negative correlation

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Senior Member
Mandarin Chinese
I usually hear people say something has correlation with another thing, but I am not sure what negative correlation means.

HSBC found that the Asian analysts' calls had a 44 per cent negative correlation with the performance of the Morgan Stanley Capital International Index for the following nine months.
  • winklepicker

    Senior Member
    English (UK)
    Correlation = they move together in the same direction
    Negative correlation = they move together in opposite directions


    Senior Member
    USA English
    That's pretty much true. It usually means that historically, 44% of the time they move in opposite directions. But statistics is a pretty loose "science," because this comment doesn't tell you very much. What it doesn't say is whether the other 56% of the time they move in the same direction, or that the other 56% of the time they have nothing to do with each other. It's not a comment on English usage, but always be very wary of statistical "data." A common phrase in English is "How to lie with statistics." You can make "data" look like just about anything you want if you only use part of it, or your audience doesn't understand statistics very well. I have taught statistics for almost twenty years, and I have seen a lot of statistical "data" that is absolutely meaningless, usually because the original raw data is taken out of context. Be careful.
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