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New Study Says Fans of Auto Brands Have 3 Times as Many Fans. What Does This Mean? Oh, Nothing.

​A new article that was posted on Mashable touts how Facebook users who fan auto brands have three times as many fans as average. At first blush, this seems like it would be an amazing tidbit of information to file away. But, when you get right down to it, what does it mean? Unfortunately, I’m coming up with nothing.

A new article that was posted on Mashable touts how Facebook users who fan auto brands have three times as many fans as average. At first blush, this seems like it would be an amazing tidbit of information to file away. But, when you get right down to it, what does it mean? Unfortunately, I’m coming up with nothing.

Are they trying to say that liking cars makes you more social? Unfortunately, the study is incomplete; for it really to mean something; we would have to know what effect, if any, fanning other things would have?

One of the main problems that people have when it comes to facts is that they confuse correlation with causation. Causation means that one thing causes another, whereas correlation means that there are two things which occur, but the relationship between the two could be caused by external factors and they just look like they’re going together. For example, the number of knights in shining armor in the world has decreased over the past millennium, but average global temperatures have increased. Obviously, it would be a mistake to assume that they two are linked.

My personal inclination here is that the reason why people who fan auto brands have more friends is because the people who fan anything probably have more friends. There is a huge number of Facebook Accounts which were set up, got one friend, and never did anything else. Since people tend to fan things later, chances are these pages don’t have any fans listed at all. This skews the number down considerably.

So, while the tidbit is certainly interesting, it’s just that: a tidbit. It doesn’t mean much and shouldn’t be used for much.

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