A causal relationship exists when one event (cause) is necessary for a second event (effect) to occur. The order in which the two occur is also critical.
★ For intoxication to occur, there must be heavy drinking, which precedes intoxication.
★ Determining cause and effect is an important function of evaluation, but it is also a major challenge.
Causation can be complex:
★ Some causes may be necessary for an effect to be observed, but may not be sufficient; other factors may also be needed.
★ While one cause may result in a particular outcome, other causes may have the same effect.
Being able to correctly attribute causation is critical, particularly when conducting an evaluation and interpreting the findings.