How to do the test:

  1. State your Null Hypothesis glossary item: Null Hypothesis in the form:
    "The two variables do not covary in a linear fashion"glossary item: linear relationship
  2. Choose a Critical Significance Level (α: alpha) glossary item: Critical Significance Level
    This is typically α = 0.05
  3. Calculate the statistic
    Use a spreadsheet to calculate your results, or
    Access a helpsheet for SPSS
    and check here for data entry into SPSS
  4. Reject or accept your Null Hypothesisglossary item: Null Hypothesis
    Either compare the calculated statistic with Critical Value, glossary item: Critical Value
    If rrcritical → reject H0 → significant result
    If r < rcritical → accept H0 → non-significant result
    Look at the calculated probability (P value) glossary item: probability
    If P ≤ α → reject H0 → significant result
    If P > α → accept H0 → non-significant result
  5. Report your results
    Plot your data using the appropriate graphs
    (Pearson Correlation: r = …, df = …, P = …)
    View an example report