Bottle shop barometer of bashings.
Explicit claims of correlation are not found that often in the daily newspaper. This article is hence a nice one to use when introducing a discussion on the correlation coefficient as well as discussion of cause-effect relationships in between variables.
Although the first two paragraphs of the article discuss correlation, a cause-effect relationship is implied in the third when it is claimed that reductions in assaults and offensive behaviour would occur in some areas if alcohol sales were cut. Students might like to discuss this claim and whether there might be some lurking variable associated with all of the variables mentioned.
To see if students understand the basics of correlation, they could be asked to draw a sketch of what a graph might look like which displayed the correlation discussed in the article. How many points would be in a scatter plot?  How could the axes be labelled to display the positive relationship between alcohol sales and say offensive behaviour? Something like shown below might result.
Where to next?
Student Questions for this article
Index - Related articles
Index - Data Reduction
Numeracy in the News - Main Index