actual
Methods to gain a correlation analysis:
1. Self report: questionnaires/ interviews.
It is the way that the data is analysed
which is important.
5. Correlation analysis
Looking for a relationship between two variables e.g.
Aim: to investigate whether there is a relationship
between how often ethnic minority groups are shown
on television and the level of racism in society.
Variable 1 is measured by counting how often individuals
from ethnic groups appear on television in one day on
BBC1, ITV1 and Channel 4.
Variable 2 is measured using an interview to assess
partcipants’ racist attitudes.
Write a hypothesis for the above study
There will be a significant correlation
between the number of times that
individuals from ethnic minority groups
appear on television in one day across
BBC1, ITV1 and Channel 4 and
participants’ racist attitude scores as
measured by an interview.
7. Examples of correlations
You have 2 minutes for yourself and a
partner to come up with as many
correlations that you can think of, which
a psychologist many be interested in.
Just make them up!!!
8. Quantitative Data
Correlational analysis can only be done on
quantitative data as it is a statistical process.
The strength and direction of a relationship is
The relationship can be shown graphically using a
A correlation co-efficient, which is between -1 and +1,
measures the relationship.
Correlations can be categorised into positive,
negative and zero correlations.
9. Positive Correlation (r=1)
As one variable increases then so does
the other variable.
A perfect positive correlation has a co-
efficient of +1. This means that the two
variables increase in the exact relation
to one another.
10. Negative Correlation (r= -1)
There is a relationship
As one variable increases the other
A perfect negative correlation has a co-
efficient of -1. This means that one
variable increases at exactly the same
rate as the other decreases.
11. Zero Correlation (r= 0)
There is no clear relationship
A true zero correlation has a co-efficient
of 0.0 This means that there is
absolutely no indication of a pattern
A correlation study is not an experiment.
A correlation study measures the relationship between
A positive correlation means two variables change in
the same direction, a negative correlation means they
change in the opposite direction and a zero correlation
means they show no pattern of relationship.
Correlations do not allow researchers to establish
cause and effect.
They allow them to statistically analyse naturally
occurring events that could not be set up