causality - Causality Cause An explanation for some...

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Causality Cause – An explanation for some characteristic, attitude, or behavior of groups, individuals, other entities, or for events A. Criteria for causality 1. Correlation – an empirical relationship between two variables a. Attributes on one variable are associated with attributes of another variable (example: race and support for capital punishment) b. Changes in one variable are associated with changes in another variable 1) Positive correlation – as the values on one variable go up, the values on the other variable also go up (example: education and wages) 2) Negative correlation – as the values on one variable go up, the values on the other variable go down, and vice versa (example: hours spent playing PS3 and GPA) 2. Temporal priority – the causal variable needs to occur earlier in time than the outcome variable Which comes first? Race L support for capital punishment Social class L Number of siblings 3. Non-spuriousness – the relationship between two variables cannot be explained by a third variable What are the spurious factors? Ice cream sales L crime Storks L birth rates B. Types of Causal Explanations 1. Ideographic causal explanation – a series of events following an initial set of conditions leads in a progressive manner to a particular event or outcome Features Holistic – considers all factors that contributed to outcome Deterministic – confluence of factors necessitates outcome
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This note was uploaded on 03/26/2008 for the course SOC soc300 taught by Professor Ort during the Spring '08 term at N.C. State.

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causality - Causality Cause An explanation for some...

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