Efficient nonparametric estimation of causal mediation effects
Chan, K. C. G.; Imai, K.; Yam, S. C. P.; Zhang, Z.
2016-01-01
An essential goal of program evaluation and scientific research is the investigation of causal mechanisms. Over the past several decades, causal mediation analysis has been used in medical and social sciences to decompose the treatment effect into the natural direct and indirect effects. However, all of the existing mediation analysis methods rely on parametric modeling assumptions in one way or another, typically requiring researchers to specify multiple regression models involving the treat...
Identification and estimation of survivor average causal effects.
Tchetgen Tchetgen, Eric J
2014-09-20
In longitudinal studies, outcomes ascertained at follow-up are typically undefined for individuals who die prior to the follow-up visit. In such settings, outcomes are said to be truncated by death and inference about the effects of a point treatment or exposure, restricted to individuals alive at the follow-up visit, could be biased even if as in experimental studies, treatment assignment were randomized. To account for truncation by death, the survivor average causal effect (SACE) defines the effect of treatment on the outcome for the subset of individuals who would have survived regardless of exposure status. In this paper, the author nonparametrically identifies SACE by leveraging post-exposure longitudinal correlates of survival and outcome that may also mediate the exposure effects on survival and outcome. Nonparametric identification is achieved by supposing that the longitudinal data arise from a certain nonparametric structural equations model and by making the monotonicity assumption that the effect of exposure on survival agrees in its direction across individuals. A novel weighted analysis involving a consistent estimate of the survival process is shown to produce consistent estimates of SACE. A data illustration is given, and the methods are extended to the context of time-varying exposures. We discuss a sensitivity analysis framework that relaxes assumptions about independent errors in the nonparametric structural equations model and may be used to assess the extent to which inference may be altered by a violation of key identifying assumptions. © 2014 The Authors. Statistics in Medicine published by John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.
Confounding effects of phase delays on causality estimation.
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Vasily A Vakorin
Full Text Available Linear and non-linear techniques for inferring causal relations between the brain signals representing the underlying neuronal systems have become a powerful tool to extract the connectivity patterns in the brain. Typically these tools employ the idea of Granger causality, which is ultimately based on the temporal precedence between the signals. At the same time, phase synchronization between coupled neural ensembles is considered a mechanism implemented in the brain to integrate relevant neuronal ensembles to perform a cognitive or perceptual task. Phase synchronization can be studied by analyzing the effects of phase-locking between the brain signals. However, we should expect that there is no one-to-one mapping between the observed phase lag and the time precedence as specified by physically interacting systems. Specifically, phase lag observed between two signals may interfere with inferring causal relations. This could be of critical importance for the coupled non-linear oscillating systems, with possible time delays in coupling, when classical linear cross-spectrum strategies for solving phase ambiguity are not efficient. To demonstrate this, we used a prototypical model of coupled non-linear systems, and compared three typical pipelines of inferring Granger causality, as established in the literature. Specifically, we compared the performance of the spectral and information-theoretic Granger pipelines as well as standard Granger causality in their relations to the observed phase differences for frequencies at which the signals become synchronized to each other. We found that an information-theoretic approach, which takes into account different time lags between the past of one signal and the future of another signal, was the most robust to phase effects.
Optimal causal inference: estimating stored information and approximating causal architecture.
Still, Susanne; Crutchfield, James P; Ellison, Christopher J
2010-09-01
We introduce an approach to inferring the causal architecture of stochastic dynamical systems that extends rate-distortion theory to use causal shielding--a natural principle of learning. We study two distinct cases of causal inference: optimal causal filtering and optimal causal estimation. Filtering corresponds to the ideal case in which the probability distribution of measurement sequences is known, giving a principled method to approximate a system's causal structure at a desired level of representation. We show that in the limit in which a model-complexity constraint is relaxed, filtering finds the exact causal architecture of a stochastic dynamical system, known as the causal-state partition. From this, one can estimate the amount of historical information the process stores. More generally, causal filtering finds a graded model-complexity hierarchy of approximations to the causal architecture. Abrupt changes in the hierarchy, as a function of approximation, capture distinct scales of structural organization. For nonideal cases with finite data, we show how the correct number of the underlying causal states can be found by optimal causal estimation. A previously derived model-complexity control term allows us to correct for the effect of statistical fluctuations in probability estimates and thereby avoid overfitting.
Empirically Driven Variable Selection for the Estimation of Causal Effects with Observational Data
Keller, Bryan; Chen, Jianshen
2016-01-01
Observational studies are common in educational research, where subjects self-select or are otherwise non-randomly assigned to different interventions (e.g., educational programs, grade retention, special education). Unbiased estimation of a causal effect with observational data depends crucially on the assumption of ignorability, which specifies…
Estimating Causal Effects of Local Air Pollution on Daily Deaths: Effect of Low Levels.
Schwartz, Joel; Bind, Marie-Abele; Koutrakis, Petros
2017-01-01
, Koutrakis P. 2017. Estimating causal effects of local air pollution on daily deaths: effect of low levels. Environ Health Perspect 125:23-29; http://dx.doi.org/10.1289/EHP232.
Teramoto, Reiji; Saito, Chiaki; Funahashi, Shin-ichi
2014-06-30
Knockdown or overexpression of genes is widely used to identify genes that play important roles in many aspects of cellular functions and phenotypes. Because next-generation sequencing generates high-throughput data that allow us to detect genes, it is important to identify genes that drive functional and phenotypic changes of cells. However, conventional methods rely heavily on the assumption of normality and they often give incorrect results when the assumption is not true. To relax the Gaussian assumption in causal inference, we introduce the non-paranormal method to test conditional independence in the PC-algorithm. Then, we present the non-paranormal intervention-calculus when the directed acyclic graph (DAG) is absent (NPN-IDA), which incorporates the cumulative nature of effects through a cascaded pathway via causal inference for ranking causal genes against a phenotype with the non-paranormal method for estimating DAGs. We demonstrate that causal inference with the non-paranormal method significantly improves the performance in estimating DAGs on synthetic data in comparison with the original PC-algorithm. Moreover, we show that NPN-IDA outperforms the conventional methods in exploring regulators of the flowering time in Arabidopsis thaliana and regulators that control the browning of white adipocytes in mice. Our results show that performance improvement in estimating DAGs contributes to an accurate estimation of causal effects. Although the simplest alternative procedure was used, our proposed method enables us to design efficient intervention experiments and can be applied to a wide range of research purposes, including drug discovery, because of its generality.
Wang, Wei; Nelson, Suchitra; Albert, Jeffrey M.
2013-01-01
Mediators are intermediate variables in the causal pathway between an exposure and an outcome. Mediation analysis investigates the extent to which exposure effects occur through these variables, thus revealing causal mechanisms. In this paper, we consider the estimation of the mediation effect when the outcome is binary and multiple mediators of different types exist. We give a precise definition of the total mediation effect as well as decomposed mediation effects through individual or sets ...
Estimation of average causal effect using the restricted mean residual lifetime as effect measure
DEFF Research Database (Denmark)
Mansourvar, Zahra; Martinussen, Torben
2017-01-01
with respect to their survival times. In observational studies where the factor of interest is not randomized, covariate adjustment is needed to take into account imbalances in confounding factors. In this article, we develop an estimator for the average causal treatment difference using the restricted mean...... residual lifetime as target parameter. We account for confounding factors using the Aalen additive hazards model. Large sample property of the proposed estimator is established and simulation studies are conducted in order to assess small sample performance of the resulting estimator. The method is also......Although mean residual lifetime is often of interest in biomedical studies, restricted mean residual lifetime must be considered in order to accommodate censoring. Differences in the restricted mean residual lifetime can be used as an appropriate quantity for comparing different treatment groups...
LARF: Instrumental Variable Estimation of Causal Effects through Local Average Response Functions
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Weihua An
2016-07-01
Full Text Available LARF is an R package that provides instrumental variable estimation of treatment effects when both the endogenous treatment and its instrument (i.e., the treatment inducement are binary. The method (Abadie 2003 involves two steps. First, pseudo-weights are constructed from the probability of receiving the treatment inducement. By default LARF estimates the probability by a probit regression. It also provides semiparametric power series estimation of the probability and allows users to employ other external methods to estimate the probability. Second, the pseudo-weights are used to estimate the local average response function conditional on treatment and covariates. LARF provides both least squares and maximum likelihood estimates of the conditional treatment effects.
Egleston, Brian L.; Scharfstein, Daniel O.; MacKenzie, Ellen
2008-01-01
We focus on estimation of the causal effect of treatment on the functional status of individuals at a fixed point in time t* after they have experienced a catastrophic event, from observational data with the following features: (1) treatment is imposed shortly after the event and is non-randomized, (2) individuals who survive to t* are scheduled to be interviewed, (3) there is interview non-response, (4) individuals who die prior to t* are missing information on pre-event confounders, (5) medical records are abstracted on all individuals to obtain information on post-event, pre-treatment confounding factors. To address the issue of survivor bias, we seek to estimate the survivor average causal effect (SACE), the effect of treatment on functional status among the cohort of individuals who would survive to t* regardless of whether or not assigned to treatment. To estimate this effect from observational data, we need to impose untestable assumptions, which depend on the collection of all confounding factors. Since pre-event information is missing on those who die prior to t*, it is unlikely that these data are missing at random (MAR). We introduce a sensitivity analysis methodology to evaluate the robustness of SACE inferences to deviations from the MAR assumption. We apply our methodology to the evaluation of the effect of trauma center care on vitality outcomes using data from the National Study on Costs and Outcomes of Trauma Care. PMID:18759833
Butera, Nicole M; Lanza, Stephanie T; Coffman, Donna L
2014-06-01
Prevention scientists use latent class analysis (LCA) with increasing frequency to characterize complex behavior patterns and profiles of risk. Often, the most important research questions in these studies involve establishing characteristics that predict membership in the latent classes, thus describing the composition of the subgroups and suggesting possible points of intervention. More recently, prevention scientists have begun to adopt modern methods for drawing causal inference from observational data because of the bias that can be introduced by confounders. This same issue of confounding exists in any analysis of observational data, including prediction of latent class membership. This study demonstrates a straightforward approach to causal inference in LCA that builds on propensity score methods. We demonstrate this approach by examining the causal effect of early sex on subsequent delinquency latent classes using data from 1,890 adolescents in 11th and 12th grade from wave I of the National Longitudinal Study of Adolescent Health. Prior to the statistical adjustment for potential confounders, early sex was significantly associated with delinquency latent class membership for both genders (p = 0.02). However, the propensity score adjusted analysis indicated no evidence for a causal effect of early sex on delinquency class membership (p = 0.76) for either gender. Sample R and SAS code is included in an Appendix in the ESM so that prevention scientists may adopt this approach to causal inference in LCA in their own work.
Wang, Wei; Nelson, Suchitra; Albert, Jeffrey M
2013-10-30
Mediators are intermediate variables in the causal pathway between an exposure and an outcome. Mediation analysis investigates the extent to which exposure effects occur through these variables, thus revealing causal mechanisms. In this paper, we consider the estimation of the mediation effect when the outcome is binary and multiple mediators of different types exist. We give a precise definition of the total mediation effect as well as decomposed mediation effects through individual or sets of mediators using the potential outcomes framework. We formulate a model of joint distribution (probit-normal) using continuous latent variables for any binary mediators to account for correlations among multiple mediators. A mediation formula approach is proposed to estimate the total mediation effect and decomposed mediation effects based on this parametric model. Estimation of mediation effects through individual or subsets of mediators requires an assumption involving the joint distribution of multiple counterfactuals. We conduct a simulation study that demonstrates low bias of mediation effect estimators for two-mediator models with various combinations of mediator types. The results also show that the power to detect a nonzero total mediation effect increases as the correlation coefficient between two mediators increases, whereas power for individual mediation effects reaches a maximum when the mediators are uncorrelated. We illustrate our approach by applying it to a retrospective cohort study of dental caries in adolescents with low and high socioeconomic status. Sensitivity analysis is performed to assess the robustness of conclusions regarding mediation effects when the assumption of no unmeasured mediator-outcome confounders is violated. Copyright © 2013 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.
Nelson, Suchitra; Albert, Jeffrey M.
2013-01-01
Mediators are intermediate variables in the causal pathway between an exposure and an outcome. Mediation analysis investigates the extent to which exposure effects occur through these variables, thus revealing causal mechanisms. In this paper, we consider the estimation of the mediation effect when the outcome is binary and multiple mediators of different types exist. We give a precise definition of the total mediation effect as well as decomposed mediation effects through individual or sets of mediators using the potential outcomes framework. We formulate a model of joint distribution (probit-normal) using continuous latent variables for any binary mediators to account for correlations among multiple mediators. A mediation formula approach is proposed to estimate the total mediation effect and decomposed mediation effects based on this parametric model. Estimation of mediation effects through individual or subsets of mediators requires an assumption involving the joint distribution of multiple counterfactuals. We conduct a simulation study that demonstrates low bias of mediation effect estimators for two-mediator models with various combinations of mediator types. The results also show that the power to detect a non-zero total mediation effect increases as the correlation coefficient between two mediators increases, while power for individual mediation effects reaches a maximum when the mediators are uncorrelated. We illustrate our approach by applying it to a retrospective cohort study of dental caries in adolescents with low and high socioeconomic status. Sensitivity analysis is performed to assess the robustness of conclusions regarding mediation effects when the assumption of no unmeasured mediator-outcome confounders is violated. PMID:23650048
Heterogeneous Causal Effects and Sample Selection Bias
DEFF Research Database (Denmark)
Breen, Richard; Choi, Seongsoo; Holm, Anders
2015-01-01
The role of education in the process of socioeconomic attainment is a topic of long standing interest to sociologists and economists. Recently there has been growing interest not only in estimating the average causal effect of education on outcomes such as earnings, but also in estimating how...... causal effects might vary over individuals or groups. In this paper we point out one of the under-appreciated hazards of seeking to estimate heterogeneous causal effects: conventional selection bias (that is, selection on baseline differences) can easily be mistaken for heterogeneity of causal effects....... This might lead us to find heterogeneous effects when the true effect is homogenous, or to wrongly estimate not only the magnitude but also the sign of heterogeneous effects. We apply a test for the robustness of heterogeneous causal effects in the face of varying degrees and patterns of selection bias...
DEFF Research Database (Denmark)
Skaaby, T; Taylor, A E; Thuesen, B H
2018-01-01
effects. We examined the causal effect of BMI on asthma, hay fever, allergic sensitization, serum total immunoglobulin E (IgE), forced expiratory volume in one-second (FEV1) and forced vital capacity (FVC). METHODS: We included 490 497 participants in the observational and 162 124 participants...... support the conclusion that increasing BMI is causally related to higher prevalence of asthma and decreased lung function, but not with hay fever or biomarkers of allergy....
