Monday, October 15, 2012

Correlation is not causation

It's kind of in the category of 'Man Bites Dog' but yet again a New York Times headline writer has confused correlation and causation. The headline reads: "Want Your Union to Last? Marry in New Jersey". Kind of grabs your attention. Except for this problem: people who are older when they marry and have more education are less likely to divorce. More of those people live in New Jersey and other northeastern states, hence the lower divorce rates. 

The story itself gets the issue right. The article is illustrated by a nice graphic - that's the screen shot above.

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