How to Apply the cor() Function in R (2 Examples)

This article explains how to calculate correlations using the cor function in the R programming language.

Creation of Example Data

data(iris)                    # Example data
head(iris)
#   Sepal.Length Sepal.Width Petal.Length Petal.Width Species
# 1          5.1         3.5          1.4         0.2  setosa
# 2          4.9         3.0          1.4         0.2  setosa
# 3          4.7         3.2          1.3         0.2  setosa
# 4          4.6         3.1          1.5         0.2  setosa
# 5          5.0         3.6          1.4         0.2  setosa
# 6          5.4         3.9          1.7         0.4  setosa

Example 1: Calculate Correlation of Two Columns Using cor() Function

cor(iris$Sepal.Length,        # Correlation of two columns
    iris$Sepal.Width)
# [1] -0.1175698

Example 2: Calculate Correlation Matrix for Data Frame Using cor() Function

cor(iris[ , 1:4])             # Correlation of all numeric columns
#              Sepal.Length Sepal.Width Petal.Length Petal.Width
# Sepal.Length    1.0000000  -0.1175698    0.8717538   0.8179411
# Sepal.Width    -0.1175698   1.0000000   -0.4284401  -0.3661259
# Petal.Length    0.8717538  -0.4284401    1.0000000   0.9628654
# Petal.Width     0.8179411  -0.3661259    0.9628654   1.0000000

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