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Confusing Correlation and Causation

Find an article in a newspaper, magazine or on the internet that confuses correlation and causation. Give a brief summary of the article and explain why you chose this article.

For the article above, list other variables that could contribute to the relationship between the two variables.

Solution Preview

Almost all health related studies that filter into the mainstream media would fit well for your assignment. I chose this type of article because they are so commonly misunderstood and can lead to the propagation of false information about general health. A quick search turned up the article linked below, which discusses the correlation found between heart health and optimism.

In brief, this article outlines the link between optimism and cardiovascular health. The research indicates that study participants with the highest levels of optimism are twice as likely to score ...

Solution Summary

This solution, containing over 400 words, discusses the implications of correlation and causation with respect to a specific online article. Other factors that may influence the reported correlation are considered.