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Cause and Effect Tricks & Tips

Cause and Effect Tricks & Tips



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Cause and Effect is a common area of testing in any competitive examination.  They appear often in the Logical Reasoning, Verbal Reasoning or Verbal Aptitude sections. This is especially true of banking exams. This quick guide with 6 easy tips to solve cause and effect in verbal reasoning will help you in any exam.

Understanding Cause and Effect in Verbal Reasoning

The main aim of cause and effect questions is to derive the relationship between two given statements. The relationship that needs to be tested is whether the statements are causally related to each other. This means we need to find out whether one of the statements is a direct cause of the other or conversely whether one of the statements is a direct effect of the other.

What Are Causes?

Causes are the conditions under which an event occurs. For example, can you guess the causes for the following?

  1. The police increasing security around the President’s house.
  2. Lots of people buying a particular expensive brand of washing machines around Diwali.

Easily, we can guess causes for the above events.

  1. There were reports of threats against the President.
  2. There was a high discount or sale for that brand during Diwali.

Scientific View of Causes

Now, what is the scientific view of the cause?

  1. It is a scientifically proven fact that the cause leads to the effect
  2. The effect should logically follow from the same cause.

Sufficient & Necessary Conditions

In a cause and effect question, the cause is the sufficient condition. It is assumed that the sufficient condition of the occurrence of the events must include the different necessary conditions as well.

necessary condition is one that must be satisfied for the occurrence of an event.

E.g. You must adhere to the deadline to get your work appraised.

This means if you get your work appraised, you have to adhere to the deadline. Or, if you do not do not adhere to the deadline, you do not get your work appraised.

A condition is called a sufficient condition if in a certain event, you are satisfied with the results.

Eg: Being human is a sufficient condition for being a mammal.

The act of being a human is not possible unless one is also a mammal. But it is not necessary that being human is a necessary condition for being a mammal.

Types of Causes

What can be the different causes?

  1. Immediate Cause: It immediately precedes the effect. This cause shares the closest proximity with the effect with relation to time.
  2. Principal Cause:The most important reason behind the effect. The immediate cause can be the principal cause and vice versa.
  3. Independent cause: There is no relationship between the cause and the given effect.

 

Tips to Solve Cause and Effect Problems with Examples

 

Let us take the following examples to teach a few tips to master cause and effect.

Directions: Below each question are given two statements (I) and (II). These statements may be either independent causes or may be effects of independent causes or a common cause. One of these statements may be the effect of the other statement. Read both the statements and decide which of the following answer choice correctly depicts the relationship between these two statements.

Options:

  1. If statement (I) is the cause and statement (II) is the effect.
  2. If statement (II) is the cause and statement (I) is the effect.
  3. If both the statements (I) and (II) are independent causes.
  4. If both the statements (I) and (II) are effects of some independent causes.
  5. If both the statements (I) and (II) are effects of some common cause.

Example 1:

  1. China became a hotspot for global manufacturing in the late 80s, and continues to be so till the present.
  2. China has abundant sources of cheap manpower and natural resources – both of which are essential for industrial growth.

Ans: 2
Solution: The reason for China becoming a hotspot for manufacturing globally has been stated in Statement II. The factors of cheap labour and abundance of natural resources contributed to the industrial growth of China in the late 80s and helped it become a manufacturing hub. Thus, statement II is the cause and statement I is the effect. Here, the reason is a principal cause. The words ‘till the present’ also gives an indication that statement 1 cannot be the cause because the cause should always precede the effect.

Tip 1: To effectively answer a cause and effect question, we need to understand the premise under discussion. Here, the premise is China becoming a hotspot for manufacturing and its cause.

Example 2:

  1. There is a possibility of snowfall in the next 2 days.
  2. The handloom industries increased their production by 50%.

Ans: 1
Solution: The possibility of snowfall in the imminent future means that people will need to use woollen wear. To meet this increased demand, handloom industries will step up their production. Thus statement I is the cause and statement II is the effect. This is an immediate cause. Because of the possibility of snowfall, the handloom industry increased the production.

Tip 2: Sometimes, the premise under discussion is not very directly observable. So, we need to use our awareness faculty and take into consideration all the effects of a possible cause.

Example 3:

  1. Anu was not granted a visa to the US.
  2. Anu’s flight to Denver was delayed by at least fifteen hours

Ans: 4
Solution: Sometimes to answer the question, we need to differentiate between what is a cause and what is an effect. Here, both statements are clearly effects. Anu might not have been granted a visa due to some reason (like withholding information, or her having pending criminal cases). However she had no part to play in her flight getting delayed.  Indeed, flights don’t get delayed because of one person not having her visa. These things are checked at the immigration department either at the departing airport or the arriving airport. The delay must have been caused by some other reason then (like weather, or crowded airways or runways). These two reasons cannot be related even though the situations are related to the same person.

