lurking variable

lurking variable

Clinical trials A variable in a study population that is undetected/unsuspected and may alter interpretation of causal relationships. See Observational study.
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finding appears to be a clear example of a spurious correlation (otherwise known as illusory correlation or the "lurking variable"), a situation in which two otherwise unrelated variables are correlated because each is related to a third unmeasured variable.
In both instances, the researcher needs to keep in mind the potential for lurking variables, creating a syndrome frequently referred to as Simpson's paradox (Demers & Rossmo, 2015; Fu, et al., 2015; Galipaud et al., 2015; Norton & Devine, 2015; Simon & Rossmo, 2015).
Spurious regression and lurking variables. Statistics & Probability Letters, 81(12), 2004-2011.
The order of the cures was randomized by Design-Expert as insurance against lurking variables, such as machine wear.