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A curvilinear relationship is a type of relationship between two variables that has a pattern of correspondence or association between the two variables that change as the values of the variables change (increase or decrease). Whereas some relationships are straightforward to understand, explain, and detect statistically (i.e., linear relationships), curvilinear relationships are more complex because the nature of the relationship is different at different levels of the variables. Curvilinear relationships can occur often in communication research, given the complex, socially and contextually dependent phenomena that are the focus of such research. However, researchers may overlook the possibilities of curvilinear relationships in their data and miss the unique and valuable information they can provide. Curvilinear relationships are important to be able to understand and detect ...

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