Statnote 15: the non-parametric correlation coefficients

Anthony Hilton, Richard A. Armstrong

Research output: Contribution to specialist publication or newspaperArticle


If in a correlation test, one or both variables are small whole numbers, scores based on a limited scale, or percentages, a non-parametric correlation coefficient should be considered as an alternative to Pearson’s ‘r’. Kendall’s t and Spearman’s rs are similar tests but the former should be considered if the analysis is to be extended to include partial correlations. If the data contain many tied values, then gamma should be considered as a suitable test.
Original languageEnglish
Number of pages3
Specialist publicationMicrobiologist
Publication statusPublished - Dec 2008


  • correlation test
  • non-parametric correlation coefficient


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