Browse Definitions:
Definition

correlation

Contributor(s): Ivy Wigmore

Correlation is a statistical measure that indicates the extent to which two or more variables fluctuate together. A positive correlation indicates the extent to which those variables increase or decrease in parallel; a negative correlation indicates the extent to which one variable increases as the other decreases.

A correlation coefficient is a statistical measure of the degree to which changes to the value of one variable predict change to the value of another. When the fluctuation of one variable reliably predicts a similar fluctuation in another variable, there’s often a tendency to think that means that the change in one causes the change in the other. However, correlation does not imply causation. There may be, for example, an unknown factor that influences both variables similarly.

Here’s one example: A number of studies report a positive correlation between the amount of television children watch and the likelihood that they will become bullies. Media coverage often cites such studies to suggest that watching a lot of television causes children to become bullies. However, the studies only report a correlation, not causation. It is likely that some other factor – such as a lack of parental supervision – may be the influential factor.

See a brief demonstration of finding the correlation coefficient for two variables:

This was last updated in November 2016

Continue Reading About correlation

Join the conversation

3 comments

Send me notifications when other members comment.

By submitting you agree to receive email from TechTarget and its partners. If you reside outside of the United States, you consent to having your personal data transferred to and processed in the United States. Privacy

Please create a username to comment.

thanks a lot.....
Cancel
the positive / negative correlation definitions are incorrect! Need to fix this.
Cancel
the explanations are slightly confusing.
Cancel

-ADS BY GOOGLE

Dateiendungen und Dateiformate

Gesponsert von:

SearchCompliance

  • internal audit (IA)

    An internal audit (IA) is an organizational initiative to monitor and analyze its own business operations in order to determine ...

  • pure risk (absolute risk)

    Pure risk, also called absolute risk, is a category of threat that is beyond human control and has only one possible outcome if ...

  • risk assessment

    Risk assessment is the identification of hazards that could negatively impact an organization's ability to conduct business.

SearchSecurity

  • phishing

    Phishing is a form of fraud in which an attacker masquerades as a reputable entity or person in email or other communication ...

  • vulnerability disclosure

    Vulnerability disclosure is the practice of publishing information about a computer security problem, and a type of policy that ...

  • incident response

    Incident response is an organized approach to addressing and managing the aftermath of a security breach or cyberattack, also ...

SearchHealthIT

SearchDisasterRecovery

  • business continuity and disaster recovery (BCDR)

    Business continuity and disaster recovery (BCDR) are closely related practices that describe an organization's preparation for ...

  • business continuity plan (BCP)

    A business continuity plan (BCP) is a document that consists of the critical information an organization needs to continue ...

  • call tree

    A call tree -- sometimes referred to as a phone tree -- is a telecommunications chain for notifying specific individuals of an ...

SearchStorage

  • flash memory

    Flash memory, also known as flash storage, is a type of nonvolatile memory that erases data in units called blocks.

  • NAND flash memory

    NAND flash memory is a type of nonvolatile storage technology that does not require power to retain data.

  • NOR flash memory

    NOR flash memory is one of two types of nonvolatile storage technologies.

SearchSolidStateStorage

  • hybrid hard disk drive (HDD)

    A hybrid hard disk drive is an electromechanical spinning hard disk that contains some amount of NAND Flash memory.

Close