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    The relationship between causation and correlation

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    A researcher finds that there is a correlation of 0.72 between the number of churches and the number of homicides in the city.

    A. In the study above, which is independent variable and which is the dependent variable?

    B. Fully explain why (a) is a trick question

    C. Give one possible example of a third (spurious) variable that could explain the correlation.

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    Solution Preview

    A. The independent variable is the number of homicides in the city and the dependant variable is the number of churches

    B. Since 0.72 is very large, we can say that ...

    Solution Summary

    The solution gives detailed discussion on the relationship between causion and correlation. The expert determines which independent variables and which is the dependent variable. The expert explains why this is a trick question.