Correlation vs Causation

chart

Scientists in various fields adopt statistical methods to determine relationships between events and assess the strength of such links. Security professionals performing risk assessments are also interested in determining what events are causing the most impact.

When analysing historical data, however, they should remember that correlation doesn’t always imply causation. When patterns of events look similar, it may lead you to believe that one event causes the other. But as demonstrated by the chart above, it is highly unlikely that seeing Nicolas Cage on TV causes people to jump into the pool (although it may in some cases).

This and other spurious correlations can be found on this website, with an option to create your own.

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