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Are you Confused with Correlation and Causation?

Are you Confused with Correlation and Causation?

Last Updated on May 11, 2021 by Editorial Team

Author(s): Juhi Sharma

Data Science

Difference between Correlation and Causation

Photo by Chris Liverani on Unsplash

What is a “Co-relation”?

“Co-relation” is simply a relationship. If there is a correlation between two variables, we can observe a pattern between them.

  1. Positive Correlation: When X increases, Y also increases or vice-versa

2. Negative Correlation: When X increases, Y also Decreases or vice-versa

3. No Correlation: When we can’t see any clear pattern between 2 variables.


Correlation is a Numerical value that tells about the strength of the relationship between the 2 things/Variables.

The correlation coefficient lies between -1 to1. Value of coefficient tells about the relationship Strength and sign tells about the how the variables are correlated. ( Positive sign tells that 2 variables are directly correlated and the negative sign tells that 2 variables are inversely correlated)

Example: Below in the image, we can see that there is a positive correlation between total bill and tip paid.

Source: By Author

What is causation?

Causation tells about the cause and effect relationship between 2 things. This means that a change in the value of one leads to a change in the value of another.



Exercise Caused Burning of calories.

Gravity causes objects to fall downwards.

Correlation doesn’t imply causation

If two things are correlated, doesn’t mean that one thing causes another.

example: Going to Hospital is positively correlated with the number of deaths. It doesn’t mean that going to the hospital doesn’t cause you to die.

Let's take one example

Smoking causes lung cancer

People who do not smoke as the same chances of getting lung cancer as compared to the people who don’t? NO

Are any other reasons for Lung Cancer? YES

Here we can say that Smoking Contributes to Lung Cancer but it is not the only cause of Lung Cancer. There can be other causes like Pollution.

Before you go

Thanks for reading! If you want to get in touch with me, feel free to reach me at [email protected] or my LinkedIn Profile.

Are you Confused with Correlation and Causation? was originally published in Towards AI on Medium, where people are continuing the conversation by highlighting and responding to this story.

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