How good am I at guess the correlation?

I looked into some of my data behind the guess the correlation game

Not very good, I suck.

Here, you have a go and tell me if you can do better than me.

To be fair, I actually improved the more I played! When I had to stop because I thought I was going to get addicted, my high score was 412 and #20 in the world was 586.

However, once I saw you could download your data, the whole game changed. I started to think about all the cool analytics I could possibly draw from this. I wanted to see if there was anything non obvious about the accuracy of my guesses. But to my disappointment (only realised this after playing for about an hour), the game only saves your last 100 goes. Anyway, I managed to get 300 data points and here are couple of interesting things I found:

  1. My estimates are much better at the extreme end – well this is expected, I can pick out the signal when it’s very strong but I’m pretty rubbish when it’s a bit hazy.guess_corr
  2. While playing, it seemed that guessing the correlation seemed much easier when the new chart wasn’t much different from the old chart. Could argue that when there’s a massive difference, I’m terrible.guess_corr2
  3.  I wonder if I would have a better overall score if the sample from my 300 data points was more like the uniform distribution I expected? I reckon if there were more of those really low r‘s I would be in the top ten :p. But chart A below shows that there were less than expected around 0.25 too (my worst performing area) sampled_distribution_of_true_correlation

What was the point of all this?

Well, I got to practise some R and ggplot2 specifically (yay me). But also this is the first on this blog of many (hopefully more useful) posts on data analytics.


I’ve slept on this and I’m wondering what effect this will have on me. At my day job, I am constantly looking at correlations and regressions in trying to infer what causes car accidents. Have I missed out on some correlations because the true correlation wasn’t strong and therefore I thought it was insignificant?