Balzer, Laura B; Zheng, Wenjing; van der Laan, Mark J; Petersen, Maya L
2018-01-01
We often seek to estimate the impact of an exposure naturally occurring or randomly assigned at the cluster-level. For example, the literature on neighborhood determinants of health continues to grow. Likewise, community randomized trials are applied to learn about real-world implementation, sustainability, and population effects of interventions with proven individual-level efficacy. In these settings, individual-level outcomes are correlated due to shared cluster-level factors, including the exposure, as well as social or biological interactions between individuals. To flexibly and efficiently estimate the effect of a cluster-level exposure, we present two targeted maximum likelihood estimators (TMLEs). The first TMLE is developed under a non-parametric causal model, which allows for arbitrary interactions between individuals within a cluster. These interactions include direct transmission of the outcome (i.e. contagion) and influence of one individual's covariates on another's outcome (i.e. covariate interference). The second TMLE is developed under a causal sub-model assuming the cluster-level and individual-specific covariates are sufficient to control for confounding. Simulations compare the alternative estimators and illustrate the potential gains from pairing individual-level risk factors and outcomes during estimation, while avoiding unwarranted assumptions. Our results suggest that estimation under the sub-model can result in bias and misleading inference in an observational setting. Incorporating working assumptions during estimation is more robust than assuming they hold in the underlying causal model. We illustrate our approach with an application to HIV prevention and treatment.
Comments: Causal Interpretations of Mediation Effects
Jo, Booil; Stuart, Elizabeth A.
2012-01-01
The authors thank Dr. Lindsay Page for providing a nice illustration of the use of the principal stratification framework to define causal effects, and a Bayesian model for effect estimation. They hope that her well-written article will help expose education researchers to these concepts and methods, and move the field of mediation analysis in…
Sensitivity Analysis and Bounding of Causal Effects with Alternative Identifying Assumptions
Jo, Booil; Vinokur, Amiram D.
2011-01-01
When identification of causal effects relies on untestable assumptions regarding nonidentified parameters, sensitivity of causal effect estimates is often questioned. For proper interpretation of causal effect estimates in this situation, deriving bounds on causal parameters or exploring the sensitivity of estimates to scientifically plausible…
Inverse odds ratio-weighted estimation for causal mediation analysis.
Tchetgen Tchetgen, Eric J
2013-11-20
An important scientific goal of studies in the health and social sciences is increasingly to determine to what extent the total effect of a point exposure is mediated by an intermediate variable on the causal pathway between the exposure and the outcome. A causal framework has recently been proposed for mediation analysis, which gives rise to new definitions, formal identification results and novel estimators of direct and indirect effects. In the present paper, the author describes a new inverse odds ratio-weighted approach to estimate so-called natural direct and indirect effects. The approach, which uses as a weight the inverse of an estimate of the odds ratio function relating the exposure and the mediator, is universal in that it can be used to decompose total effects in a number of regression models commonly used in practice. Specifically, the approach may be used for effect decomposition in generalized linear models with a nonlinear link function, and in a number of other commonly used models such as the Cox proportional hazards regression for a survival outcome. The approach is simple and can be implemented in standard software provided a weight can be specified for each observation. An additional advantage of the method is that it easily incorporates multiple mediators of a categorical, discrete or continuous nature. Copyright © 2013 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.
A general, multivariate definition of causal effects in epidemiology.
Flanders, W Dana; Klein, Mitchel
2015-07-01
Population causal effects are often defined as contrasts of average individual-level counterfactual outcomes, comparing different exposure levels. Common examples include causal risk difference and risk ratios. These and most other examples emphasize effects on disease onset, a reflection of the usual epidemiological interest in disease occurrence. Exposure effects on other health characteristics, such as prevalence or conditional risk of a particular disability, can be important as well, but contrasts involving these other measures may often be dismissed as non-causal. For example, an observed prevalence ratio might often viewed as an estimator of a causal incidence ratio and hence subject to bias. In this manuscript, we provide and evaluate a definition of causal effects that generalizes those previously available. A key part of the generalization is that contrasts used in the definition can involve multivariate, counterfactual outcomes, rather than only univariate outcomes. An important consequence of our generalization is that, using it, one can properly define causal effects based on a wide variety of additional measures. Examples include causal prevalence ratios and differences and causal conditional risk ratios and differences. We illustrate how these additional measures can be useful, natural, easily estimated, and of public health importance. Furthermore, we discuss conditions for valid estimation of each type of causal effect, and how improper interpretation or inferences for the wrong target population can be sources of bias.
Pearl, Judea
2000-03-01
Written by one of the pre-eminent researchers in the field, this book provides a comprehensive exposition of modern analysis of causation. It shows how causality has grown from a nebulous concept into a mathematical theory with significant applications in the fields of statistics, artificial intelligence, philosophy, cognitive science, and the health and social sciences. Pearl presents a unified account of the probabilistic, manipulative, counterfactual and structural approaches to causation, and devises simple mathematical tools for analyzing the relationships between causal connections, statistical associations, actions and observations. The book will open the way for including causal analysis in the standard curriculum of statistics, artifical intelligence, business, epidemiology, social science and economics. Students in these areas will find natural models, simple identification procedures, and precise mathematical definitions of causal concepts that traditional texts have tended to evade or make unduly complicated. This book will be of interest to professionals and students in a wide variety of fields. Anyone who wishes to elucidate meaningful relationships from data, predict effects of actions and policies, assess explanations of reported events, or form theories of causal understanding and causal speech will find this book stimulating and invaluable.
Two-step estimation in ratio-of-mediator-probability weighted causal mediation analysis.
Bein, Edward; Deutsch, Jonah; Hong, Guanglei; Porter, Kristin E; Qin, Xu; Yang, Cheng
2018-04-15
This study investigates appropriate estimation of estimator variability in the context of causal mediation analysis that employs propensity score-based weighting. Such an analysis decomposes the total effect of a treatment on the outcome into an indirect effect transmitted through a focal mediator and a direct effect bypassing the mediator. Ratio-of-mediator-probability weighting estimates these causal effects by adjusting for the confounding impact of a large number of pretreatment covariates through propensity score-based weighting. In step 1, a propensity score model is estimated. In step 2, the causal effects of interest are estimated using weights derived from the prior step's regression coefficient estimates. Statistical inferences obtained from this 2-step estimation procedure are potentially problematic if the estimated standard errors of the causal effect estimates do not reflect the sampling uncertainty in the estimation of the weights. This study extends to ratio-of-mediator-probability weighting analysis a solution to the 2-step estimation problem by stacking the score functions from both steps. We derive the asymptotic variance-covariance matrix for the indirect effect and direct effect 2-step estimators, provide simulation results, and illustrate with an application study. Our simulation results indicate that the sampling uncertainty in the estimated weights should not be ignored. The standard error estimation using the stacking procedure offers a viable alternative to bootstrap standard error estimation. We discuss broad implications of this approach for causal analysis involving propensity score-based weighting. Copyright © 2018 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.
Increasing fMRI sampling rate improves Granger causality estimates.
Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)
Fa-Hsuan Lin
Full Text Available Estimation of causal interactions between brain areas is necessary for elucidating large-scale functional brain networks underlying behavior and cognition. Granger causality analysis of time series data can quantitatively estimate directional information flow between brain regions. Here, we show that such estimates are significantly improved when the temporal sampling rate of functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI is increased 20-fold. Specifically, healthy volunteers performed a simple visuomotor task during blood oxygenation level dependent (BOLD contrast based whole-head inverse imaging (InI. Granger causality analysis based on raw InI BOLD data sampled at 100-ms resolution detected the expected causal relations, whereas when the data were downsampled to the temporal resolution of 2 s typically used in echo-planar fMRI, the causality could not be detected. An additional control analysis, in which we SINC interpolated additional data points to the downsampled time series at 0.1-s intervals, confirmed that the improvements achieved with the real InI data were not explainable by the increased time-series length alone. We therefore conclude that the high-temporal resolution of InI improves the Granger causality connectivity analysis of the human brain.
Causal binary mask estimation for speech enhancement using sparsity constraints
DEFF Research Database (Denmark)
Kressner, Abigail Anne; Anderson, David V.; Rozell, Christopher J.
2013-01-01
and interferer signals to preserve only the time-frequency regions that are target-dominated. Single-channel noise suppression algorithms trying to approximate the IBM using locally estimated signal-to-noise ratios without oracle knowledge have had limited success. Thought of in another way, the IBM exploits...... algorithm from the signal processing literature. However, the algorithm employs a non-causal estimator. The present work introduces an improved de-noising algorithm that uses more realistic frame-based (causal) computations to estimate a binary mask....
Vinod Mishra; Ingrid Nielsen; Russell Smyth; Alex Newman
2014-01-01
This paper uses a novel identification strategy proposed by Lewbel (2012, J. Bus. Econ. Stat.) to illustrate how causation between job satisfaction and life satisfaction can be established with cross-sectional data. In addition to examining the relationship between composite job satisfaction and life satisfaction, we consider the relationship between life satisfaction and different facets of job satisfaction. We find evidence of bidirectional causality between job satisfaction and life satisf...
Amodal causal capture in the tunnel effect.
Bae, Gi Yeul; Flombaum, Jonathan I
2011-01-01
In addition to identifying individual objects in the world, the visual system must also characterize the relationships between objects, for instance when objects occlude one another or cause one another to move. Here we explored the relationship between perceived causality and occlusion. Can one perceive causality in an occluded location? In several experiments, observers judged whether a centrally presented event involved a single object passing behind an occluder, or one object causally launching another (out of view and behind the occluder). With no additional context, the centrally presented event was typically judged as a non-causal pass, even when the occluding and disoccluding objects were different colors--an illusion known as the 'tunnel effect' that results from spatiotemporal continuity. However, when a synchronized context event involved an unambiguous causal launch, participants perceived a causal launch behind the occluder. This percept of an occluded causal interaction could also be driven by grouping and synchrony cues in the absence of any explicitly causal interaction. These results reinforce the hypothesis that causality is an aspect of perception. It is among the interpretations of the world that are independently available to vision when resolving ambiguity, and that the visual system can 'fill in' amodally.
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Evropi Theodoratou
Full Text Available Vitamin D deficiency has been associated with several common diseases, including cancer and is being investigated as a possible risk factor for these conditions. We reported the striking prevalence of vitamin D deficiency in Scotland. Previous epidemiological studies have reported an association between low dietary vitamin D and colorectal cancer (CRC. Using a case-control study design, we tested the association between plasma 25-hydroxy-vitamin D (25-OHD and CRC (2,001 cases, 2,237 controls. To determine whether plasma 25-OHD levels are causally linked to CRC risk, we applied the control function instrumental variable (IV method of the mendelian randomization (MR approach using four single nucleotide polymorphisms (rs2282679, rs12785878, rs10741657, rs6013897 previously shown to be associated with plasma 25-OHD. Low plasma 25-OHD levels were associated with CRC risk in the crude model (odds ratio (OR: 0.76, 95% Confidence Interval (CI: 0.71, 0.81, p: 1.4×10(-14 and after adjusting for age, sex and other confounding factors. Using an allele score that combined all four SNPs as the IV, the estimated causal effect was OR 1.16 (95% CI 0.60, 2.23, whilst it was 0.94 (95% CI 0.46, 1.91 and 0.93 (0.53, 1.63 when using an upstream (rs12785878, rs10741657 and a downstream allele score (rs2282679, rs6013897, respectively. 25-OHD levels were inversely associated with CRC risk, in agreement with recent meta-analyses. The fact that this finding was not replicated when the MR approach was employed might be due to weak instruments, giving low power to demonstrate an effect (<0.35. The prevalence and degree of vitamin D deficiency amongst individuals living in northerly latitudes is of considerable importance because of its relationship to disease. To elucidate the effect of vitamin D on CRC cancer risk, additional large studies of vitamin D and CRC risk are required and/or the application of alternative methods that are less sensitive to weak instrument
The balanced survivor average causal effect.
Greene, Tom; Joffe, Marshall; Hu, Bo; Li, Liang; Boucher, Ken
2013-05-07
Statistical analysis of longitudinal outcomes is often complicated by the absence of observable values in patients who die prior to their scheduled measurement. In such cases, the longitudinal data are said to be "truncated by death" to emphasize that the longitudinal measurements are not simply missing, but are undefined after death. Recently, the truncation by death problem has been investigated using the framework of principal stratification to define the target estimand as the survivor average causal effect (SACE), which in the context of a two-group randomized clinical trial is the mean difference in the longitudinal outcome between the treatment and control groups for the principal stratum of always-survivors. The SACE is not identified without untestable assumptions. These assumptions have often been formulated in terms of a monotonicity constraint requiring that the treatment does not reduce survival in any patient, in conjunction with assumed values for mean differences in the longitudinal outcome between certain principal strata. In this paper, we introduce an alternative estimand, the balanced-SACE, which is defined as the average causal effect on the longitudinal outcome in a particular subset of the always-survivors that is balanced with respect to the potential survival times under the treatment and control. We propose a simple estimator of the balanced-SACE that compares the longitudinal outcomes between equivalent fractions of the longest surviving patients between the treatment and control groups and does not require a monotonicity assumption. We provide expressions for the large sample bias of the estimator, along with sensitivity analyses and strategies to minimize this bias. We consider statistical inference under a bootstrap resampling procedure.
Links between causal effects and causal association for surrogacy evaluation in a gaussian setting.
Conlon, Anna; Taylor, Jeremy; Li, Yun; Diaz-Ordaz, Karla; Elliott, Michael
2017-11-30
Two paradigms for the evaluation of surrogate markers in randomized clinical trials have been proposed: the causal effects paradigm and the causal association paradigm. Each of these paradigms rely on assumptions that must be made to proceed with estimation and to validate a candidate surrogate marker (S) for the true outcome of interest (T). We consider the setting in which S and T are Gaussian and are generated from structural models that include an unobserved confounder. Under the assumed structural models, we relate the quantities used to evaluate surrogacy within both the causal effects and causal association frameworks. We review some of the common assumptions made to aid in estimating these quantities and show that assumptions made within one framework can imply strong assumptions within the alternative framework. We demonstrate that there is a similarity, but not exact correspondence between the quantities used to evaluate surrogacy within each framework, and show that the conditions for identifiability of the surrogacy parameters are different from the conditions, which lead to a correspondence of these quantities. Copyright © 2017 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.
Rassen, Jeremy A; Brookhart, M Alan; Glynn, Robert J; Mittleman, Murray A; Schneeweiss, Sebastian
2009-12-01
The gold standard of study design for treatment evaluation is widely acknowledged to be the randomized controlled trial (RCT). Trials allow for the estimation of causal effect by randomly assigning participants either to an intervention or comparison group; through the assumption of "exchangeability" between groups, comparing the outcomes will yield an estimate of causal effect. In the many cases where RCTs are impractical or unethical, instrumental variable (IV) analysis offers a nonexperimental alternative based on many of the same principles. IV analysis relies on finding a naturally varying phenomenon, related to treatment but not to outcome except through the effect of treatment itself, and then using this phenomenon as a proxy for the confounded treatment variable. This article demonstrates how IV analysis arises from an analogous but potentially impossible RCT design, and outlines the assumptions necessary for valid estimation. It gives examples of instruments used in clinical epidemiology and concludes with an outline on estimation of effects.
The causal effect of institutional quality on outsourcing
H.J. Roelfsema; Zhang Yi
2009-01-01
This paper empirically investigates the relationship between institutional quality and outsourcing to developing economies. In contrast to cross-sectional studies on institutions, this paper uses panel data for 76 countries over 25 years (1980-2004). Employing panel data helps to show the causal relationship by controlling for the fixed effects and dynamic factors. Using within and IV estimations, we find that there is a positive effect of institutional quality on outsourcing in the lower-mid...
The causal effect of paternal unemployment on children's personality
Angelini, Viola; Bertoni, Marco; Corazzini, Luca
2015-01-01
Using longitudinal data from the German Socio-Economic Panel (SOEP), we show that paternal unemployment has a surprisingly positive causal effect on the "Big 5" personality traits of children aged 17 to 25. In particular, our results from longitudinal value-added models for personality suggest that paternal unemployment makes children significantly more conscientious and less neurotic. Our results are robust to different estimation methods and to selection on unobservables. Furthermore, these...
