Surveys and Naturalistic Observations can reveal that two behaviors accompany each other (correlate)
Correlation Coefficient
statistical measure of the extent to which two factors vary together; how well one predicts another
Shown through Scatterplots:

Slope suggests the direction of the relationship.
Pros/Cons of Correlation Coefficient
Benefits: Helps us see the world more clearly.
Setbacks: Does not imply cause and effect relationship (can be misleading)
Illusory Correlations
The perception of a relationship when none exists.
Correlation and Causation
No matter how strong the relationship, correlation does not imply causation. Indicates the possibility of a cause-effect relationship, but does not prove causation!
Babies are born when the moon is full, weather changes trigger arthritis pain, etc are illusory correlations.
We are more likely to remember dramatic or unusual events than normal ones.
We notice random coincidences, we may forget that they are random and instead see them as correlated. We see whats not there.
Perceiving Order in Random Events
Because of illusory correlations, random sequences don't often look random.
Extraordinary Happenings
Some happenings seem so extraordinary it's hard to say it is ordinary but there is usually a simple explanation for the event.
   Login to remove ads X
Feedback | How-To