Correlational Study

        Correlational research studies are one common type of scientific research.  It is important to have a good understanding of correlational research.  What is a correlational study?

Correlational Study Definition

A correlational study is a scientific study in which a researcher investigates associations between variables.

Correlation Coefficient

     A correlation coefficient may be calculated.  This
correlation coefficient is a quantitative measure of the association between two variables.

The Goal of Correlational Research

     The goal of correlational research is to find out whether one or more variables can predict other variables.  Correlational research allows us to find out what variables may be related.   However, the fact that two things are related or correlated does
not mean there is a causal relationship.  It is important to make a distinction between correlation and causation.  Two things can be correlated without there being a causal relationship. 

Examples of Correlational Studies

There are many examples of correlational research.  There are articles on this website ( that contain information on correlational studies.  Below are two examples of correlational studies:
      In their fourth study, Mayer and Frantz (2004) had people fill out questionnaires with some questions pertaining to the connectedness of nature scale, and some questions pertaining to a life satisfaction measure (see their article for information about other measures and results).  They found that the connectedness to nature measure was positively correlated with life satisfaction.
    Moreover,  Decker (1987) found that a supervisor's perceived sense of  humor was positively correlated with people's job satisfaction.

Decker, W. H.  (1987).  Managerial humor and subordinate           
Social Behavior and Personality, 15, 225-232.
Mayer, F. S., & Frantz, C. M.  (2004).  The connectedness to   
     nature scale:  A measure of individuals' feeling in community
     with nature. 
Journal of Environmental Psychology, 24, 503-