Saturday, February 10, 2007

public service announcement

It seems like I see a lot of studies presented and then people take a correlation and extract from that a causation.

For example, ice cream sales and shark attacks may be correlated. That is when ice cream sales go up shark attacks also go up. But this does not mean that ice cream sales cause shark attacks. There may be other variables in play, in this case for example, they both go up in summer.

This is a simplified example, but just because there is a correlation between two things does not imply causation.

Correlation does not imply causation
From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

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