(*noun*) In statistical analysis, a standardized measure of the covariance between two variables expressed between -1 and +1. The sign of the coefficient indicates the direction of the relationship while the magnitude is indicated by the value of the coefficient with 0 indicating absolutely no correlation and a value of ±1 indicating perfect correlation.

**Example:** A correlation coefficient of -.85 indicates a strong negative correlation between two variables.

**Audio Pronunciation: **(cor·re·la·tion co·ef·fi·cient)

**Download Audio Pronunciation:** correlation coefficient.mp3

**Usage Notes:**

- Plural:
**correlation coefficients**

- The most common test for correlation is the Pearson product-movement correlation (commonly referred to as
**Pearson correlation)**which tests the linear correlation between two variables where data approximates interval level characteristics. - Pearson correlation produces a correlation coefficient, Pearson’s
*r*, which is an absolute measure of the strength of association between two variables as they approximate a linear relationship. The value of the coefficient can range from -1 to +1. When*r*= 0; the two variables have no linear relationship. While the size and sign of the coefficient are important, the coefficient must also be statistically significant for a relationship between two variables to be considered present in the data. - Correlation forms the basis of regression analysis. Regression allows for the effects of additional variables to be considered in the relationship of
*x*on*y*. - Also called:
**coefficient of association**

**coefficient of correlation**

- Correlation coefficient used in a sentence: The negative correlation coefficient is also significant, indicating that scores on one variable are inversely associated with scores on the second variable.

**Additional Information:**

- Quantitative Research Resources – Books, Journals, and Helpful Links
- Word origin of “correlation” and “coefficient” – Online Etymology Dictionary: etymonline.com

**Related Terms: **

- attribute
- cohort
- control group
- correlation
- data
- empirical evidence
- experimental group
- negative correlation
- positive correlation
- random sample
- reliability
- statistics
- statistical analysis
- survey

**Contributor:** C. E. Seaman

**Works Consulted**

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Bryman, Alan. 2012. *Social Research Methods*. 4th ed. New York: Oxford University Press.

Burdess, Neil. 2010. *Starting Statistics: A Short, Clear Guide*. Thousand Oaks, CA: SAGE.

Cramer, Duncan, and Dennis Howitt. 2004. *The SAGE Dictionary of Statistics: A Practical Resource for Students in the Social Sciences*. Thousand Oaks, CA: SAGE.

Farlex. (N.d.) *TheFreeDictionary.com: Dictionary, Encyclopedia and Thesaurus*. Farlex. (http://www.thefreedictionary.com/).

Ferrante, Joan. 2011. *Sociology: A Global Perspective*. 7th ed. Belmont, CA: Wadsworth.

Fioramonti, Lorenzo. 2014. *How Numbers Rule the World: The Use and Abuse of Statistics in Global Politics*. London: Zed Books.

Larson, Ron, and Elizabeth Farber. 2015. *Elementary Statistics: Picturing the World*. 6th ed. Boston: Pearson.

Oxford University Press. (N.d.)* Oxford Dictionaries*. (https://www.oxforddictionaries.com/).

Salkind, Neil J., ed. 2007. *Encyclopedia of Measurement and Statistics*. Thousand Oaks, CA: SAGE.

Taylor & Francis. (N.d.) *Routledge Handbooks Online*. (https://www.routledgehandbooks.com/).

Weinstein, Jay A. 2010. *Applying Social Statistics: An Introduction to Quantitative Reasoning in Sociology*. Lanham, MD: Rowman & Littlefield.

Wikipedia contributors. (N.d.)* Wikipedia, The Free Encyclopedia*. Wikimedia Foundation. (https://en.wikipedia.org/).

Wikipedia contributors. (N.d.)* Wiktionary, The Free Dictionary*. Wikimedia Foundation. (http://en.wiktionary.org).

Wiley. (N.d.) *Wiley Online Library*. (http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/).

**How to Cite the Definition of Correlation Coefficient**

ASA – American Sociological Association (5th edition)

Seaman, C. E. 2015. “correlation coefficient.” In *Open Education Sociology Dictionary*, edited by Kenton Bell. Retrieved March 27, 2019 (http://sociologydictionary.org/correlation-coefficient/).

APA – American Psychological Association (6th edition)

Seaman, C. E. (2015). correlation coefficient. In K. Bell (Ed.), *Open education sociology dictionary*. Retrieved from http://sociologydictionary.org/correlation-coefficient/

#### Chicago/Turabian: Author-Date – Chicago Manual of Style (16th edition)

Seaman, C. E. 2015. “correlation coefficient.” In* Open Education Sociology Dictionary*, edited by Kenton Bell. Accessed March 27, 2019. http://sociologydictionary.org/correlation-coefficient/.

MLA – Modern Language Association (7th edition)

Seaman, C. E. “correlation coefficient.” *Open Education Sociology Dictionary*. Ed. Kenton Bell. 2015. Web. 27 Mar. 2019. <http://sociologydictionary.org/correlation-coefficient/>.