## Definition of Correlation Coefficient

(*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 of Correlation Coefficient

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

## Correlation Coefficient Pronunciation

Syllabification: **cor·re·la·tion co·ef·fi·cient**

Audio Pronunciation

Phonetic Spelling

- American English – /kor-uh-lAY-shuhn koh-uh-fIsh-uhnt/
- British English – /kor-i-lAY-shuhn kohi-fIsh-uhnt/

International Phonetic Alphabet

- American English – /ˌkɔrəˈleɪʃən ˌkoʊəˈfɪʃənt/
- British English – /ˌkɒrɪˈleɪʃən ˌkəʊɪˈfɪʃənt/

### 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**(**co-efficient of association**)

**coefficient of correlation**(**co-efficient of correlation**)

### Additional Information

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

### Related Terms

- descriptive statistics
- empirical evidence
- experimental group
- inferential statistics
- negative correlation
- positive correlation
- random sample
- reliability
- spurious correlation
- statistics

**Contributor:** C. E. Seaman

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#### 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 September 22, 2020 (https://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 https://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 September 22, 2020. https://sociologydictionary.org/correlation-coefficient/.

MLA – Modern Language Association (7th edition)

Seaman, C. E. “correlation coefficient.” *Open Education Sociology Dictionary*. Ed. Kenton Bell. 2015. Web. 22 Sep. 2020. <https://sociologydictionary.org/correlation-coefficient/>.