One thing is held to cause another when in fact both are the effect of a single underlying cause. This fallacy is often understood as a special case of post hoc ergo prompter hoc.
- We are experiencing high unemployment which is being caused by a low consumer demand. (In fact, both may be caused by high interest rates.)
- You have a fever and this is causing you to break out in spots. (In fact, both symptoms are caused by the measles.)