In the EMF case study from last week, electrical and magnetics fields (EMF) were thought to be correlated to Jacob’s cancer. Correlation is the degree to which two things are linked. Correlations are talked about all of the time. You hear in the news that (insert food name here) is linked to (insert cancer type here), and what they are talking about is usually correlation. However, it does not mean that one thing causes the other.
For instance, look at the following spurious correlations relationships.
Causation can be tricky to determine, so how much should we rely on just correlation to make a decision?
Assignment: Submit a paragraph to this dropbox (minimum 250 words) describing EITHER:
1) Give an example of where in your opinion showing a correlation between two things is enough for you to believe or act on data…and a second example of where something would need to be shown to be causative before you would act on the data.
2) How could confirmation bias or ad populum fallacy play a role in the EMF case study?