Why does having a strong linear correlation not imply causality?

1 Answer
Feb 27, 2017

Answer:

Correlation does not imply causation - it just means two variables are linked.

Explanation:

Linked variables doesn't mean that they necessarily cause each other. It could just mean that they are caused by the same thing.

For instance, say there is a statistical link between immigration and crime. It is not necessarily that immigrants are criminals, but that immigrants are typically poorer than non-immigrants, and poorer people have more reason to turn to crime.

Of course, in some instances, immigrants are criminals, just as non-immigrants are criminals, but simply from the correlation we have no grounds to form a conclusion.

We also don't know which variable causes another. It could just as easily be that crime causes immigration.