spurious correlation

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Related to Spurious relationship: additive relationship

spurious correlation

[′spyu̇r·ē·əs ‚kä·rə′lā·shən]
(statistics)
The value of the coefficient of correlation when it is computed correctly but its relationship implications are nonsensical or unreasonable.

spurious correlation

see MULTIVARIATE ANALYSIS.
References in periodicals archive ?
These census data strongly indicate that the spurious relationship argument did not hold in the case of the seven Louisiana congressional districts.
Moreover, our bivariate technique took no account of factors like world events, activity by interest groups and elites, the contents of the mass media, or other factors that may have affected both opinion and policy, producing spurious relationships between the two.
Any empirical test of a causal relationship needs to assess the statistical correlation among independent and dependent variables, the temporal precedence among these variables, and exclude the possibility of spurious relationships.