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Thread: Question - Is Simpson's Paradox the same as spuriousness

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    Question - Is Simpson's Paradox the same as spuriousness




    Hi all,

    I am currently trying to learn about research methodology by using the book of Dooley called Social Research Methods.

    I am however a bit confused about some of the subjects treated. This relates to Simpson's paradox, spuriousness and something referred to as ecological fallacy.

    My simple question is whether spuriousness is the same as Simpson's Paradox and if that is the case, if someone could explain that to me. If I read about it it seems like it is somewhat the same idea, but as am pretty new to all of this I am unsure.

    What I understand so far is that it may seem that A causes B but in fact that is not the case, but it seems like that due to a third variable such as C. If that happens you call it spuriousness and/or Simpson's Paradox?

    Hopefully someone can explain a bit. I tried Googling on this and found that some people do say that it is the same (they use both terms as in 'Simpson's paradox, or spuriousness, refers to... etc'. However this is not always the case.

    That is why I hope someone with more knowledge on the subject can elaborate.

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    Re: Question - Is Simpson's Paradox the same as spuriousness

    Just call it simpson's paradox. I am sure it can be both in some circle's but spurious findings is more general and can be associated with other scenarios. Simpsons paradox will better inform the reader.
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    Re: Question - Is Simpson's Paradox the same as spuriousness

    Quote Originally Posted by hlsmith View Post
    Just call it simpson's paradox. I am sure it can be both in some circle's but spurious findings is more general and can be associated with other scenarios. Simpsons paradox will better inform the reader.
    thanks for post. I was confused about it

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    Re: Question - Is Simpson's Paradox the same as spuriousness


    Side note, ecological fallacy is when you try to erroneously associate two population level statistics or attributes. So say there were more traffic deaths last year and it so happened the maximum speed limit also got increased from 65 to 70 that year. Some one may say there is an association, which there could be. Though, we don't know if the deaths were on residential roads or not, as well as if they involved higher speeds.
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