Causation: A Very Short Introduction
Stephen Mumford and Rani Lill Anjum
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Stephen Mumford and Rani Lill Anjum A famous slogan in statistics is that correlation does not imply causation. We know that there is a statistical correlation between eating ice cream and drowning incidents, for instance, but ice cream consumption does not cause drowning. Where any two factors - A and B - are correlated, there are four possibilities: 1. A is a cause of B, 2. B is a cause of A, 3. the correlation is pure coincidence and 4., as in the ice cream case, A and B are connected by a common cause. Increased ice cream consumption and drowning rates both have a common cause in warm summer weather.
Posted on November 15, 2013
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