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Point-biserial correlations in SPSS

Technote (troubleshooting)


How can I get point-biserial correlations in SPSS?

Resolving the problem

Since the point-biserial correlation is simply the special case of the Pearson product moment correlation applied to a dichotomous and a continuous variable, the coefficients produced by CORRELATIONS are point-biserial correlations when these types of variables are involved. Simply run a CORRELATIONS between your dichotomous and continuous variable. In the menus, select Analyze>Correlate>Bivariate, select the variables of interest and click OK.

The special shortcut formulas provided in many textbooks are carryovers from before the time of widespread availability of computer software. Since the general Pearson formula is somewhat tedious to implement by hand, the simpler special case formula was generally used when correlating a dichotomous variable with a continuous variable. With a computer doing the work for you, you have no need for the shortcut formula

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Document information

More support for: SPSS Statistics

Software version: Not Applicable

Operating system(s): Platform Independent

Reference #: 1476004

Modified date: 07 September 2016

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