The Finale- Correlation vs. Causation

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I think the main thing that I will remember five years from now that we have learned in psychology is the difference between correlation and causation. Many newspapers and other sources often get these confused and use them interchangeably. This can cause people to believe that those crazy correlations that we see in the news stories are actually causations. For example, if there is a correlation between playing more video games and a higher grade point average, people who are misinformed will think that all they have to do is play more video games and their grades will increase. It is very difficult to actually prove that one thing causes another thing mainly because it is tough to eliminate other variables that can have an effect on the process. After learning this in the introductory psychology course, I will be better informed and educated for when I am reading stories and articles in the future and it will help me avoid the correlation vs. causation trap that so many people fall into without even knowing it. I learned a lot in this class, but I think this is what I will remember the most.
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Ha, this will stick with me too, if only because I made myself understand for when a question would occur on the quizzes and tests. Same goes for the other problems IE: Replicability, Occam's Razor, etc. Correlation vs. causation is a good one to use for the rest of your life though, it's very helpful throughout your life.

I completely agree with this! Whenever I read a study now or some statistic, I always think "well was it A that caused B, or B that caused A, or was there an underlying variable?"

I think this way of thinking is key, along with the other main themes we learned about in this class as they will help us in our everyday lives when evaluating things (probably the reason they appeared in every single chapter and every single chapter quiz...).

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This page contains a single entry by vishn010 published on April 29, 2012 7:23 PM.

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