Create a scattergram with a regression line. Use the variable ‘How happy are you’ as the dependent variable on the vertical axis and ‘Subjective general health’ as the independent variable on the horizontal axis. Use the Norwegian sample or change to another country’s sample.

You will find that the observation markers create a grid pattern with 5 columns and 10 rows. The reason is that the independent variable has 5 values, while the dependent variable has 10 values, and because there are people in the dataset who represent almost all possible combinations of these values. Still, the regression line indicates that there is a tendency for low values on the independent variable to be combined with high values on the dependent variable. Why is that? The reason can be found in the way these variables are coded. Happy people have high values on the ‘How happy..’ variable, whereas people who perceive their own health as good have low values on the health variable. Thus, the slope of the regression line tells us that people who conceive their own health to be good, tend to be more happy than other people.

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