As part of a larger study, Speed and Gangstead (1997) collected ratings and nominations on a number of characteristics for 66 fraternity men from their fellow fraternity members. The following paragraph is taken from their Results
section: . . . men’s romantic popularity significantly correlated with several characteristics:
best dressed (r=.48 ),
most physically attractive ( r=.47),
most outgoing (r=.47 ),
most self-confident (r=.44 ),
best trendsetters (r=.38 ),
funniest (r=.37 ),
most satisfied ( r=.32), and
most independent (r=.28 ).
Unexpectedly, however, men’s potential for financial success did not significantly correlate with romantic popularity (r=.10 ).
Explain these results as if you were writing to a person who has never had a course in statistics. Specifically, (a) explain what is meant by a correlation coefficient using one of the correlations as an example; (b) explain in a general way what is meant by “significantly” and “not significantly,” referring to at least one specific example; and (c) speculate on the meaning of the pattern of results, taking into account the issue of direction of causality.
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