2.10: Scatter Plot
The most common and easiest way to display the relationship between two variables, x and y, is a scatter plot. A scatter plot shows the direction of a relationship between the variables. A clear direction happens when there is either:
- High values of one variable occurring with high values of the other variable or low values of one variable occurring with low values of the other variable.
- High values of one variable occurring with low values of the other variable.
One can determine the strength of the relationship by looking at the scatter plot and seeing how close the points are to a line, a power function, an exponential function, or to some other type of function. For a linear relationship, there is an exception. Consider a scatter plot where all the points fall on a horizontal line providing a "perfect fit." The horizontal line would, in fact, show no relationship.
When looking at a scatterplot, one must notice the overall pattern and any deviations, if any.