Things You'll Need
Label the variable that you believe is causing the change to the other variable as x (the independent variable) and the other variable y (the dependent variable).
Construct a table with five columns and as many rows as there are data points for x and y. Label the columns A through E from left to right.
Fill in each row with the following values for each (x,y) data point in the first column -- the value of x in Column A, the value of x squared in Column B, the value of y in Column C, the value of y squared in Column D and the value x times y in Column E.
Make a final row at the very bottom of the table and put the sum of all the values of each column in its corresponding cell.
Compute the product of the final cells in Column
A and C.
Multiply the final cell in Column E by the number of data points.
Subtract the value obtained in Step 5 from the value obtained in Step 6 and underline the answer.
Multiply the final cell of Column B by the number of data points. Subtract from this value the square of the value of the final cell of Column A.
Multiply the final cell of Column D by the number of data points and subtract the square of the value of the final cell of Column C.
Divide the value obtained in Step 7 (it should be underlined) by the value obtained in Step 10. This is Pearson's r, also known as the correlation coefficient. If r is close to 1, there is a strong positive correlation. If r is close to -1, there is a strong negative correlation. If r is close to 0, there is a weak correlation.