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  • A cause is a phenomenon that brings about or determines a change, an effect, or a result. Demonstrating that one thing has caused another can be difficult. Hence, causation is a highly complicated and controversial concept. Some scholars deny that it is possible or appropriate to study cause in the social and behavioral sciences. Others claim that cause in the human disciplines is no different from cause in the natural sciences. Others point out that even in the natural sciences, causal determinism is seldom clear; uncertainty rules in the natural sciences, too.

    Most researchers would agree that for a causal relation to exist, some conditions are necessary but not sufficient. (To win the lottery, it is necessary to buy a ticket, but it is not sufficient.) ...

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