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Blame It on the Rain

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Key Terms

Lurking Variables

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head shot of justyceJustyce is correct that there are more injuries in months with more rainy days in this sample set of data.  However, she cannot conclude that the rainy weather is the reason that there is an increase.  It is possible that the rain may indirectly be causing some of the injuries, but we do not have enough information to accurately make this claim.

Justyce is also not considering potential lurking variables.  A lurking variable is an extraneous variable that may influence the interpretation of relationships among the given variables.  The given variables in Justyce’s claim are the weather and the number of injuries.

Think about the situation and Justyce’s conclusion.

Justyce concludes that rainy weather causes an increase in student injuries.

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