Child Development 133 (03, 04,
72, 73 & 74)
Research Methods in Human Development

Hembree            Spring, 2013


Correlational Research

I. Correlational strategies

A. Correlational vs. experimental strategies





B. Measuring Association between variables

1. Scatterplots




2. Positive and Negative (inverse) linear relationships








3. Curvilinear relationships






4. Correlation coefficient






II. Problems with interpreting correlations

A. restricted range




B. outliers




C. lack of reliability




D. correlation vs. causation




  • third variables (and spurious correlations)



  • partial correlations









Send problems, comments or suggestions to:

California State University, Sacramento

College of Education

Department of Child Development

Updated: January 25, 2013

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