Contrasting Causal Effects of Workplace Interventions.
Izano, Monika A; Brown, Daniel M; Neophytou, Andreas M; Garcia, Erika; Eisen, Ellen A
2018-07-01
Occupational exposure guidelines are ideally based on estimated effects of static interventions that assign constant exposure over a working lifetime. Static effects are difficult to estimate when follow-up extends beyond employment because their identifiability requires additional assumptions. Effects of dynamic interventions that assign exposure while at work, allowing subjects to leave and become unexposed thereafter, are more easily identifiable but result in different estimates. Given the practical implications of exposure limits, we explored the drivers of the differences between static and dynamic interventions in a simulation study where workers could terminate employment because of an intermediate adverse health event that functions as a time-varying confounder. The two effect estimates became more similar with increasing strength of the health event and outcome relationship and with increasing time between health event and employment termination. Estimates were most dissimilar when the intermediate health event occurred early in employment, providing an effective screening mechanism.
Tsai, Alexander C; Weiser, Sheri D; Petersen, Maya L; Ragland, Kathleen; Kushel, Margot B; Bangsberg, David R
2010-12-01
Depression strongly predicts nonadherence to human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) antiretroviral therapy, and adherence is essential to maintaining viral suppression. This suggests that pharmacologic treatment of depression may improve virologic outcomes. However, previous longitudinal observational analyses have inadequately adjusted for time-varying confounding by depression severity, which could yield biased estimates of treatment effect. Application of marginal structural modeling to longitudinal observation data can, under certain assumptions, approximate the findings of a randomized controlled trial. To determine whether antidepressant medication treatment increases the probability of HIV viral suppression. Community-based prospective cohort study with assessments conducted every 3 months. Community-based research field site in San Francisco, California. One hundred fifty-eight homeless and marginally housed persons with HIV who met baseline immunologic (CD4+ T-lymphocyte count, 13) inclusion criteria, observed from April 2002 through August 2007. Probability of achieving viral suppression to less than 50 copies/mL. Secondary outcomes of interest were probability of being on an antiretroviral therapy regimen, 7-day self-reported percentage adherence to antiretroviral therapy, and probability of reporting complete (100%) adherence. Marginal structural models estimated a 2.03 greater odds of achieving viral suppression (95% confidence interval [CI], 1.15-3.58; P = .02) resulting from antidepressant medication treatment. In addition, antidepressant medication use increased the probability of antiretroviral uptake (weighted odds ratio, 3.87; 95% CI, 1.98-7.58; P effect is likely attributable to improved adherence to a continuum of HIV care, including increased uptake and adherence to antiretroviral therapy.
Causal Effect Inference with Deep Latent-Variable Models
Louizos, C; Shalit, U.; Mooij, J.; Sontag, D.; Zemel, R.; Welling, M.
2017-01-01
Learning individual-level causal effects from observational data, such as inferring the most effective medication for a specific patient, is a problem of growing importance for policy makers. The most important aspect of inferring causal effects from observational data is the handling of
Nonparametric Identification of Causal Effects under Temporal Dependence
Dafoe, Allan
2018-01-01
Social scientists routinely address temporal dependence by adopting a simple technical fix. However, the correct identification strategy for a causal effect depends on causal assumptions. These need to be explicated and justified; almost no studies do so. This article addresses this shortcoming by offering a precise general statement of the…
Does Subjective Left-Right Position Have a Causal Effect on Support for Redistribution?
DEFF Research Database (Denmark)
Jæger, Mads Meier
characteristics as instruments for left-right position, can be used to estimate the causal effect of left-right position on support for redistribution. I analyze data on Sweden, Germany, and Norway from the two first waves of the European Social Survey and find first that left-right position is endogenous...... to support for redistribution, and second consistent with theory, that a causal effect of left-right position on support for redistribution exists which is stronger than previously shown....
CAUSAL PEER EFFECTS IN FINANCIAL DECISION MAKING
Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)
Ana Njegovanović
2016-03-01
Full Text Available The research paper connects three key elements from the study (conducted using neural database of experimental asset market that have tested the fundamental mechanisms that generate peer effect, the neural database was measured using functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI; Cary Frydman, 2015- University of Southern California-Marshall School of Business relating to: experimental control in the laboratory of random peer assignment,; neural activity in testing new prediction explaining peer effect and neural activity in the conduct of trade. The methodology used in the research of peer effect relies on the theory of predicting error, the signal which measures changes in anticipation of the net present value which generates new information. Cognitive neuroscience shows that the prediction error is measured in a certain part of the brain known as the ventral striatum. Measuring the potential value gives insights to economists on which factors affecting the subjective utility. Testing is constructed with 48 patients who were given $ 100 of experimental money and they were given the opportunity to invest in two separate assets in over two hundred experiments. The experiment showed that subjects converted their final portfolio from experimental currency to real dollars using the exchange rate of 5: 1. In addition to profits from the experiment, subjects were paid a fixed "show-up" fee of $ 20. There are two difficulties in identifying causal peer effect in economic behavior (Minsk, 1993. Correlated behavior between two representatives may potentially be the engine by common shocks of the peer group or endogenous election in the peer group. In addition to the prediction that deals with causal peer effect, there have been further developed predictions that generate different mechanisms of peer effects using neural database. Focus on neural prediction is the neural activity that generates the moment when peers allocation investment is published
Clinician preferences and the estimation of causal treatment differences
Korn, Edward L.; Baumrind, Sheldon
1998-01-01
Clinician treatment preferences affect the ability to perform randomized clinical trials and the ability to analyze observational data for treatment effects. In clinical trials, clinician preferences that are based on a subjective analysis of the patient can make it difficult to define eligibility criteria for which clinicians would agree to randomize all patients who satisfy the criteria. In addition, since each clinician typically has some preference for the choice of treatment for a given ...
DEFF Research Database (Denmark)
Burgess, Stephen; Thompson, Simon G; Thompson, Grahame
2010-01-01
Genetic markers can be used as instrumental variables, in an analogous way to randomization in a clinical trial, to estimate the causal relationship between a phenotype and an outcome variable. Our purpose is to extend the existing methods for such Mendelian randomization studies to the context o...
Faes, Luca; Erla, Silvia; Porta, Alberto; Nollo, Giandomenico
2013-08-28
We present an approach for the quantification of directional relations in multiple time series exhibiting significant zero-lag interactions. To overcome the limitations of the traditional multivariate autoregressive (MVAR) modelling of multiple series, we introduce an extended MVAR (eMVAR) framework allowing either exclusive consideration of time-lagged effects according to the classic notion of Granger causality, or consideration of combined instantaneous and lagged effects according to an extended causality definition. The spectral representation of the eMVAR model is exploited to derive novel frequency domain causality measures that generalize to the case of instantaneous effects the known directed coherence (DC) and partial DC measures. The new measures are illustrated in theoretical examples showing that they reduce to the known measures in the absence of instantaneous causality, and describe peculiar aspects of directional interaction among multiple series when instantaneous causality is non-negligible. Then, the issue of estimating eMVAR models from time-series data is faced, proposing two approaches for model identification and discussing problems related to the underlying model assumptions. Finally, applications of the framework on cardiovascular variability series and multichannel EEG recordings are presented, showing how it allows one to highlight patterns of frequency domain causality consistent with well-interpretable physiological interaction mechanisms.
A Causal Contiguity Effect That Persists across Time Scales
Kilic, Asli; Criss, Amy H.; Howard, Marc W.
2013-01-01
The contiguity effect refers to the tendency to recall an item from nearby study positions of the just recalled item. Causal models of contiguity suggest that recalled items are used as probes, causing a change in the memory state for subsequent recall attempts. Noncausal models of the contiguity effect assume the memory state is unaffected by…
Temperature has a causal effect on avian timing of reproduction
Visser, M.E.; Holleman, L.J.M.; Caro, S.P.
2009-01-01
Many bird species reproduce earlier in years with high spring temperatures, but little is known about the causal effect of temperature. Temperature may have a direct effect on timing of reproduction but the correlation may also be indirect, for instance via food phenology. As climate change has led
New Evidence of the Causal Effect of Family Size on Child Quality in a Developing Country
Ponczek, Vladimir; Souza, Andre Portela
2012-01-01
This paper presents new evidence of the causal effect of family size on child quality in a developing-country context. We estimate the impact of family size on child labor and educational outcomes among Brazilian children and young adults by exploring the exogenous variation of family size driven by the presence of twins in the family. Using the…
Effects of Perceived Causality on Perceptions of Persons Who Stutter
Boyle, Michael P.; Blood, Gordon W.; Blood, Ingrid M.
2009-01-01
This study examined the effects of the perceived cause of stuttering on perceptions of persons who stutter (PWS) using a 7-item social distance scale, a 25-item adjective pair scale and a 2-item visual analogue scale. Two hundred and four university students rated vignettes which varied on describing a PWS with different causalities for stuttering…
The Causal Effects of Grade Retention on Behavioral Outcomes
Martorell, Paco; Mariano, Louis T.
2018-01-01
This study examines the impact of grade retention on behavioral outcomes under a comprehensive assessment-based student promotion policy in New York City. To isolate the causal effect of grade retention, we implement a fuzzy regression discontinuity (RD) design that exploits the fact that grade retention is largely determined by whether a student…
On modeling HIV and T cells in vivo: assessing causal estimators in vaccine trials.
Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)
W David Wick
2006-06-01
Full Text Available The first efficacy trials--named STEP--of a T cell vaccine against HIV/AIDS began in 2004. The unprecedented structure of these trials raised new modeling and statistical challenges. Is it plausible that memory T cells, as opposed to antibodies, can actually prevent infection? If they fail at prevention, to what extent can they ameliorate disease? And how do we estimate efficacy in a vaccine trial with two primary endpoints, one traditional, one entirely novel (viral load after infection, and where the latter may be influenced by selection bias due to the former? In preparation for the STEP trials, biostatisticians developed novel techniques for estimating a causal effect of a vaccine on viral load, while accounting for post-randomization selection bias. But these techniques have not been tested in biologically plausible scenarios. We introduce new stochastic models of T cell and HIV kinetics, making use of new estimates of the rate that cytotoxic T lymphocytes--CTLs; the so-called killer T cells--can kill HIV-infected cells. Based on these models, we make the surprising discovery that it is not entirely implausible that HIV-specific CTLs might prevent infection--as the designers explicitly acknowledged when they chose the endpoints of the STEP trials. By simulating thousands of trials, we demonstrate that the new statistical methods can correctly identify an efficacious vaccine, while protecting against a false conclusion that the vaccine exacerbates disease. In addition to uncovering a surprising immunological scenario, our results illustrate the utility of mechanistic modeling in biostatistics.
Skills, earnings, and employment: exploring causality in the estimation of returns to skills
Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)
Franziska Hampf
2017-04-01
Full Text Available Abstract Ample evidence indicates that a person’s human capital is important for success on the labor market in terms of both wages and employment prospects. However, unlike the efforts to identify the impact of school attainment on labor-market outcomes, the literature on returns to cognitive skills has not yet provided convincing evidence that the estimated returns can be causally interpreted. Using the PIAAC Survey of Adult Skills, this paper explores several approaches that aim to address potential threats to causal identification of returns to skills, in terms of both higher wages and better employment chances. We address measurement error by exploiting the fact that PIAAC measures skills in several domains. Furthermore, we estimate instrumental-variable models that use skill variation stemming from school attainment and parental education to circumvent reverse causation. Results show a strikingly similar pattern across the diverse set of countries in our sample. In fact, the instrumental-variable estimates are consistently larger than those found in standard least-squares estimations. The same is true in two “natural experiments,” one of which exploits variation in skills from changes in compulsory-schooling laws across U.S. states. The other one identifies technologically induced variation in broadband Internet availability that gives rise to variation in ICT skills across German municipalities. Together, the results suggest that least-squares estimates may provide a lower bound of the true returns to skills in the labor market.
Causality and relativistic effects in intranuclear cascade calculations
International Nuclear Information System (INIS)
Kodama, T.; Duarte, S.B.; Chung, K.C.; Donangelo, R.J.; Nazareth, R.A.M.S.
1983-01-01
Relativistic effects in high energy nuclear collisions, when non-invariance of simultaneity is taken into account, are studied. It is shown that the time ordering of nucleon-nucleon collisions is quite different for different observers, giving in some cases non-invariant final results for intranuclear cascade (INC) calculations. In particular, an example of such a case is shown, in which the INC simulation, depending on the reference frame, presents a kind of density instability caused by a specific time ordering of collision events. A new INC calculation, using a causality preserving scheme, which minimizes this kind of relativistic effect is proposed. It is verified that the causality preserving INC prescription essentially recovers the relativistic invariance. (Author) [pt
Bor, Jacob; Geldsetzer, Pascal; Venkataramani, Atheendar; B?rnighausen, Till
2015-01-01
Purpose of review Randomized, population-representative trials of clinical interventions are rare. Quasi-experiments have been used successfully to generate causal evidence on the cascade of HIV care in a broad range of real-world settings. Recent findings Quasi-experiments exploit exogenous, or quasi-random, variation occurring naturally in the world or because of an administrative rule or policy change to estimate causal effects. Well designed quasi-experiments have greater internal validit...
mediation: R package for causal mediation analysis
Tingley, Dustin; Yamamoto, Teppei; Hirose, Kentaro; Keele, Luke; Imai, Kosuke
2012-01-01
In this paper, we describe the R package mediation for conducting causal mediation analysis in applied empirical research. In many scientific disciplines, the goal of researchers is not only estimating causal effects of a treatment but also understanding the process in which the treatment causally affects the outcome. Causal mediation analysis is frequently used to assess potential causal mechanisms. The mediation package implements a comprehensive suite of statistical tools for conducting su...
The causal effect of education on HIV stigma in Uganda: Evidence from a natural experiment.
Tsai, Alexander C; Venkataramani, Atheendar S
2015-10-01
HIV is highly stigmatized in sub-Saharan Africa. This is an important public health problem because HIV stigma has many adverse effects that threaten to undermine efforts to control the HIV epidemic. The implementation of a universal primary education policy in Uganda in 1997 provided us with a natural experiment to test the hypothesis that education is causally related to HIV stigma. For this analysis, we pooled publicly available, population-based data from the 2011 Uganda Demographic and Health Survey and the 2011 Uganda AIDS Indicator Survey. The primary outcomes of interest were negative attitudes toward persons with HIV, elicited using four questions about anticipated stigma and social distance. Standard least squares estimates suggested a statistically significant, negative association between years of schooling and HIV stigma (each P education as an instrumental variable. Participants who were education on HIV stigma (P-values ranged from 0.21 to 0.69). Three of the four estimated regression coefficients were positive, and in all cases the lower confidence limits convincingly excluded the possibility of large negative effect sizes. These instrumental variables estimates have a causal interpretation and were not overturned by several robustness checks. We conclude that, for young adults in Uganda, additional years of education in the formal schooling system driven by a universal primary school intervention have not had a causal effect on reducing negative attitudes toward persons with HIV. Copyright © 2015 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.
The causal effect of family income on child health in the U.K.
