Correlation vs Causation

At the last Future Science Leaders session, we discussed different methods of presenting data, as well as interpreting data. But after the session, I found that the idea of Correlation vs Causation was quite fascinating.
According to Wikipedia, “Correlation does not imply causation” is a phrase to emphasize that a correlation between two variables does not necessarily imply that one causes the other.

The phrase can be applied to the graph below:

The graph suggests that the number of highway accidents is a causation of the amount of fresh lemons imported. Obviously, the claim makes no sense and the two factors have no connection whatsoever. However, this graph definitely made me chuckle.

What also made me laugh was this video. Ah, those good old “Friends” days. Joey falsely blames Rachel for causing the fridge to break, which also goes back to the phrase “Correlation does not imply causation”.

Now that I think back to the times I falsely blamed others when something bad happened, I realize how ridiculous I must’ve been, and the phrase is not only applied to science.

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One response to “Correlation vs Causation

  1. Don’t go too far the other way, though. Correlation often DOES imply causation – but It has to be tested. “Correlation may imply causation, but doesn’t prove it” would be better formulation of the idea.

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