Chapter 15: Reasoning About Causation In many situations, causes are correlated with their effects. An event C is said to be positively correlated with E when the presence of C increases the probability that E will also occur. C is said to be negatively correlated with E when C decreases the probability of E . If C has no effect on the probability of E , then C is not correlated with E , or C is independent of E . So for example, the appearance of lightning is positively correlated with thunder, negatively correlated with a clear sky, and presumably not at all correlated with the day of the week. Correlation is about how often two things are associated with each other, so there is no thunder without lightning. This is 100% or a perfect correlation. Smoking is positively correlated with lung cancer, but obviously, not all smokers will get cancer. A low correlation between two types of events does not rule out causation in particular instances. A hunter might fa
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