Kuehnle, Daniel
2014-07-01
Recent studies examining the effect of family income on child health have been unable to account for the endogeneity of income. Using data from a British cohort study, we address this gap by exploiting exogenous variation in local labour market characteristics to instrument for family income. We estimate the causal effect of family income on different measures of child health and explore the role of potential transmission mechanisms. We find that income has a very small but significant causal effect on subjective child health and no significant effect on chronic health conditions, apart from respiratory illnesses. Using the panel structure, we show that the timing of income does not matter for young children. Moreover, our results provide further evidence that parental health does not drive a spurious relationship between family income and child health. Our study implies that financial transfers are unlikely to deliver substantial improvements in child health. Copyright © 2014 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.
DEFF Research Database (Denmark)
Husemoen, L. L. N.; Skaaby, T.; Martinussen, Torben
2014-01-01
Background/Objectives: The aim was to examine the causal effect of vitamin D on serum adiponectin using a multiple instrument Mendelian randomization approach. Subjects/Methods: Serum 25-hydroxy vitamin D (25(OH)D) and serum total or high molecular weight (HMW) adiponectin were measured in two...... doubling of 25(OH)D was 4.78, 95% CI: 1.96, 7.68, Pvitamin D-binding protein gene and the filaggrin gene as instrumental variables, the causal effect in % was estimated to 61.46, 95% CI: 17.51, 120.28, P=0.003 higher adiponectin per doubling of 25(OH)D. In the MONICA10...... effect estimate in % per doubling of 25(OH)D was 37.13, 95% CI:-3.67, 95.20, P=0.080). Conclusions: The results indicate a possible causal association between serum 25(OH)D and total adiponectin. However, the association was not replicated for HMW adiponectin. Thus, further studies are needed to confirm...
Causal inference based on counterfactuals
Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)
Höfler M
2005-09-01
Full Text Available Abstract Background The counterfactual or potential outcome model has become increasingly standard for causal inference in epidemiological and medical studies. Discussion This paper provides an overview on the counterfactual and related approaches. A variety of conceptual as well as practical issues when estimating causal effects are reviewed. These include causal interactions, imperfect experiments, adjustment for confounding, time-varying exposures, competing risks and the probability of causation. It is argued that the counterfactual model of causal effects captures the main aspects of causality in health sciences and relates to many statistical procedures. Summary Counterfactuals are the basis of causal inference in medicine and epidemiology. Nevertheless, the estimation of counterfactual differences pose several difficulties, primarily in observational studies. These problems, however, reflect fundamental barriers only when learning from observations, and this does not invalidate the counterfactual concept.
Situation models and memory: the effects of temporal and causal information on recall sequence.
Brownstein, Aaron L; Read, Stephen J
2007-10-01
Participants watched an episode of the television show Cheers on video and then reported free recall. Recall sequence followed the sequence of events in the story; if one concept was observed immediately after another, it was recalled immediately after it. We also made a causal network of the show's story and found that recall sequence followed causal links; effects were recalled immediately after their causes. Recall sequence was more likely to follow causal links than temporal sequence, and most likely to follow causal links that were temporally sequential. Results were similar at 10-minute and 1-week delayed recall. This is the most direct and detailed evidence reported on sequential effects in recall. The causal network also predicted probability of recall; concepts with more links and concepts on the main causal chain were most likely to be recalled. This extends the causal network model to more complex materials than previous research.
Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)
Alastair J Noyce
2017-06-01
Full Text Available Both positive and negative associations between higher body mass index (BMI and Parkinson disease (PD have been reported in observational studies, but it has been difficult to establish causality because of the possibility of residual confounding or reverse causation. To our knowledge, Mendelian randomisation (MR-the use of genetic instrumental variables (IVs to explore causal effects-has not previously been used to test the effect of BMI on PD.Two-sample MR was undertaken using genome-wide association (GWA study data. The associations between the genetic instruments and BMI were obtained from the GIANT consortium and consisted of the per-allele difference in mean BMI for 77 independent variants that reached genome-wide significance. The per-allele difference in log-odds of PD for each of these variants was estimated from a recent meta-analysis, which included 13,708 cases of PD and 95,282 controls. The inverse-variance weighted method was used to estimate a pooled odds ratio (OR for the effect of a 5-kg/m2 higher BMI on PD. Evidence of directional pleiotropy averaged across all variants was sought using MR-Egger regression. Frailty simulations were used to assess whether causal associations were affected by mortality selection. A combined genetic IV expected to confer a lifetime exposure of 5-kg/m2 higher BMI was associated with a lower risk of PD (OR 0.82, 95% CI 0.69-0.98. MR-Egger regression gave similar results, suggesting that directional pleiotropy was unlikely to be biasing the result (intercept 0.002; p = 0.654. However, the apparent protective influence of higher BMI could be at least partially induced by survival bias in the PD GWA study, as demonstrated by frailty simulations. Other important limitations of this application of MR include the inability to analyse non-linear associations, to undertake subgroup analyses, and to gain mechanistic insights.In this large study using two-sample MR, we found that variants known to influence
Linden, Ariel
2017-08-01
When a randomized controlled trial is not feasible, health researchers typically use observational data and rely on statistical methods to adjust for confounding when estimating treatment effects. These methods generally fall into 3 categories: (1) estimators based on a model for the outcome using conventional regression adjustment; (2) weighted estimators based on the propensity score (ie, a model for the treatment assignment); and (3) "doubly robust" (DR) estimators that model both the outcome and propensity score within the same framework. In this paper, we introduce a new DR estimator that utilizes marginal mean weighting through stratification (MMWS) as the basis for weighted adjustment. This estimator may prove more accurate than treatment effect estimators because MMWS has been shown to be more accurate than other models when the propensity score is misspecified. We therefore compare the performance of this new estimator to other commonly used treatment effects estimators. Monte Carlo simulation is used to compare the DR-MMWS estimator to regression adjustment, 2 weighted estimators based on the propensity score and 2 other DR methods. To assess performance under varied conditions, we vary the level of misspecification of the propensity score model as well as misspecify the outcome model. Overall, DR estimators generally outperform methods that model one or the other components (eg, propensity score or outcome). The DR-MMWS estimator outperforms all other estimators when both the propensity score and outcome models are misspecified and performs equally as well as other DR estimators when only the propensity score is misspecified. Health researchers should consider using DR-MMWS as the principal evaluation strategy in observational studies, as this estimator appears to outperform other estimators in its class. © 2017 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.
Contrasting cue-density effects in causal and prediction judgments.
Vadillo, Miguel A; Musca, Serban C; Blanco, Fernando; Matute, Helena
2011-02-01
Many theories of contingency learning assume (either explicitly or implicitly) that predicting whether an outcome will occur should be easier than making a causal judgment. Previous research suggests that outcome predictions would depart from normative standards less often than causal judgments, which is consistent with the idea that the latter are based on more numerous and complex processes. However, only indirect evidence exists for this view. The experiment presented here specifically addresses this issue by allowing for a fair comparison of causal judgments and outcome predictions, both collected at the same stage with identical rating scales. Cue density, a parameter known to affect judgments, is manipulated in a contingency learning paradigm. The results show that, if anything, the cue-density bias is stronger in outcome predictions than in causal judgments. These results contradict key assumptions of many influential theories of contingency learning.
Inference of directed climate networks: role of instability of causality estimation methods
Hlinka, Jaroslav; Hartman, David; Vejmelka, Martin; Paluš, Milan
2013-04-01
Climate data are increasingly analyzed by complex network analysis methods, including graph-theoretical approaches [1]. For such analysis, links between localized nodes of climate network are typically quantified by some statistical measures of dependence (connectivity) between measured variables of interest. To obtain information on the directionality of the interactions in the networks, a wide range of methods exists. These can be broadly divided into linear and nonlinear methods, with some of the latter having the theoretical advantage of being model-free, and principally a generalization of the former [2]. However, as a trade-off, this generality comes together with lower accuracy - in particular if the system was close to linear. In an overall stationary system, this may potentially lead to higher variability in the nonlinear network estimates. Therefore, with the same control of false alarms, this may lead to lower sensitivity for detection of real changes in the network structure. These problems are discussed on the example of daily SAT and SLP data from the NCEP/NCAR reanalysis dataset. We first reduce the dimensionality of data using PCA with VARIMAX rotation to detect several dozens of components that together explain most of the data variability. We further construct directed climate networks applying a selection of most widely used methods - variants of linear Granger causality and conditional mutual information. Finally, we assess the stability of the detected directed climate networks by computing them in sliding time windows. To understand the origin of the observed instabilities and their range, we also apply the same procedure to two types of surrogate data: either with non-stationarity in network structure removed, or imposed in a controlled way. In general, the linear methods show stable results in terms of overall similarity of directed climate networks inferred. For instance, for different decades of SAT data, the Spearman correlation of edge
A framework for Bayesian nonparametric inference for causal effects of mediation.
Kim, Chanmin; Daniels, Michael J; Marcus, Bess H; Roy, Jason A
2017-06-01
We propose a Bayesian non-parametric (BNP) framework for estimating causal effects of mediation, the natural direct, and indirect, effects. The strategy is to do this in two parts. Part 1 is a flexible model (using BNP) for the observed data distribution. Part 2 is a set of uncheckable assumptions with sensitivity parameters that in conjunction with Part 1 allows identification and estimation of the causal parameters and allows for uncertainty about these assumptions via priors on the sensitivity parameters. For Part 1, we specify a Dirichlet process mixture of multivariate normals as a prior on the joint distribution of the outcome, mediator, and covariates. This approach allows us to obtain a (simple) closed form of each marginal distribution. For Part 2, we consider two sets of assumptions: (a) the standard sequential ignorability (Imai et al., 2010) and (b) weakened set of the conditional independence type assumptions introduced in Daniels et al. (2012) and propose sensitivity analyses for both. We use this approach to assess mediation in a physical activity promotion trial. © 2016, The International Biometric Society.
Causal inference in public health.
Glass, Thomas A; Goodman, Steven N; Hernán, Miguel A; Samet, Jonathan M
2013-01-01
Causal inference has a central role in public health; the determination that an association is causal indicates the possibility for intervention. We review and comment on the long-used guidelines for interpreting evidence as supporting a causal association and contrast them with the potential outcomes framework that encourages thinking in terms of causes that are interventions. We argue that in public health this framework is more suitable, providing an estimate of an action's consequences rather than the less precise notion of a risk factor's causal effect. A variety of modern statistical methods adopt this approach. When an intervention cannot be specified, causal relations can still exist, but how to intervene to change the outcome will be unclear. In application, the often-complex structure of causal processes needs to be acknowledged and appropriate data collected to study them. These newer approaches need to be brought to bear on the increasingly complex public health challenges of our globalized world.
Is There a Causal Effect of High School Math on Labor Market Outcomes?
Joensen, Juanna Schroter; Nielsen, Helena Skyt
2009-01-01
In this paper, we exploit a high school pilot scheme to identify the causal effect of advanced high school math on labor market outcomes. The pilot scheme reduced the costs of choosing advanced math because it allowed for a more flexible combination of math with other courses. We find clear evidence of a causal relationship between math and…
The causal effect of institutional quality on outsourcing
Roelfsema, H.J.; Yi, Zhang
This paper empirically investigates the relationship between institutional quality and outsourcing to developing economies. In contrast to cross-sectional studies on institutions, this paper uses panel data for 76 countries over 25 years (1980-2004). Employing panel data helps to show the causal
Effects of causality on the fluidity and viscous horizon of quark-gluon plasma
Rahaman, Mahfuzur; Alam, Jan-e.
2018-05-01
The second-order Israel-Stewart-M u ̈ller relativistic hydrodynamics was applied to study the effects of causality on the acoustic oscillation in relativistic fluid. Causal dispersion relations have been derived with nonvanishing shear viscosity, bulk viscosity, and thermal conductivity at nonzero temperature and baryonic chemical potential. These relations have been used to investigate the fluidity of quark-gluon plasma (QGP) at finite temperature (T ). Results of the first-order dissipative hydrodynamics have been obtained as a limiting case of the second-order theory. The effects of the causality on the fluidity near the transition point and on the viscous horizon are found to be significant. We observe that the inclusion of causality increases the value of fluidity measure of QGP near Tc and hence makes the flow strenuous. It was also shown that the inclusion of the large magnetic field in the causal hydrodynamics alters the fluidity of QGP.
Wang, Wei; Albert, Jeffrey M
2017-08-01
An important problem within the social, behavioral, and health sciences is how to partition an exposure effect (e.g. treatment or risk factor) among specific pathway effects and to quantify the importance of each pathway. Mediation analysis based on the potential outcomes framework is an important tool to address this problem and we consider the estimation of mediation effects for the proportional hazards model in this paper. We give precise definitions of the total effect, natural indirect effect, and natural direct effect in terms of the survival probability, hazard function, and restricted mean survival time within the standard two-stage mediation framework. To estimate the mediation effects on different scales, we propose a mediation formula approach in which simple parametric models (fractional polynomials or restricted cubic splines) are utilized to approximate the baseline log cumulative hazard function. Simulation study results demonstrate low bias of the mediation effect estimators and close-to-nominal coverage probability of the confidence intervals for a wide range of complex hazard shapes. We apply this method to the Jackson Heart Study data and conduct sensitivity analysis to assess the impact on the mediation effects inference when the no unmeasured mediator-outcome confounding assumption is violated.
Does the causal effect of health on employment differ for immigrants and natives?
DEFF Research Database (Denmark)
Jakobsen, Vibeke; Larsen, Mona
This paper examines whether a causal effect of health on employment exists and, if so, whether it differs for immigrants and natives and whether such a difference can be attributed to different labour market status. Measuring poor health through information about hospital diagnoses for a number o......, the impact of health is largest for immigrants, while for women the effect is very similar. Differences in the distribution of lagged labour market status appear important only in explaining the results for women.Action=1&NewsId=2430&PID=32427#sthash.7uLQonhl.dpuf......This paper examines whether a causal effect of health on employment exists and, if so, whether it differs for immigrants and natives and whether such a difference can be attributed to different labour market status. Measuring poor health through information about hospital diagnoses for a number...... of specific diseases, we estimate bivariate probit models using the general practitioner’s referral behaviour as an instrument for receiving diagnoses. Using Danish administrative data, we find that poor health affects the employment probability negatively for both immigrants and native Danes. For men...
Simultaneous estimation of the in-mean and in-variance causal connectomes of the human brain.
Duggento, A; Passamonti, L; Guerrisi, M; Toschi, N
2017-07-01
In recent years, the study of the human connectome (i.e. of statistical relationships between non spatially contiguous neurophysiological events in the human brain) has been enormously fuelled by technological advances in high-field functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) as well as by coordinated world wide data-collection efforts like the Human Connectome Project (HCP). In this context, Granger Causality (GC) approaches have recently been employed to incorporate information about the directionality of the influence exerted by a brain region on another. However, while fluctuations in the Blood Oxygenation Level Dependent (BOLD) signal at rest also contain important information about the physiological processes that underlie neurovascular coupling and associations between disjoint brain regions, so far all connectivity estimation frameworks have focused on central tendencies, hence completely disregarding so-called in-variance causality (i.e. the directed influence of the volatility of one signal on the volatility of another). In this paper, we develop a framework for simultaneous estimation of both in-mean and in-variance causality in complex networks. We validate our approach using synthetic data from complex ensembles of coupled nonlinear oscillators, and successively employ HCP data to provide the very first estimate of the in-variance connectome of the human brain.
