Wrong direction is a logical fallacy of causation where cause and effect are reversed. The cause is said to be the effect and vice versa.
For instance, a tobacco company executive once suggested that cancer caused smoking as a matter of pain relief, to explain the high correlation between them.
In other cases it may simply be unclear which is the cause and which is the effect. For example:
Children that watch a lot of TV are the most violent. Clearly, TV makes children more violent.
This could easily be the other way round; that is, violent children like watching more TV than less violent ones.
An historical example is that people in the Middle Ages where conviced that lice where beneficial to your health, since there would almost never be any lice on sick people. The reasoning was that the people got sick because the lice left. The real reason however is that lice are extremely sensitive to body temperature. A small increase of bodytemperature, a beginning fever, will make the lice go look for another host. The medical thermometer had not been invented yet so this increase in temperature could not be noticed. Noticable symptoms came later, giving the impression that the lice left before the person got sick.
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