21 May 2016

Correlation (and causation...)

Just as every year I make a point of telling students that Africa is not a country, many instructors often find themselves lecturing students about how correlation is not causation. 

Here are some fun graphics (drawn from US statistics) that may help you make that point about the dangers of such Spurious Correlations. These charts include interesting, but completely unrelated correlations between things like number of Japanese passenger cars sold in the US and the number of suicides by crashing motor vehicles, the Age of Miss America and Murders by steam, hot vapours and hot objects, and my personal favourite...

Spurious Correlations