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Correlation vs.Causation

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Explain why correlation does not prove causation.
If possible can you provide an example that illustrates both correlation and causation.

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1. Explain why correlation does not prove causation.
Although correlation determines that there is a relationship between two or more variables, it does not tell the direction of the relationship (that A caused B, for example). In other words, Correlation implies causation is a logical fallacy by which two events that occur together are prematurely claimed to be cause and effect. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Correlation_implies_causation

So, why does correlation not prove causation?

This type of logical fallacy makes a premature conclusion about cause and effect when there is only some relationship between two or more factors. Generally, if one factor (A) is observed to only be correlated with another factor (B), it is often misunderstood that A is automatically causing B even though no evidence supports a cause and effect relationship. It is erroneously assumed that A must be causing B; therefore, this is a logical fallacy because there are at least three other possibilities (and the reason why correlation does not prove causation):

(1) B may be the cause of A, or
(2) some unknown third factor is ...

Solution Summary

By discussion and example, this solution explains why correlation does not prove causation. It illustrates the differences between correlation and causation.