Contributed Paper C282
Practical use of correlation coefficients in the Social Sciences
AuthorsOscar Hernandez (Costa Rica)
Russell Alpizar-Jara (Portugal)
PresenterOscar Hernandez (Costa Rica)
The Pearson correlation coefficient (r) is usually the first measure of association taught at elementary statistics courses. The usual presentation includes scatterplots, computation and interpretation of r, properties, examples, and warnings about inferring causality from high association between two variables. On this last aspect, few introductory textbooks go deeper into the criteria for establishing causation. Although some textbooks give adequate explanations, most of their examples belong to the field of Biostatistics. For teaching statistics in the Social Sciences there is a lack of convincing examples belonging to this area. In this paper we urge the need to incorporate convincing cases of the practical use of correlation coefficients and contribute with some of our own.