S:0844 Distinction: Cause vs. Correlate

(Distinctions are subtleties of language that, when gotten, cause a shift in a belief, behavior, value or attitude.)

 

In a world of sound-bites and Wiki-bits, of watching Talking-Heads instead of doing our own reading, of assuming ‘experts’ are unbiased and telling us the ‘truth,’ we have the potential to mistake Cause for Correlate.

Cause = A leads to or causes B. Correlate = A and B seem to be related, but A does not cause B.

Example 1: Human-caused CO2 emissions and climate change. Causal or correlation?

Example 2: The inverse relationship with vitamin D levels in the body and breast cancer in women — higher D/lower cancer and lower D/higher cancer. Causal or correlation?

Example 3: Meditation/prayer and having your dreams fulfilled. Causal or correlation?

You probably have many other examples.

Caution: There is the opportunity, especially when you have passion about a topic, to champion Cause when there may only be a Correlation.

 

Coaching Point: For your life to work really, really well you benefit by separating fact from assumed fact. What have you already done to discover Cause versus Correlate in your current area of expertise?

 

Copyright 2011 Steve Straus. All rights reserved.