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Psy 315 Wk 5 DQ 2

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Week 5 DQ 2
Explain the reason(s) why we cannot infer causation from correlation.
Although correlation is necessary for causation in the absence of a third variable, correlation
does not automatically mean that one causes another. Correlation can indicate a possible
cause or can indicate further examination of a possible cause. In other words, correlation can
be a hint toward a possible cause. Correlation itself has left many in the wrong. For example,
many studies had shown that women who took combined hormone therapy treatments also
had a lower rate of coronary heart disease. Doctors then made the proposal that hormone
therapy treatments were protection against coronary heart disease. They turned out to be
wrong. Further controlled studies showed that hormone therapy treatments caused a small but
significant increased risk of coronary heart disease. Re-analysis of the original study then
indicated that the women treated with hormone therapy were also involved in a higher than
average diet and exercise lifestyle

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