Graphics for the Minimal Sufficient Cause Model

Graphics for the Minimal Sufficient Cause Model Graphical representations of causation have been usedfor at least seventy years, and the modern developmentof directed acyclic graphs to portray causal systemscontinues the trend. It is sometimes difficult tounderstand, however, what it is about these diagramsthat is `causal'. The approach to causal graphicsthat is taken here is to base the development ofgraphics on the concepts of an underlying causaltheory, the minimal sufficient cause model. Thisleads to defining a Boolean `and' for arrows thatrepresent causal pathways, and a Boolean `or' forcollections of pathways. Complementation is a morecomplex operation in the minimal sufficient causetheory than simply inverting the sense of a causalrelationship, and this also is represented in thegraphics. By using diagrams that are more faithful tounderlying causal systems, and using a coherent causaltheory, both the perception of causation and itsanalysis might be enhanced. http://www.deepdyve.com/assets/images/DeepDyve-Logo-lg.png Quality & Quantity Springer Journals

Graphics for the Minimal Sufficient Cause Model

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Publisher
Kluwer Academic Publishers
Copyright
Copyright © 2001 by Kluwer Academic Publishers
Subject
Social Sciences; Methodology of the Social Sciences; Social Sciences, general
ISSN
0033-5177
eISSN
1573-7845
D.O.I.
10.1023/A:1004839611997
Publisher site
See Article on Publisher Site

Abstract

Graphical representations of causation have been usedfor at least seventy years, and the modern developmentof directed acyclic graphs to portray causal systemscontinues the trend. It is sometimes difficult tounderstand, however, what it is about these diagramsthat is `causal'. The approach to causal graphicsthat is taken here is to base the development ofgraphics on the concepts of an underlying causaltheory, the minimal sufficient cause model. Thisleads to defining a Boolean `and' for arrows thatrepresent causal pathways, and a Boolean `or' forcollections of pathways. Complementation is a morecomplex operation in the minimal sufficient causetheory than simply inverting the sense of a causalrelationship, and this also is represented in thegraphics. By using diagrams that are more faithful tounderlying causal systems, and using a coherent causaltheory, both the perception of causation and itsanalysis might be enhanced.

Journal

Quality & QuantitySpringer Journals

Published: Oct 3, 2004

References

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