Correlation is NOT Causation

Repeat After Me!

DEFINITION: The phrase “correlation does not imply causation” refers to the inability to legitimately deduce a cause-and-effect relationship between two events or variables solely on the basis of an observed association between them.



LOGIC FALLACY: The idea that “correlation implies causation” is an example of a questionable-cause logical fallacy, in which two events occurring together are taken to have established a cause-and-effect relationship.

This fallacy is also known by the Latin phrase cum hoc ergo propter hoc (‘with this, therefore because of this‘). This differs from the fallacy known as post hoc ergo propter hoc (“after this, therefore because of this”), in which an event following another is seen as a necessary consequence of the former event, and from conflation, the errant merging of two events, ideas, databases, etc., into one.


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