Thursday, October 16, 2008

To coach, or not to coach? That is the question!

"An examination of the statistics for the Marietta College men's basketball team indicates that when the third string played more, the winning margin increased. If coach VanderWal played the third string more, we would win by a bigger margin."

Evaluate this argument. Also, what Latin term best describes the logical fallacy employed above?

Congratulations to Cody Meglio for providing a correct answer to this week's Bonus Question. Read the comments for Cody's answer: post hoc ergo propter hoc.

1 comment:

Cody Meglio said...

It is interesting that you bring this up considering our lecture today in ECON 360 and the example regarding C8. This argument fits the "post hoc ergo propter hoc" fallacy, which essentially states that events A and then B occurred and that, as a result, A caused B. In class, we talked about correlation vs. causation with C8 and high cholesterol. Here, we find a correlation between playing the third string team and higher margins of victory. Just because there is a correlation does NOT mean there is necessarily causation. There could be other factors at play that are not being properly examined, such as the chance that the coach may put in the third string players when the team is already up by a large margin but not when the game is close. In fact, if that were the case, one could argue that the higher margins of victory caused the coach to use third string players and NOT vice-versa.