In this series, I’m compiling some of the quips and one-liners that I’ll use with my students to hopefully make my lessons more memorable for them. Today’s example might be the most cringe-worthy pun that I use in any class that I teach.
In my statistics classes, I try to emphasize to student that a high value of the correlation coefficient is not the same thing as causation. To hopefully drive home this point, I’ll use the following picture.
Conclusion: If we want to stop global warming, we should all become pirates.
Obviously, I tell my class, there isn’t a cause-and-effect relationship here, even though there is a strong positive correlation. So, I tell my class, in my best pirate voice, “Correlation is not the same thing as a causation, even if you get a large value of ARRRRRRR.”
Without fail, my students love this awful wisecrack.
While I’m on the topic, this is too good not to share:
For further reading, see my series on correlation and causation.
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