Just because you didn't read the whole study, doesn't mean they make this error automatically.
Also, some studies are designed with particular causes included in the study, in order to check for correlations. Perhaps they started with situations where bad behavior exists, and then measured what correlates. In that case the knee-jerk accusation would almost always be wrong, because it is activated by the syntax of the speaker having implied a cause. But actually if you're searching for effects of a known potential cause instead of causes of a known effect then it inverts everything. So the knee-jerk reaction based on syntax can never know if it is correct or not. It might correlate with the logical error, but you can't accurately identify the cause of the syntax anomaly as being a logical error.
(If your syntax analysis was better, you might have noticed that even the media story describes the study as having measured the spread of introduced behaviors. Measuring the rate of an introduced factor spreading is the most basic correlation study you can do. There is no reason to presume there is implied cause there.)