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A researcher conducted a study of 34 scientists (Grim, 2008). He reported a correlation between the amount of beer each scientist drank per year and the likelihood of that scientist publishing a scientific paper. The correlation was reported as r = −.55, 95% CI [-.74, -.27].
What does a negative correlation mean in this example? Is this relationship strong or weak?
What does 95% CI [-.74, -.27] mean in this result?
Draw a scatterplot of this association. What might happen to this correlation if you added one person in the sample who drank much more beer than other scientists and also published far fewer papers than other scientists?
A popular media report about this article was headlined, “Suds seem to skew scientific success” (San Diego Union-Tribune, 2008). Is such a causal claim justified?
Perhaps scientific discipline is a moderator of this relationship. Create a moderator table, using Table 8.5 as a model, showing that the association between beer drinking and publications is stronger for female scientists (perhaps because alcohol affects women more strongly) than for male scientists.