Tip 3: This is a good example to show that even if the situations are related to the same subject, they might not have a cause and effect relationship between them.

Example 4:

  1. Aamir’s movie has crossed the 100 crore mark.
  2. His movie has been nominated for the Oscars.

Ans: 5
Solution: Here, the reason for the movie being nominated is not that it has crossed the 100 crore mark. Vice versa is also not true. Hence, there is a cause for the movie being nominated and there is a cause for it crossing the 100 crore mark. The possible common cause is that the movie was very good and therefore appreciated by both public and the critics.

Tip 4: Do not try to always fit the statements in a cause-effect relationship. Sometimes, they could be just effects of a common or independent cause.

Example 5:

  1. He had not paid the rent.
  2. He has not arrived yet.

Ans: 4
Solution: Consider this example:
He has not paid the rent because he did not get his salary.
Here, ‘not getting the salary’ is the cause of the effect ‘not paying rent’. Hence, 1 is an effect. Clearly, this makes more sense than this being a cause as nobody would intentionally default on paying his rent.
Also, consider the following example:
He has not arrived yet because of the traffic.
Hence, ‘he has not arrived yet’ is the effect. This also makes more sense than it being a cause because there must be a reason for being later than expected.
These two effects are independent of each other and apply to different situations.

 

Tip 5: There are some situations which could be either causes or effects. The trick is to identify whether there is any specific effect mentioned in relation to the statements. If there is we take them to be causes. If not, they are most likely effects.

Example 6:

  1. The Government recently increased the duty on mid-sized cars.
  2. Last year the government had hiked taxes for all industrial activities

Ans: 3
Solution: Here, the two statements deal with two different things: ‘duty on cars’ and ‘hiked taxes for industries’. Hence, these two are not related to each other. They are not effects of anything. These rules may, however, affect other things like sales. Hence, these are independent causes.

 

TIP 6: Tip 5 is not a watertight rule. In this example, we see that the effect has not been mentioned, yet we are considering the statements as causes. In such cases, we need to figure out whether something can cause a wider effect than being a small effect alone. If it more likely causes a wider effect, then it is a cause.

Practice Sets On cause & Effect


Directions to Solve

In each of the following questions, two statements numbered I and II are given. There may be cause and effect relationship between the two statements. These two statements may be the effect of the same cause or independent causes. These statements may be independent causes without having any relationship. Read both the statements in each question and mark your answer as

  • (A) If statement I is the cause and statement II is its effect;
  • (B) If statement II is the cause and statement I is its effect;
  • (C) If both the statements I and II are independent causes;
  • (D) If both the statements I and II are effects of independent causes; and
  • (E) If both the statements I and II are effects of some common cause.
1. Statements:

  1. The prices of petrol and diesel in the domestic market have remained unchanged for the past few months.
  2. The crude oil prices in the international market have gone up substantially in the last few months.
A. Statement I is the cause and statement II is its effect
B. Statement II is the cause and statement I is its effect
C. Both the statements I and II are independent causes
D. Both the statements I and II are effects of independent causes
E. Both the statements I and II are effects of some common cause

EXPLANATION

Answer: Option D

Explanation:

The prices of petrol and diesel being stagnant in the domestic market and the increase in the same in the international market must be backed by independent causes.

2. Statements:

  1. The government has recently fixed the fees for professional courses offered by the unaided institutions which are much lower than the fees charged last year.
  2. The parents of the aspiring students launched a severe agitation last year protesting against the high fees charged by the unaided institutions.
A. Statement I is the cause and statement II is its effect
B. Statement II is the cause and statement I is its effect
C. Both the statements I and II are independent causes
D. Both the statements I and II are effects of independent causes
E. Both the statements I and II are effects of some common cause

EXPLANATION

Answer: Option B

Explanation:

The parents’ protest against high fees being charged by the institutions led the government to interfere and fix the fees at a more affordable level.

3. Statements:

  1. The Reserve Bank of India has recently put restrictions on few small banks in the country.
  2. The small banks in the private and co-operative sector in India are not in a position to withstand the competitions of the bigger in the public sector.
A. Statement I is the cause and statement II is its effect
B. Statement II is the cause and statement I is its effect
C. Both the statements I and II are independent causes
D. Both the statements I and II are effects of independent causes
E. Both the statements I and II are effects of some common cause

EXPLANATION

Answer: Option B

Explanation:

The inability of the small banks to compete with the bigger ones shall not ensure security and good service to the customers, which is an essential concomitant that has to be looked into by the Reserve Bank. I seems to be a remedial step for the same.

