By the term, ‘Partial Correlation’ we mean the relationship between a dependent variable, and an independent variable exclusive of any other independent variable that might have effect on the value of the dependent variable. Thus, when we study the relationship between the dependent variable Price, and the independent variable Demand, excluding the other related and independent variables like, Money in circulation, Export, Import etc. or when we study the relationship between the dependent variable yield of a Crop, and the independent variable Rainfall, excluding the other related and independent variables like, Fertility of the Soil, Degree of Temperature etc. or when we study the relationship between the Results of certain students ,and their Labour, excluding the other influential variables like Merit of the Students, Type of the Questions, Type of the Invigilation, Type of the Valuation etc. it would be a matter of dealing with the partial correlation two variables.
The cardinal point of difference between a Simple or a Gross correlation and a Partial correlation is that while in the former case, the effects of the other independent variables are ignored, in the latter case, their effects are excluded or kept constant. The Partial; correlation is also otherwise called Net correlation while the Simple is otherwise called Gross or Total correlation.