Positive and Negative Relationships

When analyzing relationships between two variables, we can tell from the values whether a positive relationship is found or whether the variables are negatively related. A positive relationship, indicates that the values change in the same direction; high values on one variable are associated with high values , and conversely, low values on one are associated with low values on the other. An example of this relationship would be the relationship between years of education and the salary. Another would be level of educational attainment and income.  A negative relationship implies that the values change in the opposite direction; high values on one variable are associated with low values on the other. An example of this would be high unemployment rates in a community and low levels of social control within that community. Direction cannot be assigned when both variables in a table are dichotomous because directionality of the relationship can only be assigned to ordinal or interval-ratio, dichotomous variables are nominal.

This internet resource  is pretty straightforward in describing possible relationships between variables. The graphics and videos add to my understanding by providing a visual depiction of the directionality of relationships rather than just reviewing the numbers in a table as in the book. One can clearly see how the variable values either go up or down together or are inversely related.




3 thoughts on “Positive and Negative Relationships

  • December 4, 2015 at 9:27 am

    This is a good explanation of the distinction between positive and negative relationships. Also, I agree that the graphic is good. I was a bit surprised that your textbook did not use it. There’s one on p. 445 that’s close to what you have here, but it doesn’t illustrate no relationship.

  • November 22, 2015 at 7:42 pm

    This graphic is simple and straight forward. I think positive relationship and negative relationship is very simple to understand since we can relate them to our day to day life situations. I like the examples you provided here.

  • November 16, 2015 at 8:21 am

    The graphic you found is incredibly clear and concise. I also really like the example you used for a negative correlation.

Leave a Reply