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An Association or a voluntary association is a group of individuals who voluntarily enter into an agreement to form a body (or organization) to accomplish a purpose. Strictly speaking in many jurisdictions no formalities are necessary to start an association, though without two people it is difficult to imagine how a one person association would operate. Some jurisdictions require that the association register with the police or other official body to inform the public of the association's existence. Associations that are organized for profit or financial gain are usually called partnerships. Associations may take the form of a non-profit organization or they may be not-for-profit corporations. Most associations have some kind of document or documents that regulate the way in which the body meets and operates. Such an instrument is often called the organization's bylaws, regulations, or agreement of association.

In some civil law systems, an association is considered a special form of contract. In the Civil Code of Quebec this is a type of nominate contract. In France conventional associations are regulated by Association loi 1901.

In statistics, an association comes from two variables who are related. Many people confuse association with causation. Association DOES NOT imply causation.

For example, the United Nations did a study of Government failure - when governments fall or are overthrown. They best indicator of a government about to fall was the infant mortality rate. The dead children do not cause the government to fall, rather they are an indicator of a bad one that is about to.

Several tests can be used to determine association. The P test, T test, and Chi-squared test are the most common.

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