Pearson correlation thesis

The t-test is used to establish if the correlation coefficient is significantly different from zero, and, hence that there is evidence of an association between the two variables. There is then the underlying assumption that the data is from a normal distribution sampled randomly. If this is not true, the conclusions may well be invalidated. If this is the case, then it is better to use Spearman's coefficient of rank correlation (for non-parametric variables). See Campbell & Machin (1999) appendix A12 for calculations and more discussion of this.

The PPMC is not able to tell the difference between dependent and independent variables. For example, if you are trying to find the correlation between a high calorie diet and diabetes, you might find a high correlation of .8. However, you could also work out the correlation coefficient formula with the variables switched around. In other words, you could say that diabetes causes a high calorie diet. That obviously makes no sense. Therefore, as a researcher you have to be aware of the data you are plugging in. In addition, the PPMC will not give you any information about the slope of the line; It only tells you whether there is a relationship.

Pearson correlation thesis

pearson correlation thesis

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