Pronunciation: /ˌkɒr.əˈleɪ.ʃən/ Explain

A correlation is the strength and direction of the relationship between two variables.[2] A correlation is measured with a correlation coefficient. A correlation coefficient of 1 means the variables are perfectly related to each other in a positive manner (yax + b, a > 0). A correlation coefficient of 0 means the variables are not related to each other (yx). A correlation coefficient of -1 means the variables are perfectly related to each in a negative manner (yax + b, a < 0).

Correlation can be considered the amount of 'noise' in a dataset. This noise can be measurement error or complicating factors.

A number of sets of points plotted on a plane labeled with their correlation coefficient.
Figure 1: Several sets of (x, y) points, with the correlation coefficient of x and y for each set.


  1. McAdams, David E.. All Math Words Dictionary, correlation. 2nd Classroom edition 20150108-4799968. pg 48. Life is a Story Problem LLC. January 8, 2015. Buy the book

Cite this article as:

McAdams, David E. Correlation. 4/18/2019. All Math Words Encyclopedia. Life is a Story Problem LLC.

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Revision History

4/16/2019: Updated equations and expressions to new format. (McAdams, David E.)
12/21/2018: Reviewed and corrected IPA pronunication. (McAdams, David E.)
6/25/2018: Removed broken links, updated license, implemented new markup, updated GeoGebra apps. (McAdams, David E.)
1/21/2010: Added "References". (McAdams, David E.)
12/2/2008: Initial version. (McAdams, David E.)

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