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Correlation vs. Causation

Ask Science uncovers the truth (and lies) of the correlation/causation fallacy. Just because something seems to cause something else, does not necessarily mean it does.

By
Lee Falin, PhD
4-minute read
Episode #59

Conclusion

So now you know all about correlation and causation. The 3 takeaway messages are:

  1. Just because two things happen together, doesn’t necessarily mean that one causes the other

  2. Looking for correlations is one of the most frequently used techniques in science because it provide us with hypotheses we can test to find the true cause of what we’re investigating.

  3. Your boyfriend needs a lesson on how to eat ice cream properly.

If you liked today’s episode, you can become a fan of Ask Science on Facebook or follow me on Twitter, where I’m @QDTeinstein. If you have a question that you’d like to see on a future episode, send me an email at everydayeinstein@quickanddirtytips.com.

Scientist image from Shutterstock

Pages

Please note that archive episodes of this podcast may include references to Ask Science. Rights of Albert Einstein are used with permission of The Hebrew University of Jerusalem. Represented exclusively by Greenlight.

About the Author

Lee Falin, PhD

Dr. Lee Falin earned a B.S. in Computer Science from the University of Illinois, then went on to obtain a Ph.D. in Genetics, Bioinformatics, and Computational Biology from Virginia Tech.