Correlational Research – Steps & Examples
Published byat August 14th, 2021 , Revised On August 29, 2023
Types of Correlations
Based on the number of variables
|Type of correlation
|A simple correlation aims at studying the relationship between only two variables.
|Correlation between height and weight.
|In partial correlation, you consider multiple variables but focus on the relationship between them and assume other variables as constant.
|Correlation between investment and profit when the influence of production cost and advertisement cost remains constant.
|Multiple correlations aim at studying the association between three or more variables.
|Capital, production, Cost, Advertisement cost, and profit.
Based on the direction of change of variables
|Type of correlation
|The two variables change in a similar direction.
|If fat increases, the weight also increases.
|The two variables change in the opposite direction.
|Drinking warm water decreases body fat.
|The two variables are not interrelated.
|There is no relationship between drinking water and increasing height.
When to Use Correlation Design?
Correlation research design is used when experimental studies are difficult to design.
It is used to identify the association between two or more variables.
How to Conduct Correlation Research?
Step 1: Select the Problem
You can select the issues according to the requirement of your research. There are three common types of problems as follows;
- Is there any relationship between the two variables?
- How well does a variable predict another variable?
- What could be the association between a large number of variables and what predictions you can make?
Step 2: Select the Sample
You need to select the sample carefully and randomly if necessary. Your sample size should not be more than 30.
Step 3: Collect the Data
There are various types of data collection methods used in correlational research. The most common methods used for data collection are as follows:
Surveys are the most frequently used method for collecting data. It helps find the association between variables based on the participants’ responses selected for the study. You can carry out the surveys online, face-to-face, and on the phone.
In the naturalistic observation method, you need to collect the participants’ data by observing them in their natural surroundings. You can consider it as a type of field research. You can observe people and gather information from them in various public places such as stores, malls, parks, playgrounds, etc. The participants are not informed about the research. However, you need to ensure the anonymity of the participants. It includes both qualitative and quantitative data.
Archival data is a type of data or information that already exists. Instead of collecting new data, you can use the existing data in your research if it fulfills your research requirements. Generally, previous studies or theories, records, documents, and transcripts are used as the primary source of information. This type of research is also called retrospective research.
What is Causation?
The association between cause and effect is called causation. You can identify the correlation between the two variables, but they may not influence each other. It can be considered as the limitation of correlation research.