A full analysis example Multiple correlations Partial correlations


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1 A full analysis example Multiple correlations Partial correlations
2 New Dataset: Confidence This is a dataset taken of the confidence scales of 41 employees some years ago using 4 facets of confidence (Physical, Appearance, Emotional, and Problem Solving, as well as their gender and their citizenship status.
3 Example problem 1: Analyze the correlation between physical confidence and appearance confidence. First question we should ask Is Pearson correlation appropriate? Four requirements for correlation:
4 Example problem 1: Analyze the correlation between physical confidence and appearance confidence. First question we should ask Is Pearson correlation appropriate? Four requirements for correlation: 1. A straightline relationship. 2. Interval data. 3. Random sampling (Will need to assume) 4. Normal distributed characteristics
5 Check for normality in each of the histograms. (Graphs Legacy Dialog Histogram)
6 The appearance variable is close enough to normal, although it has more on the upper and lower end than it should. The physical variable has a negative skew, so that could be a problem.
7 There are at least two values that are far below the mean for confidence in physical. We should investigate them further. Graphs Legacy Dialogs Boxplot Use summaries of separate variables, and Options Exclude VariablebyVariable
8 Boxplots identify outliers, from the boxplot we find that cases 31 and 37 are the outliers in physical confidence. Looking at the data directly we find that neither of these cases even have a value for appearance.
9 The two outliers in physical have no measured value for appearance That means they will have no effect on a correlation between physical and appearance. Correlation can only consider cases where there are values for both variables (a point needs both an X and a Y to exist)
10 Next, we look at the scatterplot. Graphs Legacy Dialog Scatter/Dot No obvious signs of nonlinear trends, but there doesn t seem to be any strong trend at all. Correlation is a appropriate measure, but it won t be strong.
11 We run the correlation to find it and see if it s significant at alpha = Analyze Correlate Bivariate Sig. (2tailed) is.039, so the correlation is significant at alpha =.05. (Had we chosen the.01 level, this would not be the case)
12 We could also run a ttest by hand to verify the significance level we found. (r=.373, n=31) t* = at 0.05 level, 29 df t* = at 0.01 level, 29 df
13 Let s not sully this moment with a bad pun or something.
14 The correlation matrix is a table that shows the correlation between two variables. Physical Appearance Physical Appearance In this case, Physical is correlated with Appearance with r=.373 Likewise, Appearance is correlated with Physical with r=.373 Also, everything correlates with itself with r=1.000.
15 SPSS takes it a little farther by making a matrix of correlation coefficient, significance, and sample size. Confidences are significantly correlated, there are 31 entries for each pair (not 41 because real data has blanks).
16 However, if we go to the correlations menu and select more than two variables of interest:
17 We get a 4x4 correlation matrix instead! What s better than two variables? FOUR VARIABLES!
18 Cutting away all the sample size and significance stuff, I find: Phys. Appear. Emot. Pr.Solve. Physical 1.373*.430**.730** Appearance 1.483**.527** Emotional 1.540** Problem Solving 1 There is a positive correlation between every facet. That means that any one facet of confidence increases, so do all the others. * significant at 0.05 level * significant at 0.01 level
19 Phys. Appear. Emot. Pr.Solve. Physical 1.373*.430**.730** Appearance 1.483**.527** Emotional 1.540** Problem Solving 1 Multiple correlation is useful as a firstlook search for connections between variables, and to see broad trends between data. If there were only a few variables connected to each other, it would help us identify which ones without having to look at all 6 pairs individually.
20 Pitfalls of multiple correlations: 1. Multiple testing. With 4 variables, there are 6 correlations being tested for significance. At alpha =0.05, there s a 26.5% chance that at least one correlation is going to show as significant even if there are no correlations at all. At 5 variables, there are 10 tests and a 40.1% chance of falsely rejecting at least one null. (Assuming no correlations) At 6 variables, there are 15 tests and a 53.7% chance of falsely rejecting the null.
21 You don t need to know how to handle multiple testing problems in this class. However, be cautious when dealing with many variables. Be suspicious of correlations that are significant, but just barely. Example: The weakest correlation here is physical with appearance, a correlation of.373. That correlation being significant could be a fluke.
22 2. Diagnostics doesn t get easier. Doing correlations as a matrix allows you to do the math of a correlation much faster than checking them one at a time. However, the diagnostic tests like histograms, scatterplots, and residual plots don t get any faster. Any correlation we re interested in (even if it s not showing as significant) still needs checks for normality and linearity before use in research.
23 One big advantage of correlating with multiple variables is that we can isolate the connections between different variables where they might not be obvious otherwise. Phys. Appear. Emot. Pr.Solve. Physical 1.373*.430**.730** Appearance 1.483**.527** Emotional 1.540** Problem Solving 1
24 Example: Is there really a correlation between appearance confidence and problem solving confidence SPECIFICALLY, or are they both attached to the same general confidence?
25 Ponder that over a Mandarin Duck.
26 To isolate a correlation between two variables from a third variable, we want to only look at the part of that correlation that s really between those two and not the third. We want the partial correlation. Example: Ice cream sales increase when murder rates increase. These two variables have nothing logical to do with each other, however, they both increase when it s hot out.
27 This is the simple correlation between these two variables. We want the relationship between murder and ice cream WITHOUT the confounding variable of heat.
28 In the dataset murderice.csv, we can find run a partial correlation and find out. First, a simple correlation reveals very significant correlations between everything.
29 But how much of that connection is truly between murder and ice cream? Analyze Correlate Partial
30 From here, put the two variables of interest in the variable (you can put more than two if you wish). Put the confounding variable in the control for slot.
31 The partial correlation between ice cream and murder is much lower than the simple correlation. It appears that heat (or something common to all three) was a major factor in both. In fact, the correlation is no longer significant (we fail to reject the null that there is no correlation)
32 Also note: SPSS tells us in the output table that heat is a control variable, so we know from the output that this is a partial correlation (hint, hint). We re using three degrees of freedom, one for each variable involved, so the df is 57 even when n is 60 (for interest)
33 Key observation: The partial correlation will be less than the simple correlation if both variables of interest are correlated to the confounding variable in the same way. Here, both murder and ice cream are correlated to heat positively, so the partial correlation removes that common positive relationship murder and ice cream. Removing a positive relationship makes the correlation less positive.
34 Likewise, if the correlation to the confounding variable is opposing, then the partial correlation will be higher than the simple correlation. If we re only considering positive correlations, this means a confounding variable could be hiding or masking a correlation hiding a correlation between two variables rather than creating a false correlation.
35 Example: Confidence. Consider the correlation between types of confidence. Do the correlations between the other three still show after we control for problem solving confidence? Simple Correlations Phys. Appear. Emot. Pr.Solve. Physical 1.373*.430**.730** Appearance 1.483**.527** Emotional 1.540** Problem Solving 1
36 The correlation between physical and anything is removed entirely (that means that knowing problem solving confidence tells you as much about an employee s physical confidence as knowing all three other facets)
37 With the heat behind murder and ice cream we had some other nonmath information to make the claim that heat was behind the other two variables. It could have easily been something we didn t measure, like the proportion of elderly in an area (retirees often migrate south for winter). In the case of facets of confidence, we don t have any reason why problem solving confidence would be the common thread. The partial correlations shrink to nothing because after problem solving, the other variables we re giving much info.
38 If we control for emotional confidence, we see there s a connection between problem solving and physical when emotional is taken out of the picture.
39 Interestingly, controlling for appearance produces the same result. They all have a common thread and so increase together, but the real connection is between problem solving and physical confidence. Without partial correlation we would have never caught this.
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