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Differences between a causal and a correlation
Causation refers to the cause of something to happen. A causal claim shows that the two events are related to each other in such a way that one event is the effect of the other. Suppose there are two events; b and c, then a causal claim can take the form of “b causes c” in which b refers to the cause and c refers to the effect. On the other hand, correlation shows that the two variables (events) are related to each other in such a way that an increase in one variable result in an increase in the other variable; similarly, decrease in the value of one variable decreases the value of the other variable. However, correlation is different from causal relationship in that it does not show that one event or variable is becoming the cause of other variable (Fayetteville State University, n.d.).
In a news story published in The Washington Post, it has been reported that housing prices in Washington D. C. correlates with reading proficiency (Wexler, 2015). This is a good example of correlation as it can be guessed that children’s reading proficiency could not cause an increase or decrease in the prices of houses without going into a greater detail in this observation. Overall, it can be said that housing prices has some direct relation to the reading proficiency of children i.e. increased reading proficiency is related to higher housing costs, but it cannot be said that reading proficiency causes higher prices of houses.
Design of an experiment to test a diet product
Diet product in the experiment includes Omega-3 fatty acid, which is helpful for normal metabolism. In order to test the effect of Omega-3 fatty acid on overall health, a double-blind randomized clinical trial can be designed.
In the experiment, 100 people will be selected having more than 50 years of age. Those participants will be randomized into two groups, i.e. treatment group receiving omega-3 fatty acids and control group receiving placebo, and neither the participants nor the researchers will know about the treatment or placebo group.
Overall health will be assessed after one year of supplementation with Omega-3 fatty acid. In the assessment, following things will be assessed (Harvard Health Publications, 2011):
1. Height and weight: Normally, a person loses about 0.4 inches of height after every ten years after the age of 40 years. So, the participants’ height will be assessed, even though, there will be a very little change. Unintended weight gain or loss will also be measured. Body mass index (BMI), which is a measure of weight in relation to height, will also be assessed. Waist circumference will also be checked for the signs of fats.
2. Fracture risk: Osteoporosis can increase the chances of bone fractures. In this case, bone mineral density (BMD) can be checked with the help of Dual energy x-ray absorptiometry (DXA) testing before and after the supplementation.
3. Blood pressure: With age, blood pressure increases. Therefore, the effect of omega-3 fatty acid will be checked regularly, and after one year, the treatment group will be compared with the control group for any change in blood pressure.
4. Lipid levels: Total cholesterol, low-density lipoprotein (LDL), high-density lipoprotein (HDL), and triglycerides will be measured and compared in the two groups after one year.
5. Blood sugar: Glycated hemoglobin A1c, a novel blood sugar test, can be used to compare the blood sugar levels of the two groups.
After the completion of one year, overall health will be assessed between the two groups.
Components of critical thinking
Critical thinking is a type of thinking that calls into question the usual assumptions and traditional ways of thinking. With the help of critical thinking, a person is able to act differently on the basis of critical examination of normal ways of life. It is considered as one of the most important and reasonable educational tools for students. Six important components of critical thinking include skillful thinking, responsible thinking, judgment, criteria, self-correction, and sensitivity to context (Weinstein, 1991). Brief reflection on these components is presented below:
Skillful thinking helps in considering the reliability of the information as well as authenticity of the methodology. Skillful thinking can help in working on the rules established in a school or college.
Responsible thinking is related to the relationship between the thinker and the people in the community. Critical thinker gives importance to acceptable standards. With the help of responsible thinking, a person develops an ability to treat the rules responsibly even if some of them are not according to his or her thoughts as, for example, if a student is feeling some health-related problem then a rule of not attending the class can be broken to help that student and take him to hospital.
With judgment in critical thinking, a thinker is directed towards non-routine thinking. While living responsibly and following the rules, we can keep on thinking new and better ways of living.
With the help of criteria, a critical thinker assesses the important factors to be considered in analysis.
Self-correction is the process of exposing to the normal as well as new procedures and correcting them as a result of critical thinking. As a result of self-correction, we can reduce our stubborn nature, and keep on correcting ourselves on the basis of critical thinking.
Sensitivity is related to the appropriateness of the criteria and their probable modifications.
Fayetteville State University. (n.d.). Causal Arguments. Retrieved from http://faculty.uncfsu.edu/jyoung/causal_arguments.htm
Harvard Health Publications. (2011). 11 for 2011: Eleven important ways to assess your health. Retrieved from http://www.health.harvard.edu/staying-healthy/11-for-2011-eleven-important-ways-to-assess-your-health
Weinstein, M. (1991). Critical Thinking and Education for Democracy. Resource Publication Series 4 No. 2.
Wexler, N. (2015). The correlation between test scores and home prices. Retrieved from https://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/all-opinions-are-local/wp/2015/07/22/the-correlation-between-test-scores-and-home-prices/?utm_term=.0bcce8104771