Inference of directed climate networks: role of instability of causality estimation methods
Czech Academy of Sciences Publication Activity Database
Hlinka, Jaroslav; Hartman, David; Vejmelka, Martin; Paluš, Milan
2013-01-01
Roč. 15, - (2013), s. 12987 ISSN 1607-7962. [European Geosciences Union General Assembly 2013. 07.04.2013-12.04.2013, Vienna] R&D Projects: GA ČR GCP103/11/J068 Institutional support: RVO:67985807 Keywords : causality analysis * climate networks Subject RIV: BB - Applied Statistics, Operational Research
Czech Academy of Sciences Publication Activity Database
Jajcay, Nikola; Hlinka, Jaroslav; Hartman, David; Paluš, Milan
2014-01-01
Roč. 16, - (2014), EGU2014-12768 ISSN 1607-7962. [EGU General Assembly /11./. 27.04.2014-02.05.2014, Vienna] Institutional support: RVO:67985807 Keywords : Granger causality * climate * information flow * surface air temperature * wind Subject RIV: BB - Applied Statistics, Operational Research
Bor, Jacob; Geldsetzer, Pascal; Venkataramani, Atheendar; Bärnighausen, Till
2015-01-01
Purpose of review Randomized, population-representative trials of clinical interventions are rare. Quasi-experiments have been used successfully to generate causal evidence on the cascade of HIV care in a broad range of real-world settings. Recent findings Quasi-experiments exploit exogenous, or quasi-random, variation occurring naturally in the world or because of an administrative rule or policy change to estimate causal effects. Well designed quasi-experiments have greater internal validity than typical observational research designs. At the same time, quasi-experiments may also have potential for greater external validity than experiments and can be implemented when randomized clinical trials are infeasible or unethical. Quasi-experimental studies have established the causal effects of HIV testing and initiation of antiretroviral therapy on health, economic outcomes and sexual behaviors, as well as indirect effects on other community members. Recent quasi-experiments have evaluated specific interventions to improve patient performance in the cascade of care, providing causal evidence to optimize clinical management of HIV. Summary Quasi-experiments have generated important data on the real-world impacts of HIV testing and treatment and on interventions to improve the cascade of care. With the growth in large-scale clinical and administrative data, quasi-experiments enable rigorous evaluation of policies implemented in real-world settings. PMID:26371463
Bor, Jacob; Geldsetzer, Pascal; Venkataramani, Atheendar; Bärnighausen, Till
2015-11-01
Randomized, population-representative trials of clinical interventions are rare. Quasi-experiments have been used successfully to generate causal evidence on the cascade of HIV care in a broad range of real-world settings. Quasi-experiments exploit exogenous, or quasi-random, variation occurring naturally in the world or because of an administrative rule or policy change to estimate causal effects. Well designed quasi-experiments have greater internal validity than typical observational research designs. At the same time, quasi-experiments may also have potential for greater external validity than experiments and can be implemented when randomized clinical trials are infeasible or unethical. Quasi-experimental studies have established the causal effects of HIV testing and initiation of antiretroviral therapy on health, economic outcomes and sexual behaviors, as well as indirect effects on other community members. Recent quasi-experiments have evaluated specific interventions to improve patient performance in the cascade of care, providing causal evidence to optimize clinical management of HIV. Quasi-experiments have generated important data on the real-world impacts of HIV testing and treatment and on interventions to improve the cascade of care. With the growth in large-scale clinical and administrative data, quasi-experiments enable rigorous evaluation of policies implemented in real-world settings.
Yang, Lawrence H.; Wonpat-Borja, Ahtoy J.
2011-01-01
Identifying factors that facilitate treatment for psychotic disorders among Chinese-immigrants is crucial due to delayed treatment use. Identifying causal beliefs held by relatives that might predict identification of ‘mental illness’ as opposed to other ‘indigenous labels’ may promote more effective mental health service use. We examine what effects beliefs of ‘physical causes’ and other non-biomedical causal beliefs (‘general social causes’, and ‘indigenous Chinese beliefs’ or culture-speci...
Health Insurance and Health Status: Exploring the Causal Effect from a Policy Intervention.
Pan, Jay; Lei, Xiaoyan; Liu, Gordon G
2016-11-01
Whether health insurance matters for health has long been a central issue for debate when assessing the full value of health insurance coverage in both developed and developing countries. In 2007, the government-led Urban Resident Basic Medical Insurance (URBMI) program was piloted in China, followed by a nationwide implementation in 2009. Different premium subsidies by government across cities and groups provide a unique opportunity to employ the instrumental variables estimation approach to identify the causal effects of health insurance on health. Using a national panel survey of the URBMI, we find that URBMI beneficiaries experience statistically better health than the uninsured. Furthermore, the insurance health benefit appears to be stronger for groups with disadvantaged education and income than for their counterparts. In addition, the insured receive more and better inpatient care, without paying more for services. Copyright © 2015 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd. Copyright © 2015 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.
Li, Liang; Li, Baojuan; Bai, Yuanhan; Liu, Wenlei; Wang, Huaning; Leung, Hoi-Chung; Tian, Ping; Zhang, Linchuan; Guo, Fan; Cui, Long-Biao; Yin, Hong; Lu, Hongbing; Tan, Qingrong
2017-07-01
Understanding the neural basis underlying major depressive disorder (MDD) is essential for the diagnosis and treatment of this mental disorder. Aberrant activation and functional connectivity of the default mode network (DMN) have been consistently found in patients with MDD. It is not known whether effective connectivity within the DMN is altered in MDD. The primary object of this study is to investigate the effective connectivity within the DMN during resting state in MDD patients before and after eight weeks of antidepressant treatment. We defined four regions of the DMN (medial frontal cortex, posterior cingulate cortex, left parietal cortex, and right parietal cortex) for each participant using a group independent component analysis. The coupling parameters reflecting the causal interactions among the DMN regions were estimated using spectral dynamic causal modeling (DCM). Twenty-seven MDD patients and 27 healthy controls were included in the statistical analysis. Our results showed declined influences from the left parietal cortex to other DMN regions in the pre-treatment patients as compared with healthy controls. After eight weeks of treatment, the influence from the right parietal cortex to the posterior cingulate cortex significantly decreased. These findings suggest that the reduced excitatory causal influence of the left parietal cortex is the key alteration of the DMN in patients with MDD, and the disrupted causal influences that parietal cortex exerts on the posterior cingulate cortex is responsive to antidepressant treatment.
Morabia, Alfredo
2005-01-01
Epidemiological methods, which combine population thinking and group comparisons, can primarily identify causes of disease in populations. There is therefore a tension between our intuitive notion of a cause, which we want to be deterministic and invariant at the individual level, and the epidemiological notion of causes, which are invariant only at the population level. Epidemiologists have given heretofore a pragmatic solution to this tension. Causal inference in epidemiology consists in checking the logical coherence of a causality statement and determining whether what has been found grossly contradicts what we think we already know: how strong is the association? Is there a dose-response relationship? Does the cause precede the effect? Is the effect biologically plausible? Etc. This approach to causal inference can be traced back to the English philosophers David Hume and John Stuart Mill. On the other hand, the mode of establishing causality, devised by Jakob Henle and Robert Koch, which has been fruitful in bacteriology, requires that in every instance the effect invariably follows the cause (e.g., inoculation of Koch bacillus and tuberculosis). This is incompatible with epidemiological causality which has to deal with probabilistic effects (e.g., smoking and lung cancer), and is therefore invariant only for the population.
Causal Mediation Analysis: Warning! Assumptions Ahead
Keele, Luke
2015-01-01
In policy evaluations, interest may focus on why a particular treatment works. One tool for understanding why treatments work is causal mediation analysis. In this essay, I focus on the assumptions needed to estimate mediation effects. I show that there is no "gold standard" method for the identification of causal mediation effects. In…
Schnitzer, Mireille E.; Lok, Judith J.; Gruber, Susan
2015-01-01
This paper investigates the appropriateness of the integration of flexible propensity score modeling (nonparametric or machine learning approaches) in semiparametric models for the estimation of a causal quantity, such as the mean outcome under treatment. We begin with an overview of some of the issues involved in knowledge-based and statistical variable selection in causal inference and the potential pitfalls of automated selection based on the fit of the propensity score. Using a simple example, we directly show the consequences of adjusting for pure causes of the exposure when using inverse probability of treatment weighting (IPTW). Such variables are likely to be selected when using a naive approach to model selection for the propensity score. We describe how the method of Collaborative Targeted minimum loss-based estimation (C-TMLE; van der Laan and Gruber, 2010) capitalizes on the collaborative double robustness property of semiparametric efficient estimators to select covariates for the propensity score based on the error in the conditional outcome model. Finally, we compare several approaches to automated variable selection in low-and high-dimensional settings through a simulation study. From this simulation study, we conclude that using IPTW with flexible prediction for the propensity score can result in inferior estimation, while Targeted minimum loss-based estimation and C-TMLE may benefit from flexible prediction and remain robust to the presence of variables that are highly correlated with treatment. However, in our study, standard influence function-based methods for the variance underestimated the standard errors, resulting in poor coverage under certain data-generating scenarios. PMID:26226129
Pega, Frank
2016-05-01
Social epidemiologists are interested in determining the causal relationship between income and health. Natural experiments in which individuals or groups receive income randomly or quasi-randomly from financial credits (e.g., tax credits or cash transfers) are increasingly being analyzed using instrumental variable analysis. For example, in this issue of the Journal, Hamad and Rehkopf (Am J Epidemiol. 2016;183(9):775-784) used an in-work tax credit called the Earned Income Tax Credit as an instrument to estimate the association between income and child development. However, under certain conditions, the use of financial credits as instruments could violate 2 key instrumental variable analytic assumptions. First, some financial credits may directly influence health, for example, through increasing a psychological sense of welfare security. Second, financial credits and health may have several unmeasured common causes, such as politics, other social policies, and the motivation to maximize the credit. If epidemiologists pursue such instrumental variable analyses, using the amount of an unconditional, universal credit that an individual or group has received as the instrument may produce the most conceptually convincing and generalizable evidence. However, other natural income experiments (e.g., lottery winnings) and other methods that allow better adjustment for confounding might be more promising approaches for estimating the causal relationship between income and health. © The Author 2016. Published by Oxford University Press on behalf of the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health. All rights reserved. For permissions, please e-mail: journals.permissions@oup.com.
Expert elicitation on ultrafine particles: likelihood of health effects and causal pathways
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Brunekreef Bert
2009-07-01
Full Text Available Abstract Background Exposure to fine ambient particulate matter (PM has consistently been associated with increased morbidity and mortality. The relationship between exposure to ultrafine particles (UFP and health effects is less firmly established. If UFP cause health effects independently from coarser fractions, this could affect health impact assessment of air pollution, which would possibly lead to alternative policy options to be considered to reduce the disease burden of PM. Therefore, we organized an expert elicitation workshop to assess the evidence for a causal relationship between exposure to UFP and health endpoints. Methods An expert elicitation on the health effects of ambient ultrafine particle exposure was carried out, focusing on: 1 the likelihood of causal relationships with key health endpoints, and 2 the likelihood of potential causal pathways for cardiac events. Based on a systematic peer-nomination procedure, fourteen European experts (epidemiologists, toxicologists and clinicians were selected, of whom twelve attended. They were provided with a briefing book containing key literature. After a group discussion, individual expert judgments in the form of ratings of the likelihood of causal relationships and pathways were obtained using a confidence scheme adapted from the one used by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change. Results The likelihood of an independent causal relationship between increased short-term UFP exposure and increased all-cause mortality, hospital admissions for cardiovascular and respiratory diseases, aggravation of asthma symptoms and lung function decrements was rated medium to high by most experts. The likelihood for long-term UFP exposure to be causally related to all cause mortality, cardiovascular and respiratory morbidity and lung cancer was rated slightly lower, mostly medium. The experts rated the likelihood of each of the six identified possible causal pathways separately. Out of these
Trongnetrpunya, Amy; Nandi, Bijurika; Kang, Daesung; Kocsis, Bernat; Schroeder, Charles E; Ding, Mingzhou
2015-01-01
Multielectrode voltage data are usually recorded against a common reference. Such data are frequently used without further treatment to assess patterns of functional connectivity between neuronal populations and between brain areas. It is important to note from the outset that such an approach is valid only when the reference electrode is nearly electrically silent. In practice, however, the reference electrode is generally not electrically silent, thereby adding a common signal to the recorded data. Volume conduction further complicates the problem. In this study we demonstrate the adverse effects of common signals on the estimation of Granger causality, which is a statistical measure used to infer synaptic transmission and information flow in neural circuits from multielectrode data. We further test the hypothesis that the problem can be overcome by utilizing bipolar derivations where the difference between two nearby electrodes is taken and treated as a representation of local neural activity. Simulated data generated by a neuronal network model where the connectivity pattern is known were considered first. This was followed by analyzing data from three experimental preparations where a priori predictions regarding the patterns of causal interactions can be made: (1) laminar recordings from the hippocampus of an anesthetized rat during theta rhythm, (2) laminar recordings from V4 of an awake-behaving macaque monkey during alpha rhythm, and (3) ECoG recordings from electrode arrays implanted in the middle temporal lobe and prefrontal cortex of an epilepsy patient during fixation. For both simulation and experimental analysis the results show that bipolar derivations yield the expected connectivity patterns whereas the untreated data (referred to as unipolar signals) do not. In addition, current source density signals, where applicable, yield results that are close to the expected connectivity patterns, whereas the commonly practiced average re-reference method
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Cristina Puente Águeda
2011-10-01
Full Text Available Causality is a fundamental notion in every field of science. Since the times of Aristotle, causal relationships have been a matter of study as a way to generate knowledge and provide for explanations. In this paper I review the notion of causality through different scientific areas such as physics, biology, engineering, etc. In the scientific area, causality is usually seen as a precise relation: the same cause provokes always the same effect. But in the everyday world, the links between cause and effect are frequently imprecise or imperfect in nature. Fuzzy logic offers an adequate framework for dealing with imperfect causality, so a few notions of fuzzy causality are introduced.
Is there a Causal Effect of High School Math on Labor Market Outcomes?
DEFF Research Database (Denmark)
Joensen, E. Juanna Schröter; Nielsen, Helena Skyt
2009-01-01
In this paper, we exploit a high school pilot scheme to identify the causal effect of advanced high school math on labor market outcomes. The pilot scheme reduced the costs of choosing advanced math because it allowed for a more flexible combination of math with other courses. We find clear...... evidence of a causal relationship between math and earnings for students who are induced to choose math after being exposed to the pilot scheme. The effect partly stems from the fact that these students end up with a higher education....
Estimation of morbidity effects
International Nuclear Information System (INIS)
Ostro, B.
1994-01-01
Many researchers have related exposure to ambient air pollution to respiratory morbidity. To be included in this review and analysis, however, several criteria had to be met. First, a careful study design and a methodology that generated quantitative dose-response estimates were required. Therefore, there was a focus on time-series regression analyses relating daily incidence of morbidity to air pollution in a single city or metropolitan area. Studies that used weekly or monthly average concentrations or that involved particulate measurements in poorly characterized metropolitan areas (e.g., one monitor representing a large region) were not included in this review. Second, studies that minimized confounding ad omitted variables were included. For example, research that compared two cities or regions and characterized them as 'high' and 'low' pollution area were not included because of potential confounding by other factors in the respective areas. Third, concern for the effects of seasonality and weather had to be demonstrated. This could be accomplished by either stratifying and analyzing the data by season, by examining the independent effects of temperature and humidity, and/or by correcting the model for possible autocorrelation. A fourth criterion for study inclusion was that the study had to include a reasonably complete analysis of the data. Such analysis would include an careful exploration of the primary hypothesis as well as possible examination of te robustness and sensitivity of the results to alternative functional forms, specifications, and influential data points. When studies reported the results of these alternative analyses, the quantitative estimates that were judged as most representative of the overall findings were those that were summarized in this paper. Finally, for inclusion in the review of particulate matter, the study had to provide a measure of particle concentration that could be converted into PM10, particulate matter below 10
Prenatal nutrition, epigenetics and schizophrenia risk: can we test causal effects?
