Assignment: Correlation and Causation in the News

Assignment: Correlation and Causation in the News

ORDER NOW FOR THE ORIGINAL PAPER: Assignment: Correlation and Causation in the News

Assignment: Correlation and Causation in the News

Activity 6: Paper – Correlation and Causation in the News (15 Points)

Statistics are routinely used by journalists to explain and support claims. The news media often uncritically report on or even distort the findings of scientific studies. News articles often confound correlation and causation and report that correlations show causation when they actually do not. The difference between them is huge and confusing them can be costly in terms of money and time. As you know from your text, two variables may be correlated because one causes the other, a third variable causes both, or because of coincidence.

Activity Resources
McCoy, K.
Park, A. (2011, March 24).
Rochman, B. (2011, April 11).
Stats Simplified.

Analyze Statistics in the News
In your activity resources above are three news articles that report on scientific studies and make recommendations on the basis of them. Write a paper analyzing these articles. For each article answer these questions and give reasons for your answers:

  1. What evidence does the article provide for an association (correlation) between the phenomena discussed?
  2. Drawing on your text’s discussion of how to interpret correlations, what would you want to check to be confident that there is actually a correlation?
  3. What is the argument that the relationship is causal?
  4. Is the argument for the causal relationship convincing?
  5. If the argument is not convincing, what additional evidence is needed to make a convincing argument that the relationship is causal?
  6. Does it make sense to make changes in your life based on the article?

Use the material in your text, the STATS webpage Stats Simplified, and any other resources you choose to answer these questions.

Length: 6-8 pages (app. 350 words per page)

Your paper should demonstrate thoughtful consideration of the ideas and concepts that are presented in the course and provide new thoughts and insights relating directly to the topic. Your response should reflect scholarly writing and current APA standards. Be careful to adhere to Northcentral’s Academic Integrity Policy.