## Discussion: False correlation caused by lurking variable

Discussion: False correlation caused by lurking variable

Rebecca Cline

12:17pm

Mar 17 at 12:17pm

In my creation of a study where there could be a lurking variable that creates a false correlation, I think it is important to define these terms prior to describing the study. A lurking variable is defined as “a variable other than x and y that simultaneously affects both variables, accounting for the correlation between the two” (Sharpe, et al., 2019, pg. 139). A false correlation is when two factors appear casually related, but are not (Sharpe, et al., 2019). There is a lurking variable, there is often times a false correlation due to the fact that it appears that the two variables are linked to each other, but in reality, the two variables are linked through the third variable. Many times when individuals are reading research, they are not looking deep into it and take it at face value that the researcher has checked for these variables, but it is not uncommon for there to be lurking variables in data that can skew the results.The study that I am presenting deals with the amount of Diet Coke consumed and the number of traffic accidents. In this case, the two variables that are being studies are amount of Diet Coke being consumed and the number of traffic accidents. This information will be based on sales of Diet Coke in a region and the number of reported traffic accidents reported in the same area. As the amount of Diet Coke being consumed increased, so did the amount of traffic accidents. Without looking any further, you could speculate that the increase in drinking Diet Coke could lead to more accidents. The chart below shows that as the amount of Diet Coke goes up, so does the rate of traffic accidents. Is that truly the case? Or is there a lurking variable that is in play in this case?In my creation of a study where there could be a lurking variable that creates a false correlation,  Discussion: False correlation caused by lurking variable

I think it is important to define these terms prior to describing the study. A lurking variable is defined as “a variable other than x and y that simultaneously affects both variables, accounting for the correlation between the two” (Sharpe, et al., 2019, pg. 139). A false correlation is when two factors appear casually related, but are not (Sharpe, et al., 2019). There is a lurking variable, there is often times a false correlation due to the fact that it appears that the two variables are linked to each other, but in reality, the two variables are linked through the third variable. Many times when individuals are reading research, they are not looking deep into it and take it at face value that the researcher has checked for these variables, but it is not uncommon for there to be lurking variables in data that can skew the results.The study that I am presenting deals with the amount of Diet Coke consumed and the number of traffic accidents. In this case, the two variables that are being studies are amount of Diet Coke being consumed and the number of traffic accidents. This information will be based on sales of Diet Coke in a region and the number of reported traffic accidents reported in the same area. As the amount of Diet Coke being consumed increased, so did the amount of traffic accidents. Without looking any further, you could speculate that the increase in drinking Diet Coke could lead to more accidents. The chart below shows that as the amount of Diet Coke goes up, so does the rate of traffic accidents. Is that truly the case? Or is there a lurking variable that is in play in this case?In my creation of a study where there could be a lurking variable that creates a false correlation, I think it is important to define these terms prior to describing the study. A lurking variable is defined as “a variable other than x and y that simultaneously affects both variables, accounting for the correlation between the two” (Sharpe, et al., 2019, pg. 139). A false correlation is when two factors appear casually related, but are not (Sharpe, et al., 2019). There is a lurking variable, there is often times a false correlation due to the fact that it appears that the two variables are linked to each other, but in reality, the two variables are linked through the third variable. Many times when individuals are reading research, they are not looking deep into it and take it at face value that the researcher has checked for these variables, but it is not uncommon for there to be lurking variables in data that can skew the results.The study that I am presenting deals with the amount of Diet Coke consumed and the number of traffic accidents. In this case, the two variables that are being studies are amount of Diet Coke being consumed and the number of traffic accidents. This information will be based on sales of Diet Coke in a region and the number of reported traffic accidents reported in the same area. As the amount of Diet Coke being consumed increased, so did the amount of traffic accidents. Without looking any further, you could speculate that the increase in drinking Diet Coke could lead to more accidents. The chart below shows that as the amount of Diet Coke goes up, so does the rate of traffic accidents. Is that truly the case? Or is there a lurking variable that is in play in this case?Diet Coke (2).png Discussion: False correlation caused by lurking variable