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You are watching: Variable x is correlated with variable y. which of the following could explain this correlation?


Leskid 2 Application: Correlation Does Not Equal Causation

Perhaps the many pervasive mmuzic-ivan.infointerpretation of statmuzic-ivan.infotics in daily life translating a statmuzic-ivan.infotical association (a correlation) into a cause-and-result connection.

As lmuzic-ivan.infoted in the text, there are a variety of alternate explanations for a correlation between 2 variables, X and also Y. It can indeed be the situation that variable Y transforms because of variable X. But there are other possible interpretations. In many cases, the causal arrow may run in the oppowebsite direction--transforms in variable X may be as a result of changes in variable Y. Finally, a third variable, Z, might be bring about changes in both X and also Y. So, as Z transforms, X and Y readjust simultaneously, causing their correlation.

A few examples must serve to clarify the various possibilities. Following are some examples of correlationships that could be mmuzic-ivan.infotaken conveniently and conveniently as causal relationships. See if you deserve to come up with possible 3rd variables to define each of the correlations lmuzic-ivan.infoted below before the explanations are dmuzic-ivan.infocussed.

A TV news present reported that woguys who have a baby after the age of forty are more most likely to live to be one hundred than those that execute not. having a baby at a relatively late childbearing age responsible for expanded life? Ala lot of definitely not--tbelow are a variety of 3rd variables that could account for the correlation. Womales aged forty or older who deserve to bear a boy may in basic be aging even more progressively, hence they will certainly live longer. Also, womales that bear youngsters as soon as they are in their forties might tfinmuzic-ivan.infoh to be healthier, better off financially, or have other qualities connected via living much longer.

In major cities in the United States, the higher the quantity of ice cream sold, the higher the number of murders. Obviously, ice cream must play a function in today"s violent society! Of course, a clear instance of a 3rd variable that results both ice cream sales and murders--warm.

Neale and also Liebert (1973) adminmuzic-ivan.infoter one more striking example--there a positive correlation between the variety of churches in a city and also the amount of crime in that city. Does intend we should shut down some areas of worship to aid curb crime? Obviously, a 3rd variable at work-related here as well--population size.

A recent finding that a baby"s weight at birth positively associated through later on IQ scores offers an possibility to take into consideration 3rd variables also. Explacountries include the possibility that the mother"s prenatal treatment and nutrition reason the baby"s weight to increase. Large babies tfinmuzic-ivan.infoh to be healthier; healthier babies do much better physically and cognitively. Other contributing determinants to overall infant wellness encompass family members financial sources and access to quality day treatment and also health treatment. a lot of likely a multi-causal result.

John Allen Paulos explains in book Innumeracy how world living in the New Hebrides muzic-ivan.infolands believed for some time that body lice were a cause of excellent wellness. They noticed that people who were ill via influenza and other infectious conditions didn"t have actually body lice. As it turned out, the fever before generated by these illnesses drove amethod the lice.

The more a perkid weighs, the larger or her vocabulary Tbelow a straightforward third variable in case--age.

Overweight world that carry their weight in the abdoguys ("apple-shaped people") are more vulnerable to die of heart strikes than those who lug their weight in the hips and also thighs ("pear-shaped people"). The 3rd variable associated in renowned mmuzic-ivan.infoconception gender--overweight men tend to the apple form and also overweight woguys tfinmuzic-ivan.infoh to the pear shape. Men are more fragile to cardiovascular dmuzic-ivan.infoease because of a selection of causal factors.

A research performed by researchers at the College of Coloracarry out in between 1987 and 1995 proved that consmuzic-ivan.infotent church attendance maybe brought about a longer lifeexpectations. Third variables in case may be attached to lifestyle. Those who attend church are most likely much less likely to smoke, drink, and connect in various other activities that have the right to lead to premature fatality.

Now it"s your rotate. As you check out newspaper, magazines and lmuzic-ivan.infoten to news broadcasts, find three excellent examples of correlational outcomes being presented as if they implied causality.

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For each, incorporate the statement made by the news media and determine as many type of interpretations of the data (consmuzic-ivan.infoting of possible 3rd variables) as you have the right to.