Correlational research is the kind of non-experimental research method in which researcher measures the two variables, assesses and understands the statistical relationship between them with no influence from any of the extraneous variable. It is the type of descriptive research.
There are three main characteristics of the correlational research, which are as follows:
There are mainly three kinds of correlational research, which are as follows:
One of the distinctive features of the correlational research is that it is not possible by the researcher to manipulate either of the variable involved. Further, it does not matter where or how the measurement of variables are done. The participants could be observed by the researcher in the public setting or the closed environment. The researcher requires two kinds of data collection methods for collecting information in the correlational research.
Naturalistic observation is defined as the way of collecting data in which the behavior of people is observed in their natural environment, in which usually these people exists. It is a kind of field research. This could mean that a researcher might be observing the people in the cinema, grocery stores, or other similar places.
Usually the researchers involved in this kind of data collection make the observation as unremarkably as possible so that the involved participants in the research study are not aware of the fact that they are being observed by any one, because they might get deviate from being what they are or their natural self.
This method is acceptable ethically only when if the research study is conducted in the public setting that is the place where normally people would expect complete privacy. For example, the people doing shopping at the grocery store. These people can be observed easily while item from the aisle of store and putting it into the shopping bags. It is ethically acceptable, and because of this reason most of the researchers choose the public settings for recording of their observations. This method of data collection could be both quantitative or qualitative. Naturalistic observation helps in eliminating the influence of researcher and inaccuracy of the respondent, which might affect the variables. However, it can be a time-consuming process.
This is another approach towards correlational data. Archival data is the data of information collected, which has been collected previously by doing the similar kinds of the research. Usually this data is made available through the primary research. It has been found that the collection of data through the archival data is quite straightforward. The example of this can be counting of the number of people named John in the different states of Australia based on the records of social security is quite straightforward.
It is significant to understand that the causation is not implied by the correlation. The reason for this is the fact that finding correlation between the two things does not implies that one of the things causes other.
Although causation is not proved by the correlational research, with the large amount of data carefully collected and analyzed, it can support strongly a casual hypothesis. For example, one can find strong negative correlation between the hours of working and mental health. In the countries with the lower average hours of working, people generally report better mental health, but this does not prove that the lower hours of working causes improvement in the mental health. There include various other variables, which may influence relationship, for instance, cultural norms, access to the mental healthcare, and average income.