Business Report: Spurious correlations - Hawaii News Now - KGMB and KHNL

Business Report: Spurious correlations

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HONOLULU (HawaiiNewsNow) -

If fuel prices soar and travel declines, you may feel the two trends are correlated. But without proof of cause-and-effect, correlations should not be automatically accepted. A fact-checking group called Spurious Media decided to demonstrate. It searched for trends that look very similar, but can’t possibly have been connected.

This one correlates U.S. science spending with suicides by hanging, strangulation and suffocation.

This one correlates the number of people who drowned in a pool with the number of films Nicolas Cage appeared in.

This one correlates the divorce rate in Maine with per capita consumption of margarine.

And my favorite, the number of letters in the winning word of the Scripps National Spelling Bee, correlated with people killed by venomous spiders.

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