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To complete this assignment, review the
Discussion Rubric.

Discussion Rubric


one initial post and follow up with at least
two response posts.

For your
initial post, do the following:

· Write a post of 1 to 2 paragraphs.

This discussion assignment has two components. First, choose an article from the popular news media (i.e., an article that might appear on a website meant for the general public, NOT a peer-reviewed academic article) that misinterprets correlation as causation. Why is the author’s interpretation of the topic a mistake? For this portion of the assignment, you may choose an article featured on the
Correlation or Causation? website, but you do not have to. For the second portion of this assignment, choose one of the articles that you have read for your final project. Describe how the results from one of the articles (preferably a correlation) could be misinterpreted and misconstrued by a news source. What might the misleading headline be, and why would it be misleading?

For your
response posts, do the following:

· Reply to at least
two classmates outside of your own initial post thread.

Classmate 1-DC

Hey everyone! Hope all is well.  

The article I picked for this discussion is “Baby Teeth may Identify ADHD” (George, 2019). This article instantly caught my eye because ADHD is one of my main interests in the field of psychology. Ever since I was diagnosed in 2014, I have learned as much as I can about it at every possible turn.  

I have many issues with this article, but I will be focusing on the correlational issues. I think the biggest issue around correlation with this article is that ADHD and autism are very rarely diagnosed in prenatal and newborn children; the child’s ADHD and/or autism would have to be incredibly severe for it to be diagnosed at that age. I find it unlikely that they accurately diagnosed each child with ADHD and/or autism and didn’t miss any. I am given the impression, after investigating further, that these children weren’t even really diagnosed with either disorder. Rather, they showed traits of the disorder.  

I think the author of the article themself is making this correlation causal. It seems as if the authors often mentioned that many of these children were children with traits of autism and/or ADHD, instead of children with these disorders.   

The article from my final project that I picked was “Maintaining the Relationship: Relational Schemas and Women’s Intent to Seek Couple Therapy” (Spiker et al., 2020). This article discusses how heterosexual women’s relational schemas affect their willingness to seek couples counselling, and it is a primarily self-report study. While their correlations are compelling, I think this specific study suffers from not interviewing heterosexual men. It seems like it puts all the responsibility on the woman to seek therapy. The authors do state that women tend to initiate seeking therapy more than men (Spiker et al., 2020), so I understand their focus, but it feels very one-sided.  

There are a million reasons women might seek couples therapy; the authors use relational schemas as a potential cause, but they can’t reasonably make that conclusion given that their results are correlational in nature (Spiker et al., 2020). A completely separate cause for these results could simply be gender socialization. It could also be (as the authors admit) that these women are primarily White.  

It would be easy to write a misleading article about this study. There are several measures that the authors use; the news article would only need to pick one to write a headline. “Independant Women Refuse To Fix Their Relationships” would be an easy one to grab attention. It’s incredibly easy to only consider one aspect of a study and write about that as opposed to viewing the study as a whole.  


George, J. (2019, September 26). Baby teeth may identify ADHD. MedPage Today.

Spiker, D. A., Berney, E. C., Hammer, J. H., & Jensen, K. C. (2020). Maintaining the relationship: Relational schemas and women’s intent to seek couple therapy. The Counselling Psychologist, 48(6), 801-825. 

Classmate 2-JS

A new research claims to have shown a clear link between bullying and child sadness and anxiety. Bullying directly causes melancholy and anxiety in youngsters, according to the article “Bullying harms kids’ mental health”.

This article’s author incorrectly concludes a cause-and-effect link from a research correlation. The research shows a link between bullying and internalizing issue symptoms, but it does not prove that bullying causes them.

The study’s acknowledgement of potential confounding variables is crucial. Family circumstances, environmental variables, financial level, and even pre-existing mental health concerns may affect the likelihood of bullying and internalizing difficulties (“Bullying harms kids’ mental health”, 2008).

The research sheds light on the link between bullying and mental health issues without implying a causal connection. It cannot prove a causal relationship between these two things. Bullying may worsen internalizing difficulties, although other factors may cause them. Longitudinal investigations and well-designed controlled trials are needed to prove a causal connection. Only a rigorous methodology can adequately determine the association between bullying and mental health issues.

Part 2: Misleading Headline for a Correlation Article

Article Title: ”
Bullying in children: impact on child health

Misleading Headline: “Bullying Confirmed as Sole Cause of Child Depression and Anxiety!”

Research found a link between bullying and sadness and anxiety in children. However, the article’s title misrepresents the study’s results by implying that bullying causes these mental health issues.

This false title may confuse people about bullying and mental health. The title oversimplifies the complex processes and implies that bullying causes all childhood melancholy and anxiety (Armitage, 2021). This oversimplification ignores the many other possible causes of mental health issues.

The research acknowledges confounding issues, which is important. The research admits that family history, environmental factors, and pre-existing mental health disorders might affect bullying and mental health risk (Armitage, 2021). These variables complicate results interpretation.

Overall, Bullying is linked to internalizing difficulties, but the research does not prove that bullying causes children sadness and anxiety. To identify causality, this relationship’s dynamics are more complex and impacted by many interwoven components. Unfortunately, the deceptive title oversimplifies the study’s findings. It fails to convey the study’s complexity, thereby misleading readers.


Armitage, R. (2021). Bullying in Children: Impact on Child Health. BMJ Pediatrics Open, 5(1), e000939.

Bullying harms kids’ mental health: study. (2008, February 6). Reuters.

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