Causal Analysis in Theory and Practice

August 4, 2012

Causation in Psychological Research

Filed under: Discussion,do-calculus,General — eb @ 3:30 pm

The European Journal of Personality just published an article by James Lee, titled
“Correlation and Causation in the Study of Personality”
European Journal of Personality, Eur.J.Pers. 26: 372-390 (2012) DOI:10.1002/per.1863.
or here.

Lee’s article is followed by Open Peer Commentaries,
or here.

(Strikingly, the commentary by Rolf Steyer declares the do-operator to be self-contradictory. I trust readers of this blog to spot Steyer’s error right away. If not, I will post.)

Another recent paper on causation in psychological research is the one by Shadish and Sullivan,
“Theories of Causation in Psychological Science”
In Harris Cooper (Ed-in-Chief), APA Handbook of Research Methods in Psychology, Volume 1, pp. 23-52, 2012.

While these papers indicate a healthy awakening of psychological researchers to recent advances in causal inference, the field is still dominated by authors who have not heard about model-based covariate selection, testable implications, nonparametric identification, bias amplification, mediation formulas and more.

Much to do, much to discuss,


  1. Where is Rolf Steyer making this assumption of self-contradictory?
    Best Regards, Clemens

    Comment by Clemens — January 8, 2017 @ 12:28 am

  2. Here: “Finally, the third answer is contradictory. Pearl’s own words are as follows: ‘These disturbance terms represent independent background factors that the investigator chooses not to include in the analysis’ (Pearl, 2009, p. 68).”

    Comment by bryantc — January 8, 2017 @ 2:39 am

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