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SOCI 2P00 (11)
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Chapter 9

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Brock University

Chapter 9: Are There Rival Causes  WHY  A rival cause is a plausible alternative explanation that can explain why a certain outcome occurred  Indicators of causal relations o X leads to.. o X influences.. o X is linked to.. o X deters.. o X increases the likelihood.. o X determines.. o X is associated with.. o X has the effect of..  Detecting rival causes can help us better react to causal conclusions encountered in.. o A) our everyday personal relationships o B) past or ongoing world events o C) results of research studies  Many kinds of events are open to explanation by rival causes  Experts can examine the same evidence and discover different causes to explain it  Most communicators will provide you with only their favoured causes; the critical reader or listener must generate rival causes  Generating rival causes is a creative process; usually, such causes will not be obvious  The certainty of a particular causal claim is inversely related to the number of plausible rival causes. Hence, identifying the multiple rival causes gives the critical thinker the proper sense of intellectual humility  Detecting rival causes o Can I think of any other way to interpret the evidence? o What else might have caused th
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