Tag Archives: Spurious Correlations

School Resources

Occasionally a resource will pop-up that may prove useful in a stats lesson. Here are links to two…one old, one new.

The first is from Sir David Spiegelhalter, who is Winton Professor of the Public Understanding of Risk at the University of Cambridge. you can find it on his blog Understanding Uncertainty.

It is an interactive version of the famous Florence Nightingale Coxcombs, the originals being produced by Nightingale sometime after the Crimean War (1853-1856). There are links here to other related resources making this a fantastic cross-curricular activity. The resource itself is in Adobe Flash.

The second is a game stumbled upon on Twitter. Created by Omar Wagih a Bioinformatics PhD student, who you can tweet @omarwagih. The game called guessthecorrelation.com produces a series of scatter plots and asks participants to guess the correlation between two variables.

I am sure you can think of lots of ways the game can be incorporated into a stats lesson. It might also be fun  to combine it with a discussion of correlation more generally. This could include a link to Spurious Correlation (featured here before) that now has a spurious correlation discovery tool.

Spurious Correlations

A recent tweet mentioned the great Spurious Correlations website created by Tyler Vigen. Tyler’s site has been featured in numerous news articles and often gets a mention when one spurious correlation or another appears in the media. It is just a bit of fun but has a serious message, reinforcing the adage that ‘Correlation does not imply causation’.

So, in case you have not come across Tyler’s site already, the BBC produced an online article  that may prove a good introduction and possibly make up part of a lesson on Correlation.

In addition, the site has been featured on the always excellent BBC Radio ‘More or Less’ programme (International visitors may not be able to access this).

All the links are below:

Spurious Correlations
BBC Magazine
BBC Radio ‘More or Less’