Correlation and Causation

Correlation, from xkcd

Unfortunately, our intuition can lead us astray when it comes to distinguishing between causality and correlation. For example, eating breakfast has long been correlated with success in school for elementary school children. It would be easy to conclude that eating breakfast causes students to be better learners. It turns out, however, that those who don’t eat breakfast are also more likely to be absent or tardy — and it is absenteeism that is playing a significant role in their poor performance. When researchers retested the breakfast theory, they found that, independent of other factors, breakfast only helps undernourished children perform better.

What is the difference between causation and correlation? – From Stats at GMU

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