asymmetrical causal processes

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An irreversible or one-way causation process. Once A has been set in motion and caused B, the new situation becomes permanent, and cannot be reversed by eliminating or reducing A after the event. Asymmetrical causal processes are more common in the social world than in the physical world, invalidate many of the assumptions underlying statistical inference and social statistics, and pose special problems in policy research. See Stanley Lieberson, Making it Count (1985).

Subjects: Sociology.

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