# Ecological correlation

Ecological correlation

In statistics, an ecological correlation is a correlation between two variables that are group means, in contrast to a correlation between two variables that describe individuals. For example, one might study the correlation between physical activity and weight among sixth-grade children. A study at the individual level might make use of 100 children, then measure both physical activity and weight; the correlation between the two variables would be at the individual level. By contrast, another study might make use of 100 classes of sixth-grade students, then measure the mean physical activity and the mean weight of each of the 100 classes. A correlation between these group means would be an example of an ecological correlation.

Assuming that what holds true for the group also holds true for the individual is often called the ecological fallacy. When the fallacy can be avoided, some researchers suggest that the ecological correlation gives a better picture of the outcome of public policy actions, thus they recommend the ecological correlation over the individual level correlation for this purpose (Lubinski & Humphreys, 1996).

References

* Lubinski, D., & Humphreys, L. G. (1996). Seeing the forest from the trees: When predicting the behavior or status of groups, correlate means. "Psychology, Public Policy, and Law", volume 2, pages 363-376.

Wikimedia Foundation. 2010.

### Look at other dictionaries:

• Ecological fallacy — The ecological fallacy is a widely recognized error in the interpretation of statistical data in an ecological study, whereby inferences about the nature of individuals are based solely upon aggregate statistics collected for the group to which… …   Wikipedia

• Correlation and dependence — This article is about correlation and dependence in statistical data. For other uses, see correlation (disambiguation). In statistics, dependence refers to any statistical relationship between two random variables or two sets of data. Correlation …   Wikipedia

• Correlation does not imply causation — (related to ignoring a common cause and questionable cause) is a phrase used in science and statistics to emphasize that correlation between two variables does not automatically imply that one causes the other (though correlation is necessary for …   Wikipedia

• Ecological effects of biodiversity — The diversity of species and genes in ecological communities affects the functioning of these communities. These ecological effects of biodiversity in turn affect both climate change through enhanced greenhouse gases, aerosols and loss of land… …   Wikipedia

• Ecological validity (perception) — The ecological validity of a sensory cue in perception is the correlation between the cue (something an organism might be able to measure from the proximal stimulus) and a property of the world (some aspect of the distal stimulus). For example,… …   Wikipedia

• List of statistics topics — Please add any Wikipedia articles related to statistics that are not already on this list.The Related changes link in the margin of this page (below search) leads to a list of the most recent changes to the articles listed below. To see the most… …   Wikipedia

• List of mathematics articles (E) — NOTOC E E₇ E (mathematical constant) E function E₈ lattice E₈ manifold E∞ operad E7½ E8 investigation tool Earley parser Early stopping Earnshaw s theorem Earth mover s distance East Journal on Approximations Eastern Arabic numerals Easton s… …   Wikipedia

• Закон экологической корреляции — * закон экалагічнай карэляцыі * law of ecological correlation закон, утверждающий, что в экосистеме (см.) все входящие в нее виды функционально уравновешены по отношению друг к другу, уничтожение одного или группы видов ведет в конечном итоге к… …   Генетика. Энциклопедический словарь

• Life Sciences — ▪ 2009 Introduction Zoology       In 2008 several zoological studies provided new insights into how species life history traits (such as the timing of reproduction or the length of life of adult individuals) are derived in part as responses to… …   Universalium

• Overpopulation — Graph of human population from 10,000 BC–2000 AD showing the unprecedented population growth since the 19th century Overpopulation is a condition where an organism s numbers exceed the carrying capacity of its habitat. The term often refers to… …   Wikipedia