In simplistic causal models, patterns of variation in the phenomenon under investigation which are attributed solely to the influence of one factor, without any mediation by intervening variables (see also dependent and independent variables). An example would be if an increase in violent behaviour on the streets were to be attributed solely to the influence of an increase in depictions of violence in the mass media, with no allowance made for any other factors (such as differences between viewers or different kinds of violence). This kind of reductionism is a feature of hard determinism, as in the hypodermic model. See also causation; effects; compare indirect effects.
Subjects: Media Studies.