4. Statements:

  1. All the schools in the area had to be kept closed for most part of the week.
  2. Many parents have withdrawn their children from the local schools.
A. Statement I is the cause and statement II is its effect
B. Statement II is the cause and statement I is its effect
C. Both the statements I and II are independent causes
D. Both the statements I and II are effects of independent causes
E. Both the statements I and II are effects of some common cause

EXPLANATION

Answer: Option D

Explanation:

Closing the schools for a week and the parents withdrawing their wards from the local schools are independent issues, which must have been triggered by different individual causes.

5. Statements:

  1. India has surpassed the value of tea exports this year over all the earlier years due to an increase in demand for quality tea in the European market.
  2. There is an increase in demand of coffee in the domestic market during the last two years.
A. Statement I is the cause and statement II is its effect
B. Statement II is the cause and statement I is its effect
C. Both the statements I and II are independent causes
D. Both the statements I and II are effects of independent causes
E. Both the statements I and II are effects of some common cause

EXPLANATION

Answer: Option C

Explanation:

The two statements discuss two separate statistical and generalised results.

 

6. Statements:

  1. There is unprecedented increase in the number of young unemployed in comparison to the previous year.
  2. A large number of candidates submitted applications against an advertisement for the post of manager issued by a bank.
A. Statement I is the cause and statement II is its effect
B. Statement II is the cause and statement I is its effect
C. Both the statements I and II are independent causes
D. Both the statements I and II are effects of independent causes
E. Both the statements I and II are effects of some common cause

EXPLANATION

Answer: Option A

Explanation:

An increase in the number of unemployed youth is bound to draw in huge crowds for a single vacancy.

7.  Statements:

  1. The police authority has recently caught a group of house breakers.
  2. The citizens group in the locality have started night vigil in the area.
A. Statement I is the cause and statement II is its effect
B. Statement II is the cause and statement I is its effect
C. Both the statements I and II are independent causes
D. Both the statements I and II are effects of independent causes
E. Both the statements I and II are effects of some common cause

EXPLANATION

Answer: Option E

Explanation:

Both the statements are clearly backed by a common cause, which is clearly an increase in the number of thefts in the locality.

8. Statements:

  1. Majority of the students in the college expressed their opinion against the college authority’s decision to break away from the university and become autonomous.
  2. The university authorities have expressed their inability to provide grants to its constituent colleges.
A. Statement I is the cause and statement II is its effect
B. Statement II is the cause and statement I is its effect
C. Both the statements I and II are independent causes
D. Both the statements I and II are effects of independent causes
E. Both the statements I and II are effects of some common cause

EXPLANATION

Answer: Option B

Explanation:

Clearly, the university’s decision to refuse grant to the colleges must have triggered the college authority to become autonomous.

9. Statements:

  1. The literacy rate in the district has been increasing for the last four years.
  2. The district administration has conducted extensive training programme for the workers involved in the literacy drive.
A. Statement I is the cause and statement II is its effect
B. Statement II is the cause and statement I is its effect
C. Both the statements I and II are independent causes
D. Both the statements I and II are effects of independent causes
E. Both the statements I and II are effects of some common cause

EXPLANATION

Answer: Option B
Explanation:Clearly, the increase in the literacy rate may be attributed directly to the stringent efforts of the district administration in this direction.

10. Statements:

  1. The school authority has asked the X Std. students to attend special classes to be conducted on Sundays.
  2. The parents of the X Std. students have withdrawn their wards from attending private tuitions conducted on Sundays.
A. Statement I is the cause and statement II is its effect
B. Statement II is the cause and statement I is its effect
C. Both the statements I and II are independent causes
D. Both the statements I and II are effects of independent causes
E. Both the statements I and II are effects of some common cause

EXPLANATION

Answer: Option A

Explanation:

It seems quite evident that the parents have instructed their wards to abstain from private tuitions on Sundays and attend special classes organised by the school.

 

11. Statements:

  1. The Government has imported large quantities of sugar as per trade agreement with other countries.
  2. The prices of sugar in the domestic market have fallen sharply in the recent months.
A. Statement I is the cause and statement II is its effect
B. Statement II is the cause and statement I is its effect
C. Both the statements I and II are independent causes
D. Both the statements I and II are effects of independent causes
E. Both the statements I and II are effects of some common cause

EXPLANATION

Answer: Option A

Explanation:

The increase in supply always triggers a reduction in the prices.

12.  Statements:

  1. There is sharp decline in the production of oil seeds this year.
  2. The Government has decided to increase the import quantum of edible oil.
A. Statement I is the cause and statement II is its effect
B. Statement II is the cause and statement I is its effect
C. Both the statements I and II are independent causes
D. Both the statements I and II are effects of independent causes
E. Both the statements I and II are effects of some common cause

EXPLANATION

Answer: Option A

Explanation:

A sharp decline in oilseed production is bound to reduce oil supply and import of oil is the only means to restore the essential supply.

