How to solve questions related to Cause and Effect: Tricks and Practice Questions

By | December 9, 2021
questions related to Cause and Effect

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This article titled ‘How to solve questions related to Cause and Effect: Tricks and Practice Questions’ is written by Aditya Kumar and discusses the tricks and tips to solve questions related to cause and effect.

I. What do you mean by cause and effect relationship questions? 

The purpose of these questions is to determine if a particular event is the cause or effect of another occurrence. The purpose of the questions is to assess a candidate’s analytical and logical abilities. In other words, the cause is the logical or scientific rationale for an event that has occurred, and effects are the event’s repercussions.

It is a fundamental property of nature that events do not happen, they happen because there was a cause behind them. These causes are the conditions under which these events happen.

A necessary condition for the occurrence of a specified event is a circumstance in whose absence the ever cannot occur. For example, the presence of oxygen is a necessary condition for any fire. No fire can take place without oxygen being present. But, although it is a necessary condition, the presence of oxygen is not a sufficient condition for fire to occur. A sufficient condition for the occurrence of events: circumstance in whose presence the event must occur.

Example

Event A:  Major Aman was educated in one of the best educational institutions in India  Event B:  Major Aman has extremely fluent English power

1) If ‘A’ is the effect and ‘B’ is its immediate and principal cause 2) If ‘A’ is the immediate and principal cause and ‘B’ is its effect

  1. If ‘A’ is an effect but ‘B’ is not its immediate and principal cause
  2. If ‘B’ is an effect but ‘A’ is not its immediate and principal cause
  3. None of these

Answer is 4

Event B is in the present tense while A is in the past tense. So, only A can be the cause. Now, if we analyse closely, Event A could be a cause but it is not the principal cause. Being educated in a good institution is not a sufficient condition to guarantee fluency in speaking. Had it been so, all persons passing from good schools would have been phenomenal speakers.

II. Different Types of Causes

1. Immediate Cause: An immediate cause is one that occurs immediately before the effect.

EXAMPLE  I kicked Aditya after that he slapped me.

                   Here, the immediate cause is “I kicked Aditya”.

2. Principal Cause: It is the most important reason behind the effect.

EXAMPLE Aditi fails in the mid-term exam because she does not study.

                  Here, the principal cause is ‘she does not study’

3. Common Cause: Two effects given in two statements may be caused by a third unmentioned event which is called the common cause of the given events.

EXAMPLE

Statement 1. Global warming is decreasing.

Statement 2. The carbon dioxide is reducing

Here, the common cause will be the “increase in growth of tree” is increasing.

III. Points to remember while solving Cause and effect question 

  1. The cause is an event that leads to a said effect and this fact is either scientifically proven or logically expected.
  2. Technically, cause means a sufficient condition i.e. a collection of all necessary conditions in the presence of which the effect must take place.
  3. But, practically we mean to cause to be the immediate and principal reason behind the effect.
  4. An immediate cause means a cause that immediately precedes the effect and a principal cause means a cause that was the most important reason behind the effect.
  5. Since cause must occur before the effect, we can merely look at the given two events first and by analysing the tense thus, we can declare which event can’t be a cause.
  6. Two statements that may or may not have a causal relationship with one another will be given. The question would be to identify the causal relationship that the two statements have

IV. Practice questions

1. A minor league baseball franchise experienced a drop in attendance this week after they suffered three losses by margins of ten runs or more last week. Many spectators of those games wrote letters to the editors of the local sporting news, complaining of the poor play of the team in those three losses. Nevertheless, the front office of this baseball franchise maintains that the team’s poor play in those three losses has nothing to do with this week’s decline in attendance.

Which of the following, if true, most strongly supports the position held by the front office of the baseball franchise?

  1. The spectators who wrote letters to the local sporting news were long-standing fans of this minor league baseball team.
  2. Many minor league baseball franchises attribute a drop in attendance to the quality of play of the team only after a string of losses.
  3. Other minor league teams in that region of the state reported a similar drop in attendance this week.
  4. This was not the first time this team suffered multiple lopsided losses in a single week, prompting similar letters to the local sporting news

2. With the invention and first commercial flights of the airplane, the revenues of railway companies specializing in cargo transport were predicted to decrease dramatically because companies that started transporting goods by air averaged significantly less use of railway transportation than companies that did not transport their goods by air. However, this alone was not sufficient to prove that railway companies should have expected a significant decrease in revenues because___________

  1. some companies at that time could not afford air transport.
  2. in some cases, companies transporting goods by air still used rail for larger products, because most trains can carry significantly more weight than planes.
  3. before commercial flights came into service, most companies that started to use them had been transporting their goods by water and rarely used railway transportation.
  4. even though companies using air transport averaged less use than other companies, some individual companies still transported most of their goods by train.

3. Because of an economic downturn in Laconia, annual sales of computer companies decreased by roughly 8 percent over the last two years. Computer manufacturers that supply Laconian computer companies have noticed that the proportion of credit given to computer companies operating in Laconia and not paid off on time sharply increased over the first year of the crisis but returned to its normal level during the second year.

Which of the following, if true, best helps explain why the proportion of credit not paid off on time returned to its normal level during the second year of the economic downturn?

  1. Sales of computer companies specializing in repairing and selling used computers did not decrease during the first year of the economic downturn.
  2. During the second year of the economic downturn, many computer companies tried to increase their sales by launching advertising campaigns.
  3. Most computer companies that experienced financial difficulties before the economic downturn closed during its first year.
  4. During the second year of the economic downturn, many computer manufacturers increased the total amount of credit extended to computer companies in Laconia.

V. Solution 

  1. C option Other minor league teams in that region of the state reported a similar drop in attendance this week. – Correct — some other factor caused the drop -> Effect occurred without cause.
  2. C Option This explanation makes complete sense. The majority of the companies that switched to using commercial flights for transporting cargo had rarely used railway transportation anyway. With this new knowledge, we understand why the revenues of the railway companies might not have been as negatively impacted as predicted. The railways were not losing a lot of clients to commercial flights for cargo transportation.
  3. C Option states that the companies that were closed had been unprofitable during the first year. During the 2nd year, only those companies that were profitable survived and hence were able to pay the credit taken to the banks.

References

  1. Mk Pandey Analytical reasoning
  2. Gmat forum

  1. Law Library: Notes and Study Material for LLB, LLM, Judiciary and Entrance Exams
  2. Legal Bites Academy – Ultimate Test Prep Destination          
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Author: Aditya Kumar

Chanakya National Law University

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