Kirkbride, James B; Susser, Ezra; Kundakovic, Marija; Kresovich, Jacob K; Davey Smith, George; Relton, Caroline L
2012-06-01
We posit that maternal prenatal nutrition can influence offspring schizophrenia risk via epigenetic effects. In this article, we consider evidence that prenatal nutrition is linked to epigenetic outcomes in offspring and schizophrenia in offspring, and that schizophrenia is associated with epigenetic changes. We focus upon one-carbon metabolism as a mediator of the pathway between perturbed prenatal nutrition and the subsequent risk of schizophrenia. Although post-mortem human studies demonstrate DNA methylation changes in brains of people with schizophrenia, such studies cannot establish causality. We suggest a testable hypothesis that utilizes a novel two-step Mendelian randomization approach, to test the component parts of the proposed causal pathway leading from prenatal nutritional exposure to schizophrenia. Applied here to a specific example, such an approach is applicable for wider use to strengthen causal inference of the mediating role of epigenetic factors linking exposures to health outcomes in population-based studies.
Moving Matters: The Causal Effect of Moving Schools on Student Performance. Working Paper #01-15
Schwartz, Amy Ellen; Stiefel, Leanna; Cordes, Sarah A.
2015-01-01
The majority of existing research on mobility indicates that students do worse in the year of a school move. This research, however, has been unsuccessful in isolating the causal effects of mobility and often fails to distinguish the heterogeneous impacts of moves, conflating structural moves (mandated by a school's terminal grade) and…
Temporal expression profiling identifies pathways mediating effect of causal variant on phenotype.
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Saumya Gupta
2015-06-01
Full Text Available Even with identification of multiple causal genetic variants for common human diseases, understanding the molecular processes mediating the causal variants' effect on the disease remains a challenge. This understanding is crucial for the development of therapeutic strategies to prevent and treat disease. While static profiling of gene expression is primarily used to get insights into the biological bases of diseases, it makes differentiating the causative from the correlative effects difficult, as the dynamics of the underlying biological processes are not monitored. Using yeast as a model, we studied genome-wide gene expression dynamics in the presence of a causal variant as the sole genetic determinant, and performed allele-specific functional validation to delineate the causal effects of the genetic variant on the phenotype. Here, we characterized the precise genetic effects of a functional MKT1 allelic variant in sporulation efficiency variation. A mathematical model describing meiotic landmark events and conditional activation of MKT1 expression during sporulation specified an early meiotic role of this variant. By analyzing the early meiotic genome-wide transcriptional response, we demonstrate an MKT1-dependent role of novel modulators, namely, RTG1/3, regulators of mitochondrial retrograde signaling, and DAL82, regulator of nitrogen starvation, in additively effecting sporulation efficiency. In the presence of functional MKT1 allele, better respiration during early sporulation was observed, which was dependent on the mitochondrial retrograde regulator, RTG3. Furthermore, our approach showed that MKT1 contributes to sporulation independent of Puf3, an RNA-binding protein that steady-state transcription profiling studies have suggested to mediate MKT1-pleiotropic effects during mitotic growth. These results uncover interesting regulatory links between meiosis and mitochondrial retrograde signaling. In this study, we highlight the advantage
Evolution of tunnelling causality and the 'Hartman-Fletcher effect'
International Nuclear Information System (INIS)
Olkhovsky, V.S.; Zaichenko, A.K.
1995-01-01
A new concept of the macroscopic tunneling time is added to our previous definition of the microscopic tunnelling time. The formally accusal jump of a time advance near the forward barrier wall is interpreted as a result of the superposition and interference of incoming and reflected waves. The reality 'H.-F. effect' is confirmed
The psychophysics of comic: Effects of incongruity in causality and animacy.
Parovel, Giulia; Guidi, Stefano
2015-07-01
According to several theories of humour (see Berger, 2012; Martin, 2007), incongruity - i.e., the presence of two incompatible meanings in the same situation - is a crucial condition for an event being evaluated as comical. The aim of this research was to test with psychophysical methods the role of incongruity in visual perception by manipulating the causal paradigm (Michotte, 1946/1963) to get a comic effect. We ran three experiments. In Experiment 1, we tested the role of speed ratio between the first and the second movement, and the effect of animacy cues (i.e. frog-like and jumping-like trajectories) in the second movement; in Experiment 2, we manipulated the temporal delay between the movements to explore the relationship between perceptual causal contingencies and comic impressions; in Experiment 3, we compared the strength of the comic impressions arising from incongruent trajectories based on animacy cues with those arising from incongruent trajectories not based on animacy cues (bouncing and rotating) in the second part of the causal event. General findings showed that the paradoxical juxtaposition of a living behaviour in the perceptual causal paradigm is a powerful factor in eliciting comic appreciations, coherently with the Bergsonian perspective in particular (Bergson, 2003), and with incongruity theories in general. Copyright © 2015 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.
Jafarzadeh, S Reza; Thomas, Benjamin S; Marschall, Jonas; Fraser, Victoria J; Gill, Jeff; Warren, David K
2016-01-01
To quantify the coinciding improvement in the clinical diagnosis of sepsis, its documentation in the electronic health records, and subsequent medical coding of sepsis for billing purposes in recent years. We examined 98,267 hospitalizations in 66,208 patients who met systemic inflammatory response syndrome criteria at a tertiary care center from 2008 to 2012. We used g-computation to estimate the causal effect of the year of hospitalization on receiving an International Classification of Diseases, Ninth Revision, Clinical Modification discharge diagnosis code for sepsis by estimating changes in the probability of getting diagnosed and coded for sepsis during the study period. When adjusted for demographics, Charlson-Deyo comorbidity index, blood culture frequency per hospitalization, and intensive care unit admission, the causal risk difference for receiving a discharge code for sepsis per 100 hospitalizations with systemic inflammatory response syndrome, had the hospitalization occurred in 2012, was estimated to be 3.9% (95% confidence interval [CI], 3.8%-4.0%), 3.4% (95% CI, 3.3%-3.5%), 2.2% (95% CI, 2.1%-2.3%), and 0.9% (95% CI, 0.8%-1.1%) from 2008 to 2011, respectively. Patients with similar characteristics and risk factors had a higher of probability of getting diagnosed, documented, and coded for sepsis in 2012 than in previous years, which contributed to an apparent increase in sepsis incidence. Copyright © 2016 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.
α-Decomposition for estimating parameters in common cause failure modeling based on causal inference
International Nuclear Information System (INIS)
Zheng, Xiaoyu; Yamaguchi, Akira; Takata, Takashi
2013-01-01
The traditional α-factor model has focused on the occurrence frequencies of common cause failure (CCF) events. Global α-factors in the α-factor model are defined as fractions of failure probability for particular groups of components. However, there are unknown uncertainties in the CCF parameters estimation for the scarcity of available failure data. Joint distributions of CCF parameters are actually determined by a set of possible causes, which are characterized by CCF-triggering abilities and occurrence frequencies. In the present paper, the process of α-decomposition (Kelly-CCF method) is developed to learn about sources of uncertainty in CCF parameter estimation. Moreover, it aims to evaluate CCF risk significances of different causes, which are named as decomposed α-factors. Firstly, a Hybrid Bayesian Network is adopted to reveal the relationship between potential causes and failures. Secondly, because all potential causes have different occurrence frequencies and abilities to trigger dependent failures or independent failures, a regression model is provided and proved by conditional probability. Global α-factors are expressed by explanatory variables (causes’ occurrence frequencies) and parameters (decomposed α-factors). At last, an example is provided to illustrate the process of hierarchical Bayesian inference for the α-decomposition process. This study shows that the α-decomposition method can integrate failure information from cause, component and system level. It can parameterize the CCF risk significance of possible causes and can update probability distributions of global α-factors. Besides, it can provide a reliable way to evaluate uncertainty sources and reduce the uncertainty in probabilistic risk assessment. It is recommended to build databases including CCF parameters and corresponding causes’ occurrence frequency of each targeted system
Is young fatherhood causally related to midlife mortality? A sibling fixed-effect study in Finland.
Einiö, Elina; Nisén, Jessica; Martikainen, Pekka
2015-11-01
Previous studies have shown that young fatherhood is associated with higher later-life mortality. It is unclear whether the association is credible, in the sense that mortality and young fatherhood appear to be associated because both are determined by family-related environmental, socioeconomic and genetic characteristics. We used a household-based 10% sample drawn from the 1950 Finnish census to estimate all-cause mortality of fathers born during 1940-1950. The fathers were followed from age 45 until death, or the end of age 54. We used a standard Cox model and a sibling fixed-effects Cox model to examine whether the effect of young fatherhood was independent of observed adulthood characteristics and unobserved early-life characteristics shared by brothers. Men who had their first child before the age of 22 or at ages 22-24 had higher mortality as compared with their brothers who had their first child at the median or mean age of 25-26. Men who had their first child later at ages 30-44 had lower mortality than their brothers who had a first child before the age of 25. The pattern of results from a standard model was similar to that obtained from a fixed-effects sibling model. The findings suggest a causal effect of young fatherhood on mortality and highlight the need to support young fathers in their family life to improve health behaviours and health. Published by the BMJ Publishing Group Limited. For permission to use (where not already granted under a licence) please go to http://group.bmj.com/group/rights-licensing/permissions.
Nobuoki, Eshima; Minoru, Tabata; Geng, Zhi; Department of Medical Information Analysis, Faculty of Medicine, Oita Medical University; Department of Applied Mathematics, Faculty of Engineering, Kobe University; Department of Probability and Statistics, Peking University
2001-01-01
This paper discusses path analysis of categorical variables with logistic regression models. The total, direct and indirect effects in fully recursive causal systems are considered by using model parameters. These effects can be explained in terms of log odds ratios, uncertainty differences, and an inner product of explanatory variables and a response variable. A study on food choice of alligators as a numerical exampleis reanalysed to illustrate the present approach.
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Ronald Herrera
2017-12-01
Full Text Available In a town located in a desert area of Northern Chile, gold and copper open-pit mining is carried out involving explosive processes. These processes are associated with increased dust exposure, which might affect children’s respiratory health. Therefore, we aimed to quantify the causal attributable risk of living close to the mines on asthma or allergic rhinoconjunctivitis risk burden in children. Data on the prevalence of respiratory diseases and potential confounders were available from a cross-sectional survey carried out in 2009 among 288 (response: 69 % children living in the community. The proximity of the children’s home addresses to the local gold and copper mine was calculated using geographical positioning systems. We applied targeted maximum likelihood estimation to obtain the causal attributable risk (CAR for asthma, rhinoconjunctivitis and both outcomes combined. Children living more than the first quartile away from the mines were used as the unexposed group. Based on the estimated CAR, a hypothetical intervention in which all children lived at least one quartile away from the copper mine would decrease the risk of rhinoconjunctivitis by 4.7 percentage points (CAR: − 4.7 ; 95 % confidence interval ( 95 % CI: − 8.4 ; − 0.11 ; and 4.2 percentage points (CAR: − 4.2 ; 95 % CI: − 7.9 ; − 0.05 for both outcomes combined. Overall, our results suggest that a hypothetical intervention intended to increase the distance between the place of residence of the highest exposed children would reduce the prevalence of respiratory disease in the community by around four percentage points. This approach could help local policymakers in the development of efficient public health strategies.
Herrera, Ronald; Berger, Ursula; von Ehrenstein, Ondine S; Díaz, Iván; Huber, Stella; Moraga Muñoz, Daniel; Radon, Katja
2017-12-27
In a town located in a desert area of Northern Chile, gold and copper open-pit mining is carried out involving explosive processes. These processes are associated with increased dust exposure, which might affect children's respiratory health. Therefore, we aimed to quantify the causal attributable risk of living close to the mines on asthma or allergic rhinoconjunctivitis risk burden in children. Data on the prevalence of respiratory diseases and potential confounders were available from a cross-sectional survey carried out in 2009 among 288 (response: 69 % ) children living in the community. The proximity of the children's home addresses to the local gold and copper mine was calculated using geographical positioning systems. We applied targeted maximum likelihood estimation to obtain the causal attributable risk (CAR) for asthma, rhinoconjunctivitis and both outcomes combined. Children living more than the first quartile away from the mines were used as the unexposed group. Based on the estimated CAR, a hypothetical intervention in which all children lived at least one quartile away from the copper mine would decrease the risk of rhinoconjunctivitis by 4.7 percentage points (CAR: - 4.7 ; 95 % confidence interval ( 95 % CI): - 8.4 ; - 0.11 ); and 4.2 percentage points (CAR: - 4.2 ; 95 % CI: - 7.9 ; - 0.05 ) for both outcomes combined. Overall, our results suggest that a hypothetical intervention intended to increase the distance between the place of residence of the highest exposed children would reduce the prevalence of respiratory disease in the community by around four percentage points. This approach could help local policymakers in the development of efficient public health strategies.
Introductive remarks on causal inference
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Silvana A. Romio
2013-05-01
Full Text Available One of the more challenging issues in epidemiological research is being able to provide an unbiased estimate of the causal exposure-disease effect, to assess the possible etiological mechanisms and the implication for public health. A major source of bias is confounding, which can spuriously create or mask the causal relationship. In the last ten years, methodological research has been developed to better de_ne the concept of causation in epidemiology and some important achievements have resulted in new statistical models. In this review, we aim to show how a technique the well known by statisticians, i.e. standardization, can be seen as a method to estimate causal e_ects, equivalent under certain conditions to the inverse probability treatment weight procedure.
Park, Hyunjoon; Behrman, Jere R; Choi, Jaesung
2013-04-01
Despite the voluminous literature on the potentials of single-sex schools, there is no consensus on the effects of single-sex schools because of student selection of school types. We exploit a unique feature of schooling in Seoul-the random assignment of students into single-sex versus coeducational high schools-to assess causal effects of single-sex schools on college entrance exam scores and college attendance. Our validation of the random assignment shows comparable socioeconomic backgrounds and prior academic achievement of students attending single-sex schools and coeducational schools, which increases the credibility of our causal estimates of single-sex school effects. The three-level hierarchical model shows that attending all-boys schools or all-girls schools, rather than coeducational schools, is significantly associated with higher average scores on Korean and English test scores. Applying the school district fixed-effects models, we find that single-sex schools produce a higher percentage of graduates who attended four-year colleges and a lower percentage of graduates who attended two-year junior colleges than do coeducational schools. The positive effects of single-sex schools remain substantial, even after we take into account various school-level variables, such as teacher quality, the student-teacher ratio, the proportion of students receiving lunch support, and whether the schools are public or private.
