Mathematics
Explain why correlation alone is rarely sufficient to demonstrate cause.

Question Description

Explain why correlation alone is rarely sufficient to demonstrate cause.

Student has agreed that all tutoring, explanations, and answers provided by the tutor will be used to help in the learning process and in accordance with Studypool's honor code & terms of service.

Final Answer

Thank you for the opportunity to help you with your question!

Correlation is a statistical measure (expressed as a number) that describes the size and direction of a relationship between two or more variables. A correlation between variables, however, does not automatically mean that the change in one variable is the cause of the change in the values of the other variable.


Causation indicates that one event is the result of the occurrence of the other event; i.e. there is a causal relationship between the two events. This is also referred to as cause and effect.


Theoretically, the difference between the two types of relationships are easy to identify — an action or occurrence can cause another (e.g. smoking causes an increase in the risk of developing lung cancer), or it can correlate with another (e.g. smoking is correlated with alcoholism, but it does not cause alcoholism). In practice, however, it remains difficult to clearly establish cause and effect, compared with establishing correlation.

Please let me know if you need any clarification. I'm always happy to answer your questions.

John W885 (114)
Rice University

Anonymous
Great! 10/10 would recommend using Studypool to help you study.

Studypool
4.7
Trustpilot
4.5
Sitejabber
4.4