Causal Analysis, History of

Tim Futing Liao, Inna F. Deviatko

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingEntry for encyclopedia/dictionary


This article examines the history of causal research traditions in the social sciences. We identify two major bases for the methods and logic of causal analysis in the social sciences - experimental designs and statistical methods - and discuss the developments in these two correlated research traditions, especially the implications of these developments for the social sciences. While the focus of our discussion is on the developments in western societies, we also briefly review prominent features of causal analysis in the social sciences in non-western societies.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationInternational Encyclopedia of the Social & Behavioral Sciences
EditorsJames D Wright
PublisherElsevier Inc.
Number of pages4
ISBN (Electronic)9780080970875
ISBN (Print)9780080970868
StatePublished - Mar 26 2015


  • Causal analysis
  • Causality
  • Confounding
  • Counterfactuals
  • Experiment
  • Experimental design
  • Experimentation
  • Field experiment
  • Hypothesis testing
  • Quasi-experiment
  • Quasi-experimentation
  • Selection bias
  • Statistical analysis
  • Statistics
  • Structural equation modeling

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Social Sciences


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