Education Technology

Mathematics lessons for IB® Diploma Programme

Analysis and Approaches | Statistics and Probability

Statistics: Does a Correlation Exist?


  • Students will construct a scatter plot and determine a linear regression that fits the data.
  • Students will calculate a correlation coefficient from data sets.
  • Students will describe correlation in data sets and distinguish it from causation.


  • causation
  • correlation coefficient
  • linear regression
  • outlier

About the Lesson

  • In this activity, students will determine, by examining a graph, if a data set has a positive or negative correlation coefficient. Then, they will find the linear regression equation and calculate the correlation coefficient. They will use this line to predict the value of y for a given x and vice‑versa.
  • Students should have prior experience using the TI-Nspire handheld to create scatter plots. In addition, they should have had some discussion about correlation. Students should also know how to solve an equation using the solver.
  • Notes for using the TI-Nspire™ Navigator™ System are included throughout the activity. The use of the Navigator System is not necessary for completion of this activity.