Section 70
Chapter 69,005

Exploring perceptions of meaningfulness in visual representations of bivariate relationships

Beribisky, N.; Davidson, H.; Cribbie, R.A.

Peerj 7: E6853


ISSN/ISBN: 2167-8359
PMID: 31139500
Accession: 069004213

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Researchers often need to consider the practical significance of a relationship. For example, interpreting the magnitude of an effect size or establishing bounds in equivalence testing requires knowledge of the meaningfulness of a relationship. However, there has been little research exploring the degree of relationship among variables (e.g., correlation, mean difference) necessary for an association to be interpreted as meaningful or practically significant. In this study, we presented statistically trained and untrained participants with a collection of figures that displayed varying degrees of mean difference between groups or correlations among variables and participants indicated whether or not each relationship was meaningful. The results suggest that statistically trained and untrained participants differ in their qualification of a meaningful relationship, and that there is significant variability in how large a relationship must be before it is labeled meaningful. The results also shed some light on what degree of relationship is considered meaningful by individuals in a context-free setting.

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