Share via Email Just because people flock to the shops when it's cold outside doesn't mean low temperatures boost spending. Correlation is not causation. Correlation is not causation … " At times during my statistics studies I felt like Jack Nicholson in the film The Shiningin which we witness his descent into madness as he types the same sentence over and over again, "All work and no play makes Jack a dull boy. All work and no play makes Jack a dull boy … " "Correlation is not causation" is a statistics mantra.
Background concepts[ edit ] Legal systems more or less try to uphold the notions of fairness and justice. If a state is going to penalize a person or require that person pay compensation to another for losses incurred, liability is imposed according to the idea that those who injure others should take responsibility for their actions.
Although some parts of any legal system will have qualities of strict liabilityin which the mens rea is immaterial to the result and subsequent liability of the actor, most look to establish liability by showing that the defendant was the cause of the particular injury or loss. Even the youngest children quickly learn that, with varying degrees of probability, consequences flow from physical acts and omissions.
The more predictable the outcome, the greater the likelihood that the actor caused the injury or loss intentionally. There are many ways in which the law might capture this simple rule of practical experience: However it is phrased, the essence of the degree of fault attributed will lie in the fact that reasonable people try to avoid injuring others, so if harm was foreseeable, there should be liability to the extent that the extent of the harm actually resulting was foreseeable.
Relationship between causation and liability[ edit ] Causation of an event alone is insufficient to create legal liability. Sometimes causation is one part of a multi-stage test for legal liability. For example, for the defendant to be held liable for the tort of negligence, the defendant must have owed the plaintiff a duty of carebreached that duty, by so doing caused damage to the plaintiff, and that damage must not have been too remote.
Causation is just one component of the tort. On other occasions, causation is the only requirement for legal liability other than the fact that the outcome is proscribed. For example, in the law of product liabilitythe courts have come to apply to principle of strict liability: The defendant need not also have been negligent.
On still other occasions, causation is irrelevant to legal liability altogether. For example, under a contract of indemnity insurancethe insurer agrees to indemnify the victim for harm not caused by the insurer, but by other parties.
Because of the difficulty in establishing causation, it is one area of the law where the case law overlaps significantly with general doctrines of analytic philosophy to do with causation. The two subjects have long been intermingled. Establishing factual causation[ edit ] The usual method of establishing factual causation is the but-for test.
The but for test is a test of necessity. Tally15 SoAla. It is quite sufficient if it facilitated a result that would have transpired without it.
However, legal scholars have attempted to make further inroads into what explains these difficult cases. Some scholars have proposed a test of sufficiency instead of a test of necessity.For example, Brandy did not know if the athletic wear was the causation or just a correlation until she rearranged the inventory a second time.
However, you can identify instances of likely causation. These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'causation.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors.
The classic example of correlation not equaling causation can be found with ice cream and -- murder. That is, the rates of violent crime and murder have been known to jump when ice cream sales do.
The Correlation between Crime and Poverty - There is an unmistakable connection between violent crime and poverty. Chicago, Philadelphia, Flint, Detroit, Baltimore, New Orleans, Newark, and Oakland all were among the cities with the highest murder rates in .
The Phases of the Moon and Admissions to Mental Hospitals. This meta-analysis, published in in the journal Psychological Bulletin, found very few statistically significant relationships between the moon and human behavior.
For example, for the defendant to be held liable for the tort of negligence, the defendant must have owed the plaintiff a duty of care, breached that duty, by so doing caused damage to the plaintiff, and that damage must not have been too remote.
Causation is just one component of the tort.