The demonstration of non-spuriousness is both critical in making causal statements and extremely difficult. Unfortunately this issue is often summarily dealt with in methodological treatments in which spuriousness is reduced to instances of “common cause”. It is argued here, among other things, that extraneous variables need not be prior to the independent nor necessarily causally related to either independent or dependent variable. This being so, spuriousness is a far more common theoretical problem than is often currently acknowledged, and we might do well today to listen again to the advice of an earlier generation of sociologists whose work on the topic deserves more careful attention than it appears to have received.
Quality & Quantity – Springer Journals
Published: Oct 6, 2004
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