Psychology researchers at Oakland University have conducted a groundbreaking study, the results of which challenge the longhand statistical assumption that correlation does not equal causation.
“Our team was genuinely shocked by the outcome of this study,” said Dr. Suzie Red, a tenured professor and head of graduate research. “What started as an experiment designed to kill off the rats leftover from Mookie’s Ph.D. might be the most impactful psycho-scientific finding of all time.”
After getting ethics board approval, Dr. Red’s team injected 180 healthy rats with heroin. Once sedated, the rats were treated to a viewing of Woody Allen’s Annie Hall and then individually guillotined. At each stage of the experiment, the pulse and blood pressure of the rats were taken.
What they found blew their minds.
“The heroin brought down the rats’ vital signs, as did the Woody Allen film,” said Marlo Johnson, a graduate student at Oakland who did her BA in film theory. “By the end of Annie Hall these rats were barely alive; which is the exact opposite of how I am at the end of Annie Hall… all that fourth wall stuff just sends my blood pressure through the roof.”
While the rats had dangerously low blood pressure and pulse before the guillotine after the guillotine was a whole other story according to Marlo.
“With the heroin and movie, there were individual differences between rats. But once they went through the guillotine, all their blood pressure and pulse scores were zero, indicating they had died.”
It seemed that there was a clear and undeniable link between rats getting their heads lopped off and the same rats dying.
“This was a perfect correlation, and as social scientists, we had never dealt with that before. We knew we were onto something big.”
After publishing the paper, Dr. Red called a press conference in order to discuss the finding’s implications. “I mean, we can’t be humble here, can we? There is no way we can just sit around pretending that going through the guillotine doesn’t cause rats to die.”
“We’ve all been told that correlation does not equal causation, but that’s bullshit. If correlation didn’t equal causation, then how would we know anything at all? We wouldn’t. We would only know things are related, and even that we wouldn’t know, because we wouldn’t know if things being related caused things to be related.”
Since the press conference, hundreds of psychologists have voiced their support for Dr. Red’s statistical methods.
“It’s like she’s finished psychology,” said Dr. Terrence Robarts, president of the American Psychological Association. “Our methods before were crude and misguided, but thanks to the brilliant science of Dr. Red and her team, psychology is more methodologically rigorous than ever before.”