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Correlational Research

All about the Correlational Research.

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Correlational Research
 John  19 Sep, 2020  Wriitng Service

Correlational Research

Correlational Research

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.

Characteristics of Correlational Research

There are three main characteristics of the correlational research, which are as follows:

  • Backward-Looking: The correlational research looks back at the historical data and observes the past events. It is used by the researcher for measuring and spotting the historical patterns between the two variables. The study of correlation may indicate a positive relationship between the two variables; however, it can change in the future.
  • Non-Experimental: The correlational research study is the non-experimental research. This means that the researchers are not required to manipulate the variables with the scientific variables for agreeing and disagreeing with the hypothesis. The researcher is only required to observes and measure the relationship between the variables, without subjecting or altering them to the external financing.
  • Dynamic: The relationship between the two variables in correlational research are always changing and are never constant. Moreover, because of various factors, two variables having positive correlation in the past can have negative correlation relationship in the future, and vice versa.

Kinds of Correlational Research

There are mainly three kinds of correlational research, which are as follows:

  • Positive Correlation: The relationship between two variables are positive when increase in the one variable results in increase in the other variable. Similarly, a decrease in one variable will result in the decrease in the other variable. For instance, the money any person has might correlate positively with the total number of cars that person owns.
  • Negative Correlation: The negative correlation is just opposite to the positive correlation. If one variable increases, then the other one will decrease. For instance, being educated might correlate negatively with the rate of crime, when increase in one variable leads towards decrease in the other variable, and vice versa. If there is improvement in the education level in the country, then it can lower the rates of crime. However, it does not mean that lack of education leads towards crime. This only mean that crime and lack of the education is supposed to have a common reason that is poverty.
  • No Correlation: This is a kind of correlation in which there exists no correlation between the two variables. Any change in one variable does not necessarily results in change in the other variable. For instance, happiness is not correlated with having lot of money. Any increase in the money does not results in happiness.

Collection of Data in Correlation Research

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

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.

Archival Data

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.

Correlation and Causation

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.

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