TheUnemploymentDojo's Blog

What is More Important: Correlation Or Causation?

Posted on: March 26, 2013

A correlation simply means that two properties or variables have a relationship together. It could be a positive correlation or a negative correlation which is sometimes referred to as linear or non linear. Causation on the other hand refers to the why events happen. It doesn’t refer to any relationship between the two or more variables, simply the why they would come together! This weekend while relaxing (actually recuperating from a bout of flu) i decided to read up on two books. Simon Sinek Start with Why: How Great Leaders Inspire Everyone to Take Action and Clayton Christensen How Will You Measure Your Life? and something profound jumped at me.

Of course correlation and causation only really matter when the intent is known. What is your intent. So then the real question is when does correlation matter and when does causation matter. A good example provided in the book by Clayton is that when coming up with a knew idea, causation is most important. When men were trying to fly, they found that wings and flying had a strong correlation. So the natural thing was to jump of roofs with wings and flap as hard as you can. Unfortunately thousands of people died because they tried to defy gravity. What they were using was the law of correlation which was completely independent of the law of causation. It wasn’t until Bernoulli’s principle came along did people really understand flying. What really caused birds to fly! Correlation therefore is important when we want to understand the “trigger” points that we can look at when an event takes place.

How Does This Relate To Me

  1. This here shows that despite two activities being heavily correlated, it doesn’t mean that an event will happen because of their relationship. Resumes are heavily correlated to jobs. Just because you send many doesn’t mean you will get employed. Just because you’re a staunch saver doesn’t mean you will become wealthy! Just because you are highly educated, doesn’t mean that you will get the highest paying job.The real cause of any event is usually not obvious.
  2. Challenge popular belief. What the majority believes to be true, question it.
  3. Correlation is a pseudo cause. The real causes are usually in alliance with the forces of nature. They follow a law. Get in alignment with that law and find the real cause.

Have a wonderful day.

Lee Kariuki


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Lee Kariuki
1-888-MY-ETHER ext. 04466282

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