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Concept of Causality and Conditions for Causality

Part 2. Marketing Research

  1. Harmen Oppewal

Published Online: 15 DEC 2010

DOI: 10.1002/9781444316568.wiem02059

Wiley International Encyclopedia of Marketing

Wiley International Encyclopedia of Marketing

How to Cite

Oppewal, H. 2010. Concept of Causality and Conditions for Causality. Wiley International Encyclopedia of Marketing. 2.

Author Information

  1. Monash University, Melbourne, Victoria, Australia

Publication History

  1. Published Online: 15 DEC 2010

Abstract

The concept of causality has been debated over the centuries but remains one of the most valuable types of knowledge because it tells what can or should be done to obtain a desired consequence or to avoid an undesirable outcome. Causality concerns relationships where a change in one variable necessarily results in a change in another variable. There are three conditions for causality: covariation, temporal precedence, and control for “third variables.” The latter comprise alternative explanations for the observed causal relationship. Spurious relationships occur when covariation between variables suggests a causal effect but where this covariation is, in fact, the result of an underlying shared cause.

Keywords:

  • causality;
  • theory of  knowledge;
  • third variable;
  • spurious relations;
  • empiricism;
  • correlation;
  • impact assessment