What is Correlational Research: A comprehensive Overview
The task of correlational research is frequently assigned to students who are pursuing their degree in psychology. It is to derive the outcome from the field of interest that correlational research is conducted in the academic context. The particular relation between the two variables is analyzed, which has no connection with that of another extra venous variable under the correlational research design. The whole approach could be categorized as a non-experimental research method. In this approach, the proper statistical relation has to be identified between the selected variables to justify a particular argument. Let us consider a vehicle approaching in your direction. You could estimate the distance of the vehicle from you by just hearing the revving sound of its engine. The same approach is followed in correlational research, which would try to find the relation between the arrival of the vehicle and its revving of it.
What is correlational research?
Establishing a particular logical relationship between the selected two variables is termed the process of correlational research. The students are expected to identify two variables that display evident relationships and interactions between them while conducting the correlational research. The major instances when the approach of correlational research is performed are:
- It is planned to identify the link between two selected variables, which would not display even a causal relationship on the first appearance.
- In the instance when you think that the selected two variables have an evident link between them. However, it may appear that the relationship is established through the manipulation of the variables through impractical and unethical approaches.
As per the concept of correlational research, three types of results could be derived by following this approach. Below are mentioned some of the exclusive characteristics of these types of results.
- Zero correlational
There is no particular statistical connection between the two selected variables. There will be no effect on the other variable if the magnitude or nature of a variable is changed in any way.
- Negative correlational
In this case, two variables are selected with no particular statistical link. When a change is made to the selected variable, there is a significant and opposite impact on the other variable.
- Positive correlational
In this case, two variables are selected, which are well connected to each other. When the variation is done on the selected variable, there would be a significant and similar change to the other variable.
The below section will focus on how to conduct correlational research. This type of task is generally assigned to students who are pursuing their academic program in the discipline of psychology.
Important methods of primary correlational research
Any manipulation is not allowed in the variables used in the correlational research, and students are strictly advised to stay away from it. Please stay devoid of thought; your colleagues and friends are indulged in it.
Surveys and questionnaires
The simplest way of finding out the link and relationship between the selected variables is to conduct surveys and questionnaires. The surveys could be conducted via various platforms like emails, social media, phone calls, etc. The response should be collected from the intended persons in the sample set, and they should be used to analyze the common interest or trend. The analysis of responses would help you understand the link between the variables.
The interaction and behavior of the selected individuals or the natural environment participants are being observed in this approach. This approach could also be termed field research in the context of academics. It is to conduct the observation on the people belonging from cinemas, grocery stores, playgrounds, etc., that the approach of natural observation is implied.
The approach of surveys and questionnaires is widely and frequently used to conduct the task of correlational research. The major reason for doing it is that it brings a high level of flexibility and brevity to the approach. Though the major setback of using it is that the whole research’s accuracy would get compromised if any individual provided an incorrect response.
Most significant examples of the correlational research
A better hold over the concept could be gained by referring to some interesting and valid examples of correlational research. Let us consider an instance where the relationship between vegetarianism and the magnitude of income is to be proven. It should be noted that a person’s income has nothing to do much with one’s eating routine or choices of dishes. The major elements that could impact the person’s dietary choice could be identified by conducting thorough correlational research. While conducting the research, the student should select a sample size consisting of the same income range and be asked whether they chose vegetarianism over non-vegetarian food.
Extra correlational research examples:
- Let us check an instance where you have to check whether people with more children earn more monthly. Your perception is that the number of children has no impact or connection with the magnitude of the earnings. The correlational relationship between these variables could be stated by conducting correlational research.
- Again, let us consider that you are up to decide the relationship between a person being very patient and wealthy. You have a previous notion from your personal experience that wealthy people are a bit more impatient. You are looking forward to proving the same opinion by relying on the statistical process.
More examples of correlational research
Consider the instance where it has to be proven by your stance that the students who indulge more in reading the books eventually score higher marks in the academic evaluation. To display the higher level of connection between these two variables, you have to conduct detailed correlational research between high-scoring marks in the academic evaluation and frequently reading books.
The process of causation should not be confused with that of the correlational research approach. By conducting this sort of research, you could determine whether there is any link or relation between the selected variables. However, correlational research could not clearly state that the variation in one variable would bring obvious change to the other variable. This is one of the major limitations of conducting correlational research.
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We hope that this article on correlational research was quite helpful to you.