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Question: Can you think of your own potentially “headline-catching” correlation that could be explained by a third factor? Tell a causal story that could be mistakenly attributed to correlational data.
Headline: Children who spend more time on social media have lower test scores Story: While the data show that there appears to be a correlation between time spent on social media and lower test scores, the underlying cause of this phenomenon is that both children who are more likely to be on social media and have lower test scores tend to come from lower income households. The lower income households tend to have less resources and less opportunities to build a strong educational foundation. As a result, children from lower income households spend more time on social media because they have fewer educational opportunities and resources, and lower test scores are a result of this educational disparity rather than the time spent on social media.
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