Park, Hyunjoon; Behrman, Jere R.; Choi, Jaesung
2012-01-01
Despite the voluminous literature on the potentials of single-sex schools, there is no consensus on the effects of single-sex schools because of student selection of school types. We exploit a unique feature of schooling in Seoul—the random assignment of students into single-sex versus coeducational high schools—to assess causal effects of single-sex schools on college entrance exam scores and college attendance. Our validation of the random assignment shows comparable socioeconomic backgrounds and prior academic achievement of students attending single-sex schools and coeducational schools, which increases the credibility of our causal estimates of single-sex school effects. The three-level hierarchical model shows that attending all-boys schools or all-girls schools, rather than coeducational schools, is significantly associated with higher average scores on Korean and English test scores. Applying the school district fixed-effects models, we find that single-sex schools produce a higher percentage of graduates who attended four-year colleges and a lower percentage of graduates who attended two-year junior colleges than do coeducational schools. The positive effects of single-sex schools remain substantial, even after we take into account various school-level variables, such as teacher quality, the student-teacher ratio, the proportion of students receiving lunch support, and whether the schools are public or private. PMID:23073751
mediation: R Package for Causal Mediation Analysis
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Dustin Tingley
2014-09-01
Full Text Available In this paper, we describe the R package mediation for conducting causal mediation analysis in applied empirical research. In many scientific disciplines, the goal of researchers is not only estimating causal effects of a treatment but also understanding the process in which the treatment causally affects the outcome. Causal mediation analysis is frequently used to assess potential causal mechanisms. The mediation package implements a comprehensive suite of statistical tools for conducting such an analysis. The package is organized into two distinct approaches. Using the model-based approach, researchers can estimate causal mediation effects and conduct sensitivity analysis under the standard research design. Furthermore, the design-based approach provides several analysis tools that are applicable under different experimental designs. This approach requires weaker assumptions than the model-based approach. We also implement a statistical method for dealing with multiple (causally dependent mediators, which are often encountered in practice. Finally, the package also offers a methodology for assessing causal mediation in the presence of treatment noncompliance, a common problem in randomized trials.
Can chance cause cancer? A causal consideration.
Stensrud, Mats Julius; Strohmaier, Susanne; Valberg, Morten; Aalen, Odd Olai
2017-04-01
The role of randomness, environment and genetics in cancer development is debated. We approach the discussion by using the potential outcomes framework for causal inference. By briefly considering the underlying assumptions, we suggest that the antagonising views arise due to estimation of substantially different causal effects. These effects may be hard to interpret, and the results cannot be immediately compared. Indeed, it is not clear whether it is possible to define a causal effect of chance at all. Copyright © 2017 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.
Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)
Zara Ghodsi
2017-03-01
Full Text Available In developmental studies, inferring regulatory interactions of segmentation genetic network play a vital role in unveiling the mechanism of pattern formation. As such, there exists an opportune demand for theoretical developments and new mathematical models which can result in a more accurate illustration of this genetic network. Accordingly, this paper seeks to extract the meaningful regulatory role of the maternal effect genes using a variety of causality detection techniques and to explore whether these methods can suggest a new analytical view to the gene regulatory networks. We evaluate the use of three different powerful and widely-used models representing time and frequency domain Granger causality and convergent cross mapping technique with the results being thoroughly evaluated for statistical significance. Our findings show that the regulatory role of maternal effect genes is detectable in different time classes and thereby the method is applicable to infer the possible regulatory interactions present among the other genes of this network.
The causal effect of board size in the performance of small and medium-sized firms
DEFF Research Database (Denmark)
Bennedsen, Morten; Kongsted, Hans Christian; Meisner Nielsen, Kasper
2008-01-01
correlation between family size and board size and show this correlation to be driven by firms where the CEO's relatives serve on the board. Second, we find empirical evidence of a small adverse board size effect driven by the minority of small and medium-sized firms that are characterized by having......Empirical studies of large publicly traded firms have shown a robust negative relationship between board size and firm performance. The evidence on small and medium-sized firms is less clear; we show that existing work has been incomplete in analyzing the causal relationship due to weak...... identification strategies. Using a rich data set of almost 7000 closely held corporations we provide a causal analysis of board size effects on firm performance: We use a novel instrument given by the number of children of the chief executive officer (CEO) of the firms. First, we find a strong positive...
Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)
Kaveh Deilami
2016-08-01
Full Text Available Numerous studies have identified associations between the surface urban heat island (SUHI effect (i.e., SUHI, hereinafter is referred to as UHI and urban growth, particularly changes in land cover patterns. This research questions their causal links to answer a key policy question: If cities restrict urban expansion and encourage people to live within existing urban areas, will that help in controlling UHI? The question has been answered by estimating four models using data from Brisbane, Australia: Model 1—cross-sectional ordinary least square (OLS regression—to examine the association between the UHI effect and land cover patterns in 2013; Model 2—cross-sectional geographically weighted regression (GWR—to examine whether the outputs generated from Model 1 possess significant spatial variations; Model 3—longitudinal OLS—to examine whether changes in land cover patterns led to changes in UHI effects between 2004 and 2013; and Model 4—longitudinal GWR—to examine whether the outputs generated from Model 3 vary significantly over space. All estimations were controlled for potential confounding effects (e.g., population, employment and dwelling densities. Results from the cross-sectional OLS and GWR models were consistent with previous findings and showed that porosity is negatively associated with the UHI effect in 2013. In contrast, population density has a positive association. Results from the longitudinal OLS and GWR models confirm their causal linkages and showed that an increase in porosity level reduced the UHI effect, whereas an increase in population density increased the UHI effect. The findings suggest that even a containment of population growth within existing urban areas will lead to the UHI effect. However, this can be significantly minimized through proper land use planning, by creating a balance between urban and non-urban uses of existing urban areas.
Yang, Lawrence H; Wonpat-Borja, Ahtoy J
2012-08-01
Identifying factors that facilitate treatment for psychotic disorders among Chinese-immigrants is crucial due to delayed treatment use. Identifying causal beliefs held by relatives that might predict identification of 'mental illness' as opposed to other 'indigenous labels' may promote more effective mental health service use. We examine what effects beliefs of 'physical causes' and other non-biomedical causal beliefs ('general social causes', and 'indigenous Chinese beliefs' or culture-specific epistemologies of illness) might have on mental illness identification. Forty-nine relatives of Chinese-immigrant consumers with psychosis were sampled. Higher endorsement of 'physical causes' was associated with mental illness labeling. However among the non-biomedical causal beliefs, 'general social causes' demonstrated no relationship with mental illness identification, while endorsement of 'indigenous Chinese beliefs' showed a negative relationship. Effective treatment- and community-based psychoeducation, in addition to emphasizing biomedical models, might integrate indigenous Chinese epistemologies of illness to facilitate rapid identification of psychotic disorders and promote treatment use.
A causal examination of the effects of confounding factors on multimetric indices
Schoolmaster, Donald R.; Grace, James B.; Schweiger, E. William; Mitchell, Brian R.; Guntenspergen, Glenn R.
2013-01-01
The development of multimetric indices (MMIs) as a means of providing integrative measures of ecosystem condition is becoming widespread. An increasingly recognized problem for the interpretability of MMIs is controlling for the potentially confounding influences of environmental covariates. Most common approaches to handling covariates are based on simple notions of statistical control, leaving the causal implications of covariates and their adjustment unstated. In this paper, we use graphical models to examine some of the potential impacts of environmental covariates on the observed signals between human disturbance and potential response metrics. Using simulations based on various causal networks, we show how environmental covariates can both obscure and exaggerate the effects of human disturbance on individual metrics. We then examine from a causal interpretation standpoint the common practice of adjusting ecological metrics for environmental influences using only the set of sites deemed to be in reference condition. We present and examine the performance of an alternative approach to metric adjustment that uses the whole set of sites and models both environmental and human disturbance effects simultaneously. The findings from our analyses indicate that failing to model and adjust metrics can result in a systematic bias towards those metrics in which environmental covariates function to artificially strengthen the metric–disturbance relationship resulting in MMIs that do not accurately measure impacts of human disturbance. We also find that a “whole-set modeling approach” requires fewer assumptions and is more efficient with the given information than the more commonly applied “reference-set” approach.
Testing the Causal Direction of Mediation Effects in Randomized Intervention Studies.
Wiedermann, Wolfgang; Li, Xintong; von Eye, Alexander
2018-05-21
In a recent update of the standards for evidence in research on prevention interventions, the Society of Prevention Research emphasizes the importance of evaluating and testing the causal mechanism through which an intervention is expected to have an effect on an outcome. Mediation analysis is commonly applied to study such causal processes. However, these analytic tools are limited in their potential to fully understand the role of theorized mediators. For example, in a design where the treatment x is randomized and the mediator (m) and the outcome (y) are measured cross-sectionally, the causal direction of the hypothesized mediator-outcome relation is not uniquely identified. That is, both mediation models, x → m → y or x → y → m, may be plausible candidates to describe the underlying intervention theory. As a third explanation, unobserved confounders can still be responsible for the mediator-outcome association. The present study introduces principles of direction dependence which can be used to empirically evaluate these competing explanatory theories. We show that, under certain conditions, third higher moments of variables (i.e., skewness and co-skewness) can be used to uniquely identify the direction of a mediator-outcome relation. Significance procedures compatible with direction dependence are introduced and results of a simulation study are reported that demonstrate the performance of the tests. An empirical example is given for illustrative purposes and a software implementation of the proposed method is provided in SPSS.
Neural Correlates of Causal Power Judgments
Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)
Denise Dellarosa Cummins
2014-12-01
Full Text Available Causal inference is a fundamental component of cognition and perception. Probabilistic theories of causal judgment (most notably causal Bayes networks derive causal judgments using metrics that integrate contingency information. But human estimates typically diverge from these normative predictions. This is because human causal power judgments are typically strongly influenced by beliefs concerning underlying causal mechanisms, and because of the way knowledge is retrieved from human memory during the judgment process. Neuroimaging studies indicate that the brain distinguishes causal events from mere covariation, and between perceived and inferred causality. Areas involved in error prediction are also activated, implying automatic activation of possible exception cases during causal decision-making.
Ellis, George FR; Pabjan, Tadeusz
2013-01-01
Written by philosophers, cosmologists, and physicists, this collection of essays deals with causality, which is a core issue for both science and philosophy. Readers will learn about different types of causality in complex systems and about new perspectives on this issue based on physical and cosmological considerations. In addition, the book includes essays pertaining to the problem of causality in ancient Greek philosophy, and to the problem of God's relation to the causal structures of nature viewed in the light of contemporary physics and cosmology.
Is there a Causal Effect of High School Math on Labor Market Outcomes?
DEFF Research Database (Denmark)
Joensen, Juanna Schrøter; Nielsen, Helena Skyt
Outsourcing of jobs to low-wage countries has increased the focus onthe accumulation of skills - such as Math skills - in high-wage countries.In this paper, we exploit a high school pilot scheme to identify the causaleffect of advanced high school Math on labor market outcomes. The pilotscheme...... reduced the costs of choosing advanced Math because it allowedfor at more flexible combination of Math with other courses. We findclear evidence of a causal relationship between Math and earnings for thestudents who are induced to choose Math after being exposed to the pilotscheme. The effect partly stems...
International Nuclear Information System (INIS)
Huang, Fuqun; Smidts, Carol
2017-01-01
Understanding cause-effect relations between concepts in software dependability engineering is fundamental to various research or industrial activities. Cognitive maps are traditionally used to elicit and represent such knowledge; however they seem incapable of accurately representing complex causal mechanisms in dependability engineering. This paper proposes a new notation called Causal Mechanism Graph (CMG) to elicit and represent the cause-effect domain knowledge embedded in experts’ minds or described in the literature. CMG contains a new set of symbols elicited from domain experts to capture the recurring interaction mechanisms between multiple concepts in software dependability engineering. Furthermore, compared to major existing graphic methods, CMG is particularly robust and suitable for mental knowledge elicitation: it allows one to represent the full range of cause-effect knowledge, accurately or fuzzily as one sees fit depending on the depth of knowledge he/she has. This feature combined with excellent reliability and validity poses CMG as a promising method that has the potential to be used in various areas, such as software dependability requirement elicitation, software dependability assessment and dependability risk control. - Highlights: • A new notation CMG for capturing cause-effect conceptual knowledge in software dependability. • CMG is particularly robust and suitable for mental knowledge representation. • CMG is a visual representation that bridges mental knowledge, natural and mathematical language. • CMG possesses excellent representation capability, validity and inter-coder reliability. • CMG is a fundamental method for various areas in dependability engineering.
Causal and causally separable processes
Oreshkov, Ognyan; Giarmatzi, Christina
2016-09-01
The idea that events are equipped with a partial causal order is central to our understanding of physics in the tested regimes: given two pointlike events A and B, either A is in the causal past of B, B is in the causal past of A, or A and B are space-like separated. Operationally, the meaning of these order relations corresponds to constraints on the possible correlations between experiments performed in the vicinities of the respective events: if A is in the causal past of B, an experimenter at A could signal to an experimenter at B but not the other way around, while if A and B are space-like separated, no signaling is possible in either direction. In the context of a concrete physical theory, the correlations compatible with a given causal configuration may obey further constraints. For instance, space-like correlations in quantum mechanics arise from local measurements on joint quantum states, while time-like correlations are established via quantum channels. Similarly to other variables, however, the causal order of a set of events could be random, and little is understood about the constraints that causality implies in this case. A main difficulty concerns the fact that the order of events can now generally depend on the operations performed at the locations of these events, since, for instance, an operation at A could influence the order in which B and C occur in A’s future. So far, no formal theory of causality compatible with such dynamical causal order has been developed. Apart from being of fundamental interest in the context of inferring causal relations, such a theory is imperative for understanding recent suggestions that the causal order of events in quantum mechanics can be indefinite. Here, we develop such a theory in the general multipartite case. Starting from a background-independent definition of causality, we derive an iteratively formulated canonical decomposition of multipartite causal correlations. For a fixed number of settings and
Causal and causally separable processes
International Nuclear Information System (INIS)
Oreshkov, Ognyan; Giarmatzi, Christina
2016-01-01
The idea that events are equipped with a partial causal order is central to our understanding of physics in the tested regimes: given two pointlike events A and B , either A is in the causal past of B , B is in the causal past of A , or A and B are space-like separated. Operationally, the meaning of these order relations corresponds to constraints on the possible correlations between experiments performed in the vicinities of the respective events: if A is in the causal past of B , an experimenter at A could signal to an experimenter at B but not the other way around, while if A and B are space-like separated, no signaling is possible in either direction. In the context of a concrete physical theory, the correlations compatible with a given causal configuration may obey further constraints. For instance, space-like correlations in quantum mechanics arise from local measurements on joint quantum states, while time-like correlations are established via quantum channels. Similarly to other variables, however, the causal order of a set of events could be random, and little is understood about the constraints that causality implies in this case. A main difficulty concerns the fact that the order of events can now generally depend on the operations performed at the locations of these events, since, for instance, an operation at A could influence the order in which B and C occur in A ’s future. So far, no formal theory of causality compatible with such dynamical causal order has been developed. Apart from being of fundamental interest in the context of inferring causal relations, such a theory is imperative for understanding recent suggestions that the causal order of events in quantum mechanics can be indefinite. Here, we develop such a theory in the general multipartite case. Starting from a background-independent definition of causality, we derive an iteratively formulated canonical decomposition of multipartite causal correlations. For a fixed number of settings and
Rogers, Clare R; Nulty, Karissa L; Betancourt, Mariana Aparicio; DeThorne, Laura S
2015-01-01
We reviewed recent studies published across key journals within the field of communication sciences and disorders (CSD) to survey what causal influences on child language development were being considered. Specifically, we reviewed a total of 2921 abstracts published within the following journals between 2003 and 2013: Language, Speech, and Hearing Services in Schools (LSHSS); American Journal of Speech-Language Pathology (AJSLP); Journal of Speech, Language, and Hearing Research (JSLHR); Journal of Communication Disorders (JCD); and the International Journal of Language and Communication Disorders (IJLCD). Of the 346 eligible articles that addressed causal factors on child language development across the five journals, 11% were categorized as Genetic (37/346), 83% (287/346) were categorized as Environmental, and 6% (22/346) were categorized as Mixed. The bulk of studies addressing environmental influences focused on therapist intervention (154/296=52%), family/caregiver linguistic input (65/296=22%), or family/caregiver qualities (39/296=13%). A more in-depth review of all eligible studies published in 2013 (n=34) revealed that family/caregiver qualities served as the most commonly controlled environmental factor (e.g., SES) and only 3 studies explicitly noted the possibility of gene-environment interplay. This review highlighted the need to expand the research base for the field of CSD to include a broader range of environmental influences on child language development (e.g., diet, toxin exposure, stress) and to consider more directly the complex and dynamic interplay between genetic and environmental effects. Readers will be able to highlight causal factors on child language development that have been studied over the past decade in CSD and recognize additional influences worthy of consideration. In addition, readers will become familiar with basic tenets of developmental systems theory, including the complex interplay between genetic and environmental factors
An information processing view of framing effects: the role of causal schemas in decision making.
