Concept

Confounding

Summary
In causal inference, a confounder (also confounding variable, confounding factor, extraneous determinant or lurking variable) is a variable that influences both the dependent variable and independent variable, causing a spurious association. Confounding is a causal concept, and as such, cannot be described in terms of correlations or associations. The existence of confounders is an important quantitative explanation why correlation does not imply causation. Some notations are explicitly designed to identify the existence, possible existence, or non-existence of confounders in causal relationships between elements of a system. Confounds are threats to internal validity. Definition Confounding is defined in terms of the data generating model. Let X be some independent variable, and Y some dependent variable. To estimate the effect of X on Y, the statistician must suppress the effects of extraneous variables that influence both X and Y. We say that X and Y are confounded b
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