In your own words, what is the difference between showing correlation and showing a causal connection?

Gary Gutting wrote an editorial in the New York Times in April, 2013,  called What Do Scientific Studies Show? Professor Gutting cautions the  reader that news reports that say “studies show” are often tentative or  likely to be false and should be labeled as such in the news media.


1. Based on your readings and viewing in this module, answer each of these questions:

  • In your own words, what is the difference between showing  correlation and showing a causal connection?  Explain the importance of  considering the “third variable” in these types of relationships.
  • Create your own example of the differences between correlation and causal relationships.
  • Are most results of scientific studies valuable for guiding our lives? Why or why not?

2. In the same post, also provide an example of a news report about a scientific topic with your personal summary/evaluation:

  • Post an example of a report about science that you have read in a newspaper or a news magazine or online news source. Provide a link to the web page, if possible, but always include a complete APA style reference!
  • Give a summary of the report. Explain why you think the result is  either believable or not believable and if the scientific result report  will affect our daily lives.