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Causality assumes that the value of an interdependent variable is the reason for the value of a dependent variable. In other words, a person’s value on Y is caused by that person’s value on X, or X causes Y. Most social scientific research is interested in testing causal claims. In fact, most theoretically derived hypotheses implicitly (or explicitly) assume causal relationships. However, causality is very difficult to prove. In fact, some believe that causality can never be demonstrated with finality and that the best researchers can do is to generate increasingly compelling evidence that is consistent with causality.

There are three widely accepted preconditions to establish causality: first, that the variables are associated; second, that the independent variable precedes the dependent variable in temporal order; and ...

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