Ratings and Nominations

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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