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Research Methods in the Social Sciences: An A-Z of key concepts

Research Methods in the Social Sciences: An A-Z of key concepts (1st edn)

Jean-Frédéric Morin, Christian Olsson, and Ece Özlem Atikcan
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date: 02 December 2021

Covariance

A First Step in the Analysis of the Relationship between Two Variableslocked

Covariance

A First Step in the Analysis of the Relationship between Two Variableslocked

  • Virginie Van Ingelgom
  •  and Alban Versailles

Abstract

This chapter examines the covariance, which is either a comprehensive qualitative approach or the first step of a quantitative approach to the analysis of the relationship between two variables. On the one hand, in qualitative studies, and in particular in case study methods, covariation is an analytical approach used alongside causal process-tracing and congruence analysis. In the co-variational approach, causal inferences are drawn based on observed covariation between causal factors (independent variables) and causal effects (dependent variables). On the other hand, when the type of data allows a quantitative approach, looking at the covariance constitutes a first step in the statistical analysis. The covariance is then a measure of linear association between two variables.

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