There are many types of correlational research. The commonality among all types of correlational research is that they explore relationships between variables. Where descriptive research only described what was going on, correlational research talks about the link between different things. It is important to understand that correlational research does NOT tell us that Variable A caused Variable B, but rather that they are somehow related. For example, if I told you that there was a correlation between domestic violence (violence between family members) and bowling, you would look at me strangely. But there is a relationship between the variables (variable 1- domestic violence, and variable 2- bowling). As more people bowl in the US, more domestic violence occurs. [pic] [pic]
Does that mean that bowling causes domestic violence- like you had bad game and take it out on a loved one? Or domestic violence causes bowling- like you fight with a sibling and feel the need to take it out on some pins? As you have already guessed- one does not cause the other to occur, but they are related- for every time people bowl, I can predict that domestic violence will go up, and every time domestic violence goes down I should be able to find a lane at the local bowling alley. There is a hidden variable that links both of them together. In this case it is winter time. In the winter more people bowl and more people stay in their homes (which increases the chances of domestic violence).
Direction of a Correlation
Before we examine the different types of correlational research methods, understand that correlations can go in two directions: positive and negative. • Positive Correlation: when two variables go in the SAME direction. For example, domestic violence and bowling. When bowling goes up, so does domestic violence. When domestic violence decreases, so does bowling. [pic]
• Negative Correlation:...