Topic XVIII. Singular vs. General Causation
Context for this filter:
- B. CONCEPT ACQUISITION
- Multiple Causation: Any given effect may be brought about by a complex combination of many causes (which may interact with each other), with varying degrees of influence on the outcome. (see Topic XIII).
- Exemplary Quotes
- "Just because the drug didn't cure me doesn't mean it can't cure you. RCTs show that it does help most people with our condition."
- "I know penicillin saves lives. But I shouldn't take it no matter how sick I feel, because I'm allergic to penicillin. For me, that cure is worse than the disease."
- Cautionary Quotes: Mistakes, Misconceptions, & Misunderstandings
- Some students think that an RCT can demonstrate singular causation, whereas in fact it can only establish general causation.
- "This drug will absolutely cure you, because there was a really big RCT that showed it works for your exact disease!"
- Discussion Questions
- Why do you think it is so tempting to assume that each event has one and only one cause?