'Asking The Right Questions', by Neil Browne and Stuart Keeley discusses this problem:

We have an inherent tendency to 'see' events that are associated, or which 'go together', as events that cause one another.

That is, we conclude that because characteristic X (e.g., amount of TV viewing) is associated with characteristic Y (e.g., performance in school), that X therefore causes Y.

The following are examples of such reasoning...

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