Sunday, October 31, 2004

workbook: coincidence, or causality?

1. For the last 17 Presidential elections, when the Washington Redskins have won their final home game prior to an election, the incumbent has won. When they have lost, the incumbent has lost. Coincidence, or causality? Explain.

2. Last night I was driving near the State Street Halloween storm, and I accidentally ran over what looked like the better part of a six-pack of beer bottles. When I went out to use my car today, the tire that had run over the bottles was flat. Coincidence, or causality? Explain.

3. As I was changing my tire, I had only the dimmest idea of what I was doing, but I was not going to be troubled by reading the manual or anything like that. As I was trying to get the spare onto the wheel, the car slipped off its jack, with the underside of my car bouncing unpleasantly and then coming to rest on the asphalt. Coincidence, or causality? Explain.


Anonymous said...

the jack deal is Karma, clear cut case of it - you impeded someone's important journey in a previous life - your best bet would be to poll your students to get a rough idea of who/what you were previously so as to have a clear direction on how to rectify the situation

tina said...

I used scenario #1 as a pop quiz in my undergraduate qualitative research methods class today. Here is my favorite response:

"I think this would be a coincidence. In order to establish causality, there would need to be an independent and dependent variable."

jeremy said...

My God, that is the most awesomely awesome student quiz response I have heard yet in Fall 2004.