The Pearson correlation is appropriate when both variables being compared are of a continuous level of measurement (interval or ratio). Use the Levels of Measurement tab to learn more about determining the appropriate level of measurement for your variables.
Running Pearson Correlation in SPSS
Interpreting the Output
The results will generate in a matrix. You can ignore any boxes that show a "1" as the correlation value as these are simply the variable correlated with itself. These values will form a diagonal across the matrix that can be used to help you focus on the correct values. You only need to explore the correlation values on half of the matrix. APA Style uses the bottom half.
With the release of SPSS 27, users now have the option to only produce the lower half of the table, which is in line with APA Style and makes it easier to identify the correct correlation values.
When reporting the results of the correlation analysis, APA Style has very specific requirements on what information should be included. Below is the key information required for reporting the Pearson Correlation results. You want to replace the red text with the appropriate values from your output.
r(degrees of freedom) = the r statistic, p = p value.
A Pearson product-moment correlation was run to determine the relationship between ice cream sales and shark attacks. There was a moderate, positive correlation between ice cream sales and the number of shark attacks, which was statistically significant (r(13) = .706, p < .05).