# Correlation of variables in SPSS

By Priya Chetty on July 15, 2015

It measures the correlations between two or more numeric variables. There are two types of correlations; bivariate and partial correlations. While Bivariate Correlations are computed using Pearson/Spearman Correlation Coefficient wherein it gives the measure of correlations between variables or rank orders. The value of the correlation coefficient lies between -1 to +1 and the value “0” indicates that there is no correlation. On the other hand, the Partial correlation procedure is applied to calculate the partial correlation coefficient in order to describe the relationship between two variables along with adjustments made regarding the effect of one variable on another.

While Pearson Correlation Coefficient is used to calculate linear relationships, i.e. if one variable increases or decreases what is the extent to which other variable also increases or decreases? For example, to determine the relationship between a rising temperature and a decrease in the level of snow we would use the Pearson correlation.

On the other hand, the Spearman Correlation coefficient is used to determine the monotonic relationship between variables. For example; to determine the time taken by employees to complete the test depending on the time they have been employed within the firm. However, between the two methods, Pearson correlation is found to be a more precise method to determine correlations.

## Bivariate correlations

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### Correlations

The output table shown above provides Pearson Correlations between the pair i.e. Current Salary and Beginning Salary. The results indicate that the Beginning salary influences the current salary of the employee (α= .573, p=0.45).

Where the value of Significance (2-Tailed) is less than 0.05 significant at a 95% confidence interval. The correlation value (α) and Sig value (p) will always complement each other, i.e. if one value is “acceptable” then the other will be “acceptable” too.

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## Partial correlations using SPSS

Next, Select, Months since Hire and Previous Job Experience and Move them to the control FOR list. Click OK to Run the Procedure.

Legends:

• Pearson Correlation: Gives the value for Correlation at a confidence interval of 95%
• Sig (2-tailed): Gives the value of significance of the correlation between the two variables at a 95% confidence interval
• Df: Displays the degree of freedom, i.e. the sample size of the study.

The Output given above shows the table of the Partial Correlation Coefficient, the Degree of Freedom, and the significance level for the two correlating variables i.e. current Salary and Beginning salary. The results of partial correlation indicate that control variables Months since hired and Previous job experience influence the current and the beginning salary of the employees. Here α=.711 and p= 0.001 (p < 0.01) which reflects significance at 98% confidence interval.