## Linear Relationships (1 of 4)

### Learning Objectives

• 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.

### Introduction

So far, we have visualized relationships between two quantitative variables using scatterplots. We have also described the overall pattern of a relationship by considering its direction, form, and strength. We noted that it is difficult to assess the strength of a relationship just by looking at the scatterplot. In this section, we develop a numerical measure to assess the strength.

We focus only on relationships that have a linear form. Linear forms are quite common and relatively simple to detect. More important, we have a numerical measure that can assess the strength of the linear relationship. We use this measure along with the scatterplot to describe the linear relationship between two quantitative variables.

Even though we now focus only on linear relationships, remember that not every relationship between two quantitative variables has a linear form. We have already seen several examples of relationships that are not linear. However, the measure of strength that we are about to study can be used only with linear relationships. If we use this measure with nonlinear relationships, we will draw incorrect conclusions about the relationship between the variables.