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Cause and Causation

Find an article that assumes correlation equals causation and give the APA reference for the article, followed by a brief overview of the issue and of the author's position on the issue. Then explain to what extent the author is incorrect and correct regarding correlation equals causation, what kind of cause it is, the alternative causes presented by the author to support his or her conclusion, and offer alternative causes. If no alternative causes are noted by the author, mention it and identify alternative causes that could have been identified in the article.

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Article Analysis: Focus on Cause and Causation

(1) [Provide] a brief overview of the issue and of the author's position on the issue.

The concept of correlation indicates that two variables have a linear (vertical) relationship. Correlates vary in form and size and are a function of sample size and diversity (Mitchell & Jolley, 2005).According to Mitchell and Jolley, correlates are significant when sample sizes are larger and the size of the size of the correlation is related to the variances and diversity of the sample (p. 44). In one article, Friedrich (2005) examined problem sexual behavior in children ages 2-12 relative to a variety of environmental factors. He noted that problems in the sexual behavior of children are associated with environmental variables such as: (a) sexual abuse, (b) physical abuse, (c) family (d) sexuality, (e) age and gender of the child, and (f) child behavior problems. On the other hand, causation holds that a change in one variable will cause a similar change in another variable.
For example, as protection from environmental influences increase, problems of sexual behavior in children will decrease. Thus, it can be stated that one variable causes the other to change - causality. Friedrich's main point is that correlation may suggest causation; however, correlation does not always mean that one ...

Solution Summary

This solution examines the assumption of correlation equals causation, and explain causes and alternative causes in argumentation.

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