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If there is one concept in psychology that I learned this semester that I think I will remember and use for a long time, if not the rest of my life, it's the correlation vs. causation fallacy. I notice people falling victim to this fallacy all the time. I don't always call them out, but I am thinking in my head, "No, that's not necessarily true." I even got to use it in my public speaking course. I had to debate on the affirmative side of legalizing marijuana. I used the correlation vs. causation fallacy to debunk the gateway drug argument (people who are open to smoking marijuana are already open to trying new things; it doesn't necessarily mean they do harder drugs because they smoke marijuana, it's just a correlation, not the causation). I think it can be very helpful in the future, especially when analyzing different things in our society. It can help us resolve the roots of our problems. We might be able to throw out possible causes of our problems if we keep correlation vs. causation in mind. What do you guys think? Is correlation vs. causation helpful in society? What are some examples that you have seen since learning about it?

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I 100% agree! Correlation vs. causation is the open door to new doors. Many people are too ignorant to see past the first door. My example would be the fact I have been sick with some sort of tonsilitus for over a month now. I keep getting it back and my mom wants to blame it on the fact that I like to run far distances before I am "fully better". I know that is not the only problem, but she insists...

I love how many people had an aspect of this psychological issue in their blogs. This was also one of the topics in this course which will stick with me for many years to come. I find myself falling prey to this fallacy a lot. I think some of the basis for correlation versus causation is society's quickness to pass judgement. When I often find myself going straight to causation with many of my peers. After learning this aspect of psychology I will try and not go straight to causation, but give individuals the benefit of the doubt and not practice judgement.

I have noticed this more often since we learned about this too. Along with that I have also noticed confirmation bias more. And with both, I am quite often pointing out simple mistakes in people claiming something is correct. I think that while it is easy to know the difference between correlation and causation, it is hard to actually remember to use the differences in coming to a conclusion. I, myself do this every once in a while, but certainly less often because I think to myself, is this really why something happened?

I think all of the people that go along with the correlation vs causation fallacy are dumb. It leads society to conform to social norms that aren't always true like the marijuana argument you previously stated. There are many different arguments for topics and different backgrounds for each of them as well. If we always believed in correlation and what it exactly caused I don't think we would get things accomplished as good as it should be. We must free our minds and actually think!

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This page contains a single entry by Kody Kolb published on May 1, 2012 6:55 PM.

Harvards "Implicit Association Test"...hmmm... was the previous entry in this blog.

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