February 19 Causality & Casual Inference

February 19 Causality & Casual Inference - Causality...

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February 19, 2008 Lecture Overview: Causality Causal inference Threats to causal inference Internal validity Causality A cause-effect relationship implies that one variable causes another: Independent variable (cause, denoted as ‘x’) 1 not being caused by anything else 2 free to change Dependent variable (effect, denoted as ‘y’) 1 only relevant in a casual relationship Independent (x) Dependent (y) Three conditions for establishing a cause-effect (causal) relationship (what kind of evidence needs to be present in order to establish a cause-effect relationship?): Covariation of the cause and effect (association) 1 two variables that change together 2 association- when x changes, y changes too 3 i.e.—education increases income (education changes, income changes) Temporal precedence- the cause precedes the effect 1 the cause comes before the outcome 2 i.e.—education increases income (the education has to come first) 3 i.e.—causal relationship between gender and communication competence (the gender would be the temporal precedence because it precedes competence…it’s something you’re born with) Elimination of plausible alternative explanations for the covariation (third variables)
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February 19 Causality & Casual Inference - Causality...

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