Tuesday, April 6, 2010

My Back Always Hurts

Have arthritis? Live near the East coast and deal with crappy weather? Do your joints bother you when the weather's cold and rainy? I like you have heard people claim to be able to tell when a hurricane is coming and swear they can tell the weather better than a meteorologist, maybe some people can but most of them are paying attention to the pain more because they are expecting it to get worse. The research says that in most of their studies Tversky and Redelmeier people tended to see a cause effect relationship where there was none. They did say however that it may be plausible that certain people may be able to tell when bad weather is coming. The cause of this belief in most people is very similar to the popular anecdote about ice cream sales rising and the increase in pregnancies. People tend to imply a causal relationship between the two when there is none. Ice cream sales increased because it was summer which also led to people staying inside due to the heat. Staying in the AC and copulating was the cause of the increased pregnancy rate not people eating ice cream.


  1. I always thought until this class that weather attributed to some of my joint pain. However now that i think about it I do only remember the times it was there during bad weather and not the times it wasn't. I believe that is confirmation bias.

  2. I'm glad someone did a post on this. I always heard it but never believed it. I've overheard people talk about how they are hurting because it was cold and cloudy out. Just because the two correlate doesn't mean weather actually causes joint pain. I've never heard of the ice cream/pregnancies example to represent this idea, but I have heard of the ice cream/crime example many times: Daily increases in crime rates correlate with spikes in the sale of ice cream. Therefore, ice cream causes crime and should be banned. Not true!