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5-81.

Scientists hypothesized that dietary fiber would impact the blood cholesterol level of college students. They collected data and found with a scattered residual plot. Interpret the scientists’ findings in context.

The math note in your textbook states: The correlation coefficient, r, is a measure of how much or how little data is scattered around the LSRL; it is a measure of the strength of a linear association. The correlation coefficient can take on values between and . If or , the association is perfectly linear. There is no scatter about the LSRL at all. A positive correlation coefficient means the trend is increasing (slope is positive), while a negative correlation means the opposite. A correlation coefficient of zero means the slope of the LSRL is horizontal and there is no linear association whatsoever between the variables.

What does a negative value mean? How does that definition apply to this situation?