Causal Interpretation of Statistical Relationships in Social Research

  • Stefan Nowak
Part of the Synthese Library book series (SYLI, volume 94)


The scientist, who has observed in his research that the event S was followed by the event B or that the class of events S was (or usually is) followed by the events belonging to the class B (when both classes may be finite or infinite in their number), may formulate on the basis of such findings two different types of conclusions:
  1. (a)

    He may simply assert that in his population or on a much larger scale (if he makes an inductive generalization from his findings) S is followed by B; or

  2. (b)

    He may also say that in his population or on a much broader scale (if not on a universal scale) S is the cause of B, or — in other terms — B is the effect of S.



Causal Relation Statistical Relationship Causal Connection Causal Interpretation Spurious Correlation 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.


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  1. Blalock, H., Causal Inference in Non-Experimental Research, Chapel Hill, 1969.Google Scholar
  2. Lazarsfeld P.F., Interpretation of Statistical Relationships as a Research Operation, in P.F. Lazarsfeld and M. Rosenberg (eds.), The Language of Social Research, Glencoe, 1955.Google Scholar
  3. Nowak, S., ‘Causal Interpretation of Statistical Relationships in Social Research’, Quality and Quantity 1, 1967.Google Scholar
  4. Nowak, S., ‘Inductive Inconsistencies and the Problems of Probabilistic Predictions’, in this volume, p. 228.Google Scholar
  5. Nowak, S., ‘Some Problems of Causal Interpretation of Statistical Relationships’, Philosophy of Science, February 1960.Google Scholar
  6. Nowak, S., Egalitarian Attitudes of Warsaw Students’, American Sociological Review, 1960.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© D. Reidel Publishing Company, Dordrecht, Holland 1976

Authors and Affiliations

  • Stefan Nowak

There are no affiliations available

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