Positive and Negative Correlations (With Definitions and Examples)

An example of positive correlation would be height and weight. Taller people tend to be heavier. A negative correlation is a relationship between two variables in which an increase in one variable is associated with a decrease in the other.

A positive correlation exists when one variable influences another positively or negatively, as in the case of an increase in one variable causing an increase in the other. It’s a standard method of relationship analysis in psychology and statistics, and it can be used to forecast the outcome of a particular action. How many instances of a positive correlation you can find in your day-to-day life might surprise you!

Positive and Negative Correlation

Why is it important to find correlations in the workplace?

Making informed decisions in the workplace can be aided by identifying correlations between different sets of data. It is frequently crucial to understand whether or not two collections of data are connected by any sort of discernible pattern. Finding out how closely related they are is frequently helpful as well. Keep in mind that just because two sets of data show a correlation doesn’t mean that changes in one of them inevitably lead to changes in the other. Any time you want to examine data in a scatter plot as part of your decision-making procedures, determining correlations can be helpful.

Some jobs use correlation calculations heavily in their day-to-day work. For instance, investors may use positive and negative correlations to forecast stock market movement and make appropriate financial decisions. Due to the complexity of these calculations, many professionals turn to software or sophisticated calculators for assistance.

You might come across correlations during your education or training if you’re preparing for a career change. You may come across these ideas in your courses or training because correlations are used in many processes in the sciences, technology, engineering, and math.

What are positive and negative correlations?

When a set of numbers or variables are plotted as dots along a set of axes, the terms “positive correlation” and “negative correlation” are used to describe how linearly they relate to one another. A correlation coefficient (symbolized with a “”) can be used to determine the degree to which your two sets of data are related, either positively or negatively. It’s crucial to keep in mind that a linear relationship—rather than a curved one—between your two sets of data will increase the reliability of the correlation coefficient, for example

A positive correlation exists when one set of data increases when the other does. A line that runs roughly from the lower-left corner of your chart to the top right represents a positive correlation. For positive correlations, the correlation coefficient is greater than zero. There is a strong linear relationship when the numbers increase at the same rate. A linear relationship that is perfectly positively correlated would have a correlation coefficient of 1. The figures are more directly correlated when the coefficient is closer to +1.

A negative correlation exists when one set of data decreases when the other increases. Negative correlations typically resemble a line that runs from the top left to the bottom right of the chart. The majority of how negative correlations operate is the same as how positive correlations operate, but their correlation coefficients are negative. A correlation coefficient of -1 would indicate a perfect negative correlation.

Examples of positive correlations

Here are a few instances of positive correlations that you might observe at work:


In some processes related to the production of materials, positive correlations may be seen. For instance, as a material’s temperature rises, a certain metal’s flexibility may as well. Decisions about how to produce specific products and what machinery to use in doing so may be made using this information by those who are analyzing these processes.


Investors and financial experts may search for favorable correlations in their respective industries. For instance, knowing whether there is a correlation between the price increases of two stocks and how close that correlation is could be useful. Additionally, they might make comparisons between a specific holding’s growth and the growth of the sector it belongs to or the market at large.


Positive correlations can be observed in the marketing world. For instance, you might observe that the quantity of a particular type of social media posts you produce correlates with an increase in your follower count. Additionally, you might discover a link between the marketing department’s billable time and sales of the goods they are developing. Your marketing budget may show a positive correlation with customer engagement.

Other examples of positive correlations

Other instances of favorable correlations you might come across include the following:

Examples of negative correlations

I’ll give you a few instances of negative correlations you might encounter at work.

Supply and demand

According to economists, a product’s price and demand are inversely correlated. This is referred to as the law of demand, and those in charge of setting prices for goods and services frequently find it helpful. To help guide their pricing decisions, they frequently try to ascertain how closely these variables are related to a particular industry or product.

Utilities and overhead

A common negative correlation between the cost of heating a building and the local temperature People who work in the heating, cooling, and other utility industries, especially those who set prices, may find this useful. For those who choose the building materials to use and how to maximize energy efficiency, knowing negative correlations in the context of utilities and overhead can be helpful.


Finance professionals sometime also look for negative correlations. For instance, a bond with a negative return rate could help balance out an otherwise volatile portfolio. Finance and investing experts can also find interesting relationships between industries, such as those between oil and transportation or insurance assets, by identifying negative correlations.

Other examples of negative correlations

Other instances of negative correlations you might come across include the following:


How do you know if correlation is positive or negative?

Common Examples of Positive Correlations
  • You will burn more calories on a treadmill if you use it for longer.
  • You will require more shampoo as your hair grows longer.
  • Saving more money makes you feel more secure financially.
  • Ice cream sales increase as the temperature rises.

Related Posts

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *