You are a psychology student who does not have any idea about correlation research, right? If this is the case, then you must know about this crucial academic research method as early as possible. It is because your final year dissertation must be on the way. First of all, this research method is a non-experimental method based on correlating different variables. The number of variables can be two, three or any number more than two. In most correlational studies, the number of variables are two. Anyways, knowing this research method is crucial for every psychology student because you will need it. Therefore, today’s article will describe the importance of this research method. But before that, it will briefly explain the correlation research method along with its types to form the basis of the article. Hence, let’s dig into the definition of this method first.
What is the correlation research method, and what are its types?
Correlational research is a non-experimental method in which you measure the relationship between the two variables. You also control the extraneous variables with little or no effort. It is because you want to learn about the actual relationship that exists between the variables. This study reflects the strength of the relationship that exists between different variables. As it has been stated above that, this research design is non-experimental. It means that:
- The researcher does not have any control over the variables. He cannot manipulate them to get the desired results.
- As a researcher, you do not need to perform any kind of experiment to answer the research questions except to develop the statistical relationships.
So, this was all about the definition of this important research design. Now, let’s jump onto the types of correlation research. Normally, this research has three types depending on the relationship between the variables. These are Positive, Negative or Zero correlations. A brief description of each type is as follows:
The variables are said to have a positive relationship when one changes with changing in the other. One variable decreases with the decrement in the other and vice versa. Thus, you can say that both dependent and independent variables are directly related.
It is the second type of correlation research design. The outcome of this correlation suggests that the variables are inversely related. When one variable decreases, the other increases.
There is no relationship between the study variables.
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Example of correlation research method in academic research
From the discussion above, you know much about this research method. Now, to make it solid like concrete, let’s take the help of an example.
Consider a study on hypertension and marital satisfaction. In this study, the researcher is trying to study the relationship between the disease (hypertension) and marital satisfaction. Hypertension and marital satisfaction are the two different variables in this study. Let’s suppose the researcher has found a negative correlation between the variables. It means that as marital satisfaction increases, hypertension decreases among couples. Hence, it is an example of correlation research in academic research.
Why is conducting this research important?
I believe a firm understating has been developed in you about this crucial research method. The definition and the example given above are enough. Now, let’s move on to the importance of conducting this research. A brief description of the points is as follows:
The correlation research design method is crucial to uncovering the hidden relationships and patterns between the variables. As you combine one variable with another, it either gives you a positive, negative, or zero correlation. Many research studies need some kind of cause to establish the relationship between different variables. But it is not mandatory in the case of correlation research. The variables do not need to be causally related to each other to establish a connection. Most of the time, you develop relationships among the variables that are very odd. Hence, it is important to use to uncover the hidden relationships.
This research is dynamic in nature. The correlations of the past can be changed with future research. This research method is useful and important because you can take the secondary data and do the research. It is non-experimentative in nature already, and therefore you can conduct the research on already present data. Also, correlations often exist between the variables, but past researchers could not discover them. In such cases, it is important to look back and uncover those uncorrelated variables. The correlation research method is the one that can help you in doing so.
An important research method for hypothesis testing
Sometimes, before carrying out the original research, you need to test your hypothesis. Now, do you know how to test the hypothesis? It is simple; you take your variables and then test them to analyse the relationship. If the results are as per your expectations, you can say your hypothesis is right, and you can proceed to the research phase. As this research method is also about establishing the relationships between different variables, using this method can be helpful. Hence, it is important to use in hypothesis testing.
Predicting the future based on the results
Do you know that this academic research method can also predict the future? Only a few researchers know this. So, know that it is very important to predict the future. When you analyse data, you get outcomes. Based on those outcomes, you make some kind of patterns concerning the variables. This way, you can predict what is likely to happen concerning the variables in the future. So, it is an important research method that can also predict the future.
Correlation research is mostly found in the subject of sociology and psychology. The researchers establish the relationship between different social and behavioural variables and predict the future of society. Based on the points above, I can say that this research method is the most important when it comes to non-experimental methods. So, study it carefully to carry out it effectively.