13. Statements:

  1. The private medical colleges have increased the tuition fees in the current year by 200 per cent over the last year’s fees to meet the expenses.
  2. The Government medical colleges have not increased their fees in spite of price escalation.
A. Statement I is the cause and statement II is its effect
B. Statement II is the cause and statement I is its effect
C. Both the statements I and II are independent causes
D. Both the statements I and II are effects of independent causes
E. Both the statements I and II are effects of some common cause

EXPLANATION

Answer: Option C

Explanation:

The increase in the fees of the private colleges and there being no increase in the same in Government colleges seem to be policy matters undertaken by the individual decisive boards at the two levels.

14. Statements:

  1. Large number of people living in the low-lying areas has been evacuated during the last few days to safer places.
  2. The Government has rushed in relief supplies to the people living in the affected areas.
A. Statement I is the cause and statement II is its effect
B. Statement II is the cause and statement I is its effect
C. Both the statements I and II are independent causes
D. Both the statements I and II are effects of independent causes
E. Both the statements I and II are effects of some common cause

EXPLANATION

Answer: Option E

Explanation:

Evacuating low-lying areas and rushing in relief to the affected areas clearly indicates that floods have occurred in the area.

15. Statements:

  1. It is the aim of the city’s civic authority to get the air pollution reduced by 20% in the next two months.
  2. The number of asthma cases in the city is constantly increasing.
A. Statement I is the cause and statement II is its effect
B. Statement II is the cause and statement I is its effect
C. Both the statements I and II are independent causes
D. Both the statements I and II are effects of independent causes
E. Both the statements I and II are effects of some common cause

EXPLANATION

Answer: Option B

Explanation:

The increase in number of asthma cases must have alerted the authorities to take action to control air pollution that triggers the disease.

 

16.  Statements:

  1. The local co-operative credit society has decided to stop giving loans to farmers with immediate effect.
  2. A large number of credit society members have withdrawn major part of their deposits from the credit society.
A. Statement I is the cause and statement II is its effect
B. Statement II is the cause and statement I is its effect
C. Both the statements I and II are independent causes
D. Both the statements I and II are effects of independent causes
E. Both the statements I and II are effects of some common cause

EXPLANATION

Answer: Option B

Explanation:

Clearly, withdrawal of funds by society members is bound to reduce the lending power of the society.

17. Statements:

  1. The employees of the biggest bank in the country have given an indefinite strike call starting from third of the next month.
  2. The employees of the Central Government have withdrawn their week long demonstrations.
A. Statement I is the cause and statement II is its effect
B. Statement II is the cause and statement I is its effect
C. Both the statements I and II are independent causes
D. Both the statements I and II are effects of independent causes
E. Both the statements I and II are effects of some common cause

EXPLANATION

Answer: Option D

Explanation:

The employees of a bank going on strike and the government employees calling off their protest seem to be two independent events that might have been triggered by individual causes.

18.  Statements:

  1. Police resorted to lathi-charge to disperse the unlawful gathering of large number of people.
  2. The citizens’ forum called a general strike in protest against the police atrocities.
A. Statement I is the cause and statement II is its effect
B. Statement II is the cause and statement I is its effect
C. Both the statements I and II are independent causes
D. Both the statements I and II are effects of independent causes
E. Both the statements I and II are effects of some common cause

EXPLANATION

Answer: Option B

Explanation:

Clearly, the people’s mass protest against the police might have instigated the latter to indulge in lathi-charge to disperse the mob.

19.  Statements:

  1. Majority of the citizens in the locality belongs to higher income group.
  2. The sales in the local super market are comparatively much higher than in other localities.
A. Statement I is the cause and statement II is its effect
B. Statement II is the cause and statement I is its effect
C. Both the statements I and II are independent causes
D. Both the statements I and II are effects of independent causes
E. Both the statements I and II are effects of some common cause

EXPLANATION

Answer: Option A

Explanation:

The comparatively higher sales in a particular locality are indicative of the high paying capacity of the residents of that locality.

20. Statements:

  1. The life today is too fast, demanding and full of variety in all aspects which at times leads to stressful situations.
  2. Number of suicide cases among teenagers is on increase.
A. Statement I is the cause and statement II is its effect
B. Statement II is the cause and statement I is its effect
C. Both the statements I and II are independent causes
D. Both the statements I and II are effects of independent causes
E. Both the statements I and II are effects of some common cause

EXPLANATION

Answer: Option AExplanation:Stress in everyday life is a major cause of frustration among the youth and is bound to lead them to take harsh steps as suicide.

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