Mar. 10, 2012
Introduction and Statement of the Problem
Spurious relationships can make one believe erroneous conclusions because the conclusions that are made seem to be irrevocably supported by facts. Once a person believes the facts as stated, anything can be stated as truth based on the erroneous conclusions made based on a set of commonalities found due to simple coincidence. In this paper, one will first identify what is a spurious relationship. One will also explore different examples of spurious relationships that can be found in everyday life. In exploring these examples, one will finally see how an assumption can be made due to the facts at a specific moment in time. One will also see that if one looks a little deeper into how one came to the specific conclusion in the particular case, one can come to a more informed conclusion based on more concrete evidence. This can be uncovered because of the existence of a third variable which may or may not be easily visible to the observer. The concept of spurious relationships is especially interesting to me in that I am faced on a daily basis with cause and effect items such as: a student did not complete his admissions application to college and therefore he cannot attend courses in a program of study he is seeking. This example can be thought of as having a true causal relationship. There are still others where the student says we are responsible for him not graduating in time to apply for another college. It is our fault for not informing them on time of steps they needed to take. What the student fails to see is that he needs to check his school e-mail in order to read and take the next steps in order to fulfill graduation requirements. As one will explore in this paper, there are times when cause and effect is not as simple as data shows one at the moment. These concepts can then be easily applied...