Correlation Ain’t Causality

My dad talked at the TV watching games. “It doesn’t DO anything. You know they can’t hear you, right?” And now, and for years, I talk at games too.

Teasing apart cause and effect is an important skill, or at least an important awareness we need in business and life.

Just because two things happened at the same time doesn’t mean one caused the other.

In statistics-speak, we say “Correlation doesn’t imply causation.”

In Shaggy-speak we say, “It wasn’t me.”

In our day to day we wonder, “Did this really cause that?” “Can I yell at the screen and influence the game?”

This picture says it all:

Remembering correlation isn’t causality matters when we’re looking forward as much as it matters when we’re looking backward.

Try to understand if you’re yelling at the TV and expecting to influence the game. Make sure you make sense. Think and act accordingly.

ps. You also should act however makes you happy too. The ref doesn’t need to hear my dad and me, nor does some star need our words of encouragement. We, on the other hand, very badly need to hear our pleas leave our mouths and enter the ears of the universe.

Like a duck walking through a tornado twisted gate, we quack at our observers. Their interpretation is on them.

And for good measure, ladies and gentlemen, I give you the famous philosopher/statistician… Shaggy!: