The student's analytical reasoning ability is tested by questions on the subject of "Cause and Effect". Questions based on cause and effect test the ability of the candidate to determine the relation between two events and examine how they are dependent on each other i.e., which of them is the cause for the other one.
If an action or situation (A) has occurred because of some other action or situation (B). then (B) is the cause of (A). Alternatively, (A) is said to be the effect of (B).
Let us learn
These questions require that the given statements be classified either as "Cause1' or "Effect”.
In order to do this correctly, the nature of the relationship that exists between the statements needs to be properly understood and identified.
There are various types of "Cause and Effect" Questions that can come in an exam which are as follows:
Type 1: One of the statements is the cause and the other is the effect. Example 1:
Statement A - The railway signalling system is not functioning properly.
Statement B - There have been many rail accidents lately.
In this case the malfunctioning of the signalling system is the reason for the rail accidents Hence,
is the Cause and (B) is the Effect
Statement A - Zakir Hussain is a genius who has composed amazing musical pieces through years of determination and hard work.
Statement B - Zakir Hussain was awarded the National award for outstanding achievement is music.
In this case statement (b) has occurred because of (a), Without (a), (b) would not have happened. This shows that (a) is the "Cause" of (b), or you can say that (b) is the "Effect" of (a).
Type 2: Both Statements Are Independent Causes.
Car manufacturers have released very affordable cars to target the middle class.
The finance minister has announced a reduction in excise duty.
The objective in this question is to identify the relation between the two statements i.e. between car manufacturers releasing affordable cars and the finance minister announcing a reduction in excise duty. Statement A can obviously not be the cause of statement B. The reduction in duty need not be the cause of the strategy of car manufacturers to target the middle class people buying cars. Statement B might result in a general reduction in prices of goods. Therefore, we can say that both A and B are independent causes.
Statement A - Indonesia suffered a major earthquake today.
Statement B - The term of the Indonesian prime minister ends by December.
The two statements given above are independent of each other, but they lead to certain major consequences. Hence, they are independent causes.
Type 3: Both statements are effects of a common cause.
Statement A - Mother Teresa was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize. Statement B -Mother Teresa is loved and respected all over the world. Solution:
In this case, both the statements are effects of the exemplary work of Mother Teresa. Even though there is no direct connection between the two statements, a link to the two statements is clearly indicative of a common cause.
Hence, (A) and (B) are both effects of a common cause.
Statement A - The harvest of rain-dependent crops has been affected badly this year.
Statement B - Farmers in areas without artificial irrigation have suffered this year.
Both the statements are likely to have resulted of the lack of rain or lower rainfall in the areas where there is no artificial irrigation and the crops are rain-dependent. So, we can say that both the statements are effects of the same cause.
Hence, (A) and (B) are both effects of a common cause.
Type 4: Two statements Are effects Of Independent causes.
Statement A: Indian athletes are unable to perform well at the Olympic games. Statement B: The India hockey team failed to qualify for the world championships.
The objective in this question is to identify the relation between the two statement i.e. between Indian athletes being unable to perform well at the Olympics and the Indian hockey team not qualifying.
Statement A can obviously not be the cause of statement B neither can it be the other way round,
It is also unlikely that the general poor performance of Indian athletes at the Olympics is because of the same reason why the Indian hockey team was unable to qualify for the world championships. Hence, we can say that both statements A and B are independent effects.
Statement A: Aniket was not able to secure a position at the prestigious National Defense
Statement B: The number of candidates applying for the National Defense Academy has decreased this year.
The objective in this question is to identify the relation between the two statements i.e. between Aniket not being able to qualify for the NDA and the decrease in the number of applications.
Statement A can obviously not be the cause of statement B neither can it be the other way round. It is also unlikely that the Aniket not being able to qualify is because of the same reason why the number of people applying for the NDA has decreased. Aniket may have not been adequately prepared; the NDA may have increased their fees or there may be a change in prospects in NDA which may have discouraged applications from candidates. Therefore, we can say that both statements A and B are independent effects.
TIPS, TRICKS for EXAM
The question in an exam can be asked in the following TWO ways:- First Way - Question asked in Exam
Given below are pairs of event 'A' and 'B'. You have to read both the events 'A' and 'B' and decide the nature of relationship between them. You have to assume that the information given in ’A’ and ’B' is true and you will not assume anything beyond the given information in deciding the answer.
(1) if A is the effect and B is the immediate and principle cause.
(2) If B is the effect and A is its immediate and principle cause
(3) If A is the effect and B is the not its immediate and principle cause.
(4) If B is the effect and A is the not its immediate and principle cause.
(5) None of these
TIPS & TRICKS to solve such question:- First understand the difference between types of Causes:-
a) Immediate Cause: This is the cause that has occurred most recently. Consider the example of snowfall. Water is heated by the sun and it evaporates into the atmosphere. Once in the atmosphere, it cools down to a very low temperature and precipitates as snow. There are a few causes that have led to snowfall. The most immediate being the fact that the raindrops freeze in the low temperatures of the atmosphere.
b) Principal Cause: This is the main cause responsible for an event. The immediate cause may or may not be the Principal cause.
c) Independent Cause: This is the cause that is independent of the events. In other words, the effect and the cause may not have a direct relationship or any relationship at all.
How to select Option carefully:-
1. First find whether the events / statements given are related to each other or no.
2. Once it is found out, that events are related, one should check the chronological order in which they occur. Because in a cause and effect relation, the cause occurs before the effect.
3. The next task is to find whether the cause is a principal and immediate one or not. For a cause to be an immediate one, the time frame is irrelevant.
4. Choose (1) or (2), only if both the conditions, principal and immediate, are satisfied. If any
one or both condition(s) is/are not satisfied then one should go for choice (3) or (4).
5. When it is found that the events are related, but any one of them can be a cause for the other, as it cannot be determined as to which is the cause and which is the effect, choice (5) should be marked as an answer.
Second Way - Question asked in Exam
Below in each question are given two statement A and B. These statements may be either independent causes or may be the effects of independent causes. One of the statements may be the effect of the other statement. Read both the statement and decide which of the following answer choice correctly depict the relationship between two statements.
Mark Answer (1) if statement A is the cause and statement B is its effect. Mark Answer (2) if statement B is the cause and statement A its effect Mark Answer (3) If both the statement (A) and (B) are independent causes.
Mark Answer (4) if both the statement (A) and (B) are effect of independent causes. Mark Answer (5) if both the statement are effect of some common cause
TIPS & TRICKS to solve such question:- How to select Option carefully:-
1. Do not judge whether individual statements are correct or wrong from your personal viewpoint.
2. Pay special attention to option (5) as most students overlook this option when they see that there are two related statements and choose from the first two options,
3. The options will help you solve the question even if one of the statements is ambiguous.
4. If there is no relation between the two statements you can eliminate option 1, 2 and 5 because in these options you are bound to see some connection between the two statements. In this case you only have to see whether the statements appear to be causes or effects and decide between options 3 and 4.
5. To identify statements that seem to be related, try to imagine which statements will chronologically follow the other. This will help you distinguish between the cause and effect.