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    Correlation Versus Causation

    Psychology homework help


    Correlation Versus Causation

    If correlation does not imply causation, what does it imply? Are there ever any circumstances when a correlation can be interpreted as evidence for a causal connection between two variables? If yes, what circumstances?

    Required Readings

    Use your Warner text, Applied Statistics: From Bivariate Through Multivariate Techniques, to complete the following:

    • Read Chapter 7, “Bivariate Pearson Correlation,” pages 261–314. This chapter addresses the following topics:
      • Assumptions of Pearson’s r.
      • Preliminary data screening for Pearson’s r.
      • Statistical significance tests for Pearson’s r.
      • Factors influencing the magnitude and sign of Pearson’s r.
      • Effect-size indexes.
      • Interpretation of Pearson’s r values.
    • Read Chapter 8, “Alternative Correlation Coefficients,” pages 315–343. This chapter addresses the following topics:
      • Correlations for rank or ordinal scores.
      • Correlations for true dichotomies.
      • Correlations for artificial dichotomies.
      • Chi-square test of association.

    Jia, Y., Konold, T. R., & Cornell, D. (2015). Authoritative school climate and high school dropout rates. School Psychology Quarterly. doi:10.1037/spq0000139

    Anderson, C. A., & Bushman, B. J. (2001). Effects of violent video games on aggressive behavior, aggressive cognition, aggressive affect, physiological arousal, and prosocial behavior: A meta-analytic review of the scientific literature. Psychological Science, 12(5), 353–359.


    Interpreting Correlations

    A meta-analysis (Anderson & Bushman, 2001) reported that the average correlation between time spent playing video games ( X) and engaging in aggressive behavior ( Y) in a set of 21 well-controlled experimental studies was .19. This correlation was judged to be statistically significant. In your own words, what can you say about the nature of the relationship?

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