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Thread: Correlation and causation

  1. #1 Correlation and causation 
    Forum Masters Degree DianeG's Avatar
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    I put this under psychology just because of our tendency to look for meaning and connections in things. Sometimes they reveal genuine relationships, but sometimes they are coincidental. Either way, this website is funny: Spurious Correlations Spurious Correlations

    I particularly liked the graph labeled "Per Capita consumption of Cheese US and Number of people who died by becoming tangled in their bedsheets." As an added bonus, if you click on any of them, like Per capita consumption of cheese (US), you will find other things that item correlates with, like US Crude Oil Imports from Canada, or number of lawyers in Iowa.

    I did wonder if there might be an actual link between the decline in both "People who drowned after falling out of a fishing boat and marriage rates in Kentucky."


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  3. #2  
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    Ninja'd!

    I thought of putting this one up when I saw it. Yesterday?

    But there's some really useful stuff in there for people teaching stats or scientific method. Some of the correlations are eerily close. Whether it's a statistician working with unfamiliar material or a science student with a poor grasp of their subject, being constantly aware that statistically "neat" graphs can be entirely meaningless is A Good Thing.

    Finding a good correlation (or the lack of one) should be an impetus to further thought rather than settling the matter - for someone who knows what they're doing.


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