Illusory correlation!

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Illusory correlation refers to assuming that there is a relationship between two events or two variables when there really is no relationship. We have a tendency to notice a relationship between unusual events, and that is where the error occurs because we fail to consider other important information and we also fail to prove assumptions that we have.
I believe that this concept is important to study about because it can cause many superstitions and misconceptions in real life situations or events. If people choose to believe these illusory correlations without any proven evidence, then there will be many misunderstandings and wrong accusations and we will continue to stay attached to these assumed correlations.
We can find a lot of examples of illusory correlation. One big example can be found in athletes. Most athletes have some sort of "lucky" game behavior, like their lucky socks. They wore the socks one time when they played really well and so they associate them with doing well. However, they will disregard any of the times that they wore the socks and did not play well. This is an illusory correlation because the socks have nothing to do with actually doing well.
There is another fun study called sugar-hyperactivity myth. In the 1970s, Benjamin F. Feingold, M.D., a pediatric allergist, proposed that artificial colors and artificial flavors caused hyperactivity in children. Feingold promoted a diet called the Feingold Diet that was used to treat hyperactivity. I found this article very interesting, and the title is Can Food Really Affect Your Child's Behavior, written by Jennifer Warner. This discussion is about the myth and what the experts have to say about it. Here's a link to the original article: http://www.medicinenet.com/script/main/art.asp?articlekey=52516
According to Warner, many parents have witnessed the behavior of their children after consuming large amounts of sweets and have blamed the unusual behavior on sugar. But there has been no major studies or hard evidence that there is any relationship between food and behavior.

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This page contains a single entry by choxx373 published on May 8, 2012 4:52 PM.

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