Delving into Correlation and Causation
Ever wondered about the relationship between correlation and causation? You’re not alone. This widely quoted saying “correlation doesn’t mean causation” has left many scratching their heads. But fret not, we’re here to simplify this complex concept.
Understanding Through Humor In an amusing approach, The Psych Files presented a “Breaking News” segment. This segment delved into questions like whether satisfied workers are more productive or if cohabitation can lead to divorce. Through these humorous examples, the segment made it clear that just because two things happen simultaneously doesn’t mean one caused the other.
The Phases of the Moon and Admissions to Mental Hospitals
This meta-analysis, published in 1985 in the journal Psychological Bulletin, found very few statistically significant relationships between the moon and human behavior.
Those studies that do find links, Rotton and Kelly said, are inaccurate, either because they don’t take important factors into account (that are responsible for the “lunacy”) or they mistake chance events as proof of a lunar effect. from, “‘Supermoon’ Lunacy: Does the Moon Make Us Crazy?“
A popular correlation that is wrong is this effect of phases of the moon on mood. Research has shown that there is no relationship. The moon is just too far away to affect our individual moods and there is no data that admissions to mental health facilities increase during the phases of the moon.
The Trap of Over-association Humans have an innate tendency to spot patterns and links. However, we must be cautious. Sometimes, a hidden third factor might give the illusion that two unrelated things are interconnected. It’s essential to critically analyze before jumping to conclusions.
In conclusion, while our minds are brilliant at identifying patterns, it’s crucial to discern between mere coincidences and actual causative relationships. If this topic intrigues you, make sure to delve deeper in this episode. It promises to provide a deeper understanding, ensuring you won’t mix correlation with causation again!