Module 3: Examining Relationships: Quantitative Data

Introduction to Scatterplots

Introduction to Scatterplots

What you’ll learn to do: Use a scatterplot to display the relationship between two quantitative variables. Describe the overall pattern (form, direction, and strength) and striking deviations from the pattern.

An example of a scatter plot, showing blue dots. The x-axis ranges from 0 to 1.2 and the y-axis ranges from 0-1.

When investigating relationships between two quantitative variables, scatterplots are a simple way to visually represent the spread, direction, strength of relationship, and potential outliers of the data. With larger datasets, a scatterplot can more succinctly display the overall pattern than when the data are presented as a table. This visualization can also hint at the general shape of the relationship (for example, increasing linear, decreasing linear, or non-linear curves) while also helping us identify any deviations from that pattern.

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