The world loves statistics. Ever since the field of study came into being, experts have been looking to tie numbers to everything and to find connections. According to the history books, the earliest statisticians sought to apply the reason of mathematics to human interactions, which were seen as being rife with irrational emotions.
The application of statistics has even been tried in efforts to track the frequency and effects of divorce. Sometimes it is done to humorous effect, as can be seen in data that has been collected and displayed on the website Spurious Correlations.
If the correlations offered up on the site actually translated into actual causation, there might be something to worry about. For example, the site reveals that as U.S. consumption of milk rises, the number of divorces in Texas goes up. Another correlates the rate of divorce in Arizona with the number of people killed in the U.S. by lightning each year.
The problem, of course, is that correlation does not mean causation and, as the samples from the website reflect, statistics can be made to say whatever we want them to say. The old adage, “there are lies, damned lies and statistics,” comes to mind.
The truth of things, which all experienced family law attorneys in Minnesota know, is that divorce and the issues that can be associated with the process are deeply personal and emotion-filled. And to obtain the best possible outcomes for all the parties involved, the human elements have to be acknowledged, honored and addressed.
That’s the way to ensure that everyone can move forward with their lives with the greatest sense of stability possible.
Source: The Huffington Post, “When People Drink More Whole Milk, More People In Texas Get Divorced,” Taryn Hillin, May 13, 2014