Monday, March 05, 2012

Visualizing a Correlation Table

Correlation tables are ubiquitous in social science research, but very rarely they are visualized. As I've emphasized in previous posts, I'm a strong advocate for visualizing data and models whenever possible. For example, for my research I graphed correlations using Adrian Mander's plotmatrix command in Stata. Using Mander's package, I could create a graph that clearly shows all the information in a parsimonious way; moreover, unlike a correlation table, correlation patterns are intuitively grasped from the shading of the cells, and there is an implicit emphasis on the correlation size rather than statistical significance.