Jou, J; Shanteau, J; Harris, R J
1996-01-01
People prefer a sure gain to a probable larger gain when the two choices are presented from a gain perspective, but a probable larger loss to a sure loss when the objectively identical choices are presented from a loss perspective. Such reversals of preference due to the context of the problem are known as framing effects. In the present study, schema activation and subjects' interpretations of the problems were examined as sources of the framing effects. Results showed that such effects could be eliminated by introducing into a problem a causal schema that provided a rationale for the reciprocal relationship between the gains and the losses. Moreover, when subjects were freed from framing they were consistently risk seeking in decisions about human life, but risk averse in decisions about property. Irrationality in choice behaviors and the ecological implication of framing effects are discussed.
Causal strength induction from time series data.
Soo, Kevin W; Rottman, Benjamin M
2018-04-01
One challenge when inferring the strength of cause-effect relations from time series data is that the cause and/or effect can exhibit temporal trends. If temporal trends are not accounted for, a learner could infer that a causal relation exists when it does not, or even infer that there is a positive causal relation when the relation is negative, or vice versa. We propose that learners use a simple heuristic to control for temporal trends-that they focus not on the states of the cause and effect at a given instant, but on how the cause and effect change from one observation to the next, which we call transitions. Six experiments were conducted to understand how people infer causal strength from time series data. We found that participants indeed use transitions in addition to states, which helps them to reach more accurate causal judgments (Experiments 1A and 1B). Participants use transitions more when the stimuli are presented in a naturalistic visual format than a numerical format (Experiment 2), and the effect of transitions is not driven by primacy or recency effects (Experiment 3). Finally, we found that participants primarily use the direction in which variables change rather than the magnitude of the change for estimating causal strength (Experiments 4 and 5). Collectively, these studies provide evidence that people often use a simple yet effective heuristic for inferring causal strength from time series data. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2018 APA, all rights reserved).
Kemp, Joshua J; Lickel, James J; Deacon, Brett J
2014-05-01
Although the chemical imbalance theory is the dominant causal explanation of depression in the United States, little is known about the effects of this explanation on depressed individuals. This experiment examined the impact of chemical imbalance test feedback on perceptions of stigma, prognosis, negative mood regulation expectancies, and treatment credibility and expectancy. Participants endorsing a past or current depressive episode received results of a bogus but credible biological test demonstrating their depressive symptoms to be caused, or not caused, by a chemical imbalance in the brain. Results showed that chemical imbalance test feedback failed to reduce self-blame, elicited worse prognostic pessimism and negative mood regulation expectancies, and led participants to view pharmacotherapy as more credible and effective than psychotherapy. The present findings add to a growing literature highlighting the unhelpful and potentially iatrogenic effects of attributing depressive symptoms to a chemical imbalance. Clinical and societal implications of these findings are discussed. Copyright © 2014 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.
Structure and Strength in Causal Induction
Griffiths, Thomas L.; Tenenbaum, Joshua B.
2005-01-01
We present a framework for the rational analysis of elemental causal induction--learning about the existence of a relationship between a single cause and effect--based upon causal graphical models. This framework makes precise the distinction between causal structure and causal strength: the difference between asking whether a causal relationship…
Boamah, Kofi Baah; Du, Jianguo; Boamah, Angela Jacinta; Appiah, Kingsley
2018-02-01
This study seeks to contribute to the recent literature by empirically investigating the causal effect of urban population growth and international trade on environmental pollution of China, for the period 1980-2014. The Johansen cointegration confirmed a long-run cointegration association among the utilised variables for the case of China. The direction of causality among the variables was, consequently, investigated using the recent bootstrapped Granger causality test. This bootstrapped Granger causality approach is preferred as it provides robust and accurate critical values for statistical inferences. The findings from the causality analysis revealed the existence of a bi-directional causality between import and urban population. The three most paramount variables that explain the environmental pollution in China, according to the impulse response function, are imports, urbanisation and energy consumption. Our study further established the presence of an N-shaped environmental Kuznets curve relationship between economic growth and environmental pollution of China. Hence, our study recommends that China should adhere to stricter environmental regulations in international trade, as well as enforce policies that promote energy efficiency in the urban residential and commercial sector, in the quest to mitigate environmental pollution issues as the economy advances.
Causality in Europeanization Research
DEFF Research Database (Denmark)
Lynggaard, Kennet
2012-01-01
to develop discursive institutional analytical frameworks and something that comes close to the formulation of hypothesis on the effects of European Union (EU) policies and institutions on domestic change. Even if these efforts so far do not necessarily amount to substantive theories or claims of causality......Discourse analysis as a methodology is perhaps not readily associated with substantive causality claims. At the same time the study of discourses is very much the study of conceptions of causal relations among a set, or sets, of agents. Within Europeanization research we have seen endeavours......, it suggests that discourse analysis and the study of causality are by no means opposites. The study of Europeanization discourses may even be seen as an essential step in the move towards claims of causality in Europeanization research. This chapter deals with the question of how we may move from the study...
Padula, Amy M.; Mortimer, Kathleen; Hubbard, Alan; Lurmann, Frederick; Jerrett, Michael; Tager, Ira B.
2012-01-01
Traffic-related air pollution is recognized as an important contributor to health problems. Epidemiologic analyses suggest that prenatal exposure to traffic-related air pollutants may be associated with adverse birth outcomes; however, there is insufficient evidence to conclude that the relation is causal. The Study of Air Pollution, Genetics and Early Life Events comprises all births to women living in 4 counties in California's San Joaquin Valley during the years 2000–2006. The probability of low birth weight among full-term infants in the population was estimated using machine learning and targeted maximum likelihood estimation for each quartile of traffic exposure during pregnancy. If everyone lived near high-volume freeways (approximated as the fourth quartile of traffic density), the estimated probability of term low birth weight would be 2.27% (95% confidence interval: 2.16, 2.38) as compared with 2.02% (95% confidence interval: 1.90, 2.12) if everyone lived near smaller local roads (first quartile of traffic density). Assessment of potentially causal associations, in the absence of arbitrary model assumptions applied to the data, should result in relatively unbiased estimates. The current results support findings from previous studies that prenatal exposure to traffic-related air pollution may adversely affect birth weight among full-term infants. PMID:23045474
Grytten, Jostein; Skau, Irene
2017-09-01
The aim of the present study was to estimate the causal effect of education on the probability of receiving periodontal treatment in the adult Norwegian population. In Norway, a substantial part of the cost of periodontal treatment is subsidized by the National Insurance Scheme. In that case, one might expect that the influence of individual resources, such as education, on receiving treatment would be reduced or eliminated. Causal effects were estimated by using data on a school reform in Norway. During the period 1960-1972, all municipalities in Norway were required to increase the number of compulsory years of schooling from seven to nine years. The education reform was used to create exogenous variation in the education variable. The education data were combined with large sets of data from the Norwegian Health Economics Administration and Statistics Norway. Since municipalities implemented the reform at different times, we have both cross-sectional and time-series variation in the reform instrument. Thus we were able to estimate the effect of education on the probability of receiving periodontal treatment by controlling for municipality fixed effects and trend variables. The probability of receiving periodontal treatment increased by 1.4-1.8 percentage points per additional year of schooling. This is a reasonably strong effect, which indicates that policies to increase the level of education in the population can be an effective tool to improve oral health, including periodontal health. Copyright © 2017 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.
Estimation of effective connectivity using multi-layer perceptron artificial neural network.
Talebi, Nasibeh; Nasrabadi, Ali Motie; Mohammad-Rezazadeh, Iman
2018-02-01
Studies on interactions between brain regions estimate effective connectivity, (usually) based on the causality inferences made on the basis of temporal precedence. In this study, the causal relationship is modeled by a multi-layer perceptron feed-forward artificial neural network, because of the ANN's ability to generate appropriate input-output mapping and to learn from training examples without the need of detailed knowledge of the underlying system. At any time instant, the past samples of data are placed in the network input, and the subsequent values are predicted at its output. To estimate the strength of interactions, the measure of " Causality coefficient " is defined based on the network structure, the connecting weights and the parameters of hidden layer activation function. Simulation analysis demonstrates that the method, called "CREANN" (Causal Relationship Estimation by Artificial Neural Network), can estimate time-invariant and time-varying effective connectivity in terms of MVAR coefficients. The method shows robustness with respect to noise level of data. Furthermore, the estimations are not significantly influenced by the model order (considered time-lag), and the different initial conditions (initial random weights and parameters of the network). CREANN is also applied to EEG data collected during a memory recognition task. The results implicate that it can show changes in the information flow between brain regions, involving in the episodic memory retrieval process. These convincing results emphasize that CREANN can be used as an appropriate method to estimate the causal relationship among brain signals.
Park, Soojin
2015-01-01
Identifying the causal mechanisms is becoming more essential in social and medical sciences. In the presence of treatment non-compliance, the Intent-To-Treated effect (hereafter, ITT effect) is identified as long as the treatment is randomized (Angrist et al., 1996). However, the mediated portion of effect is not identified without additional…
Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)
Arah Onyebuchi A
2008-02-01
Full Text Available Abstract Tu et al present an analysis of the equivalence of three paradoxes, namely, Simpson's, Lord's, and the suppression phenomena. They conclude that all three simply reiterate the occurrence of a change in the association of any two variables when a third variable is statistically controlled for. This is not surprising because reversal or change in magnitude is common in conditional analysis. At the heart of the phenomenon of change in magnitude, with or without reversal of effect estimate, is the question of which to use: the unadjusted (combined table or adjusted (sub-table estimate. Hence, Simpson's paradox and related phenomena are a problem of covariate selection and adjustment (when to adjust or not in the causal analysis of non-experimental data. It cannot be overemphasized that although these paradoxes reveal the perils of using statistical criteria to guide causal analysis, they hold neither the explanations of the phenomenon they depict nor the pointers on how to avoid them. The explanations and solutions lie in causal reasoning which relies on background knowledge, not statistical criteria.
Causality and headache triggers
Turner, Dana P.; Smitherman, Todd A.; Martin, Vincent T.; Penzien, Donald B.; Houle, Timothy T.
2013-01-01
Objective The objective of this study was to explore the conditions necessary to assign causal status to headache triggers. Background The term “headache trigger” is commonly used to label any stimulus that is assumed to cause headaches. However, the assumptions required for determining if a given stimulus in fact has a causal-type relationship in eliciting headaches have not been explicated. Methods A synthesis and application of Rubin’s Causal Model is applied to the context of headache causes. From this application the conditions necessary to infer that one event (trigger) causes another (headache) are outlined using basic assumptions and examples from relevant literature. Results Although many conditions must be satisfied for a causal attribution, three basic assumptions are identified for determining causality in headache triggers: 1) constancy of the sufferer; 2) constancy of the trigger effect; and 3) constancy of the trigger presentation. A valid evaluation of a potential trigger’s effect can only be undertaken once these three basic assumptions are satisfied during formal or informal studies of headache triggers. Conclusions Evaluating these assumptions is extremely difficult or infeasible in clinical practice, and satisfying them during natural experimentation is unlikely. Researchers, practitioners, and headache sufferers are encouraged to avoid natural experimentation to determine the causal effects of headache triggers. Instead, formal experimental designs or retrospective diary studies using advanced statistical modeling techniques provide the best approaches to satisfy the required assumptions and inform causal statements about headache triggers. PMID:23534872
Estimating the Effects of Parental Divorce and Death With Fixed Effects Models
Amato, Paul R.; Anthony, Christopher J.
2014-01-01
The authors used child fixed effects models to estimate the effects of parental divorce and death on a variety of outcomes using 2 large national data sets: (a) the Early Childhood Longitudinal Study, Kindergarten Cohort (kindergarten through the 5th grade) and (b) the National Educational Longitudinal Study (8th grade to the senior year of high school). In both data sets, divorce and death were associated with multiple negative outcomes among children. Although evidence for a causal effect o...
Genetic evidence of a causal effect of insulin resistance on branched-chain amino acid levels.
Mahendran, Yuvaraj; Jonsson, Anna; Have, Christian T; Allin, Kristine H; Witte, Daniel R; Jørgensen, Marit E; Grarup, Niels; Pedersen, Oluf; Kilpeläinen, Tuomas O; Hansen, Torben
2017-05-01
-PRO indicated that HOMA-IR is causally related to higher circulating fasting BCAA levels (β 0.73 [95% CI 0.26, 1.19] p = 0.002). Our results suggest that higher BCAA levels do not have a causal effect on insulin resistance while increased insulin resistance drives higher circulating fasting BCAA levels.
Estimation of effective wind speed
Østergaard, K. Z.; Brath, P.; Stoustrup, J.
2007-07-01
The wind speed has a huge impact on the dynamic response of wind turbine. Because of this, many control algorithms use a measure of the wind speed to increase performance, e.g. by gain scheduling and feed forward. Unfortunately, no accurate measurement of the effective wind speed is online available from direct measurements, which means that it must be estimated in order to make such control methods applicable in practice. In this paper a new method is presented for the estimation of the effective wind speed. First, the rotor speed and aerodynamic torque are estimated by a combined state and input observer. These two variables combined with the measured pitch angle is then used to calculate the effective wind speed by an inversion of a static aerodynamic model.
Causal Effects of Language on the Exchange of Social Support in an Online Community.
Biehl, Sarah A; Kahn, Jeffrey H
2016-07-01
The provision of social support is a common function of many online communities, but a full understanding of the causal effect of emotion language on the provision of support requires experimental study. The frequency of positive- and negative-emotion words in simulated posts requesting emotional support was manipulated and presented to a sample of college students (N = 442) who were randomly assigned to read one of four simulated posts. Participants completed measures of the original poster's (OP's) distress, and they provided a response to the simulated post. These responses were subjected to a computerized text analysis, and their overall effectiveness was rated by two independent judges. Fewer positive-emotion and more negative-emotion words in the simulated post led to perceptions that the OP was distressed and unable to cope. Participant-generated responses to the post were highest in positive-emotion words when the simulated post was high in positive-emotion words, but low in negative-emotion words. Finally, simulated posts that were low in positive-emotion words received responses that were judged to be more effective than did simulated posts that were high in positive-emotion words. These findings have implications for understanding the role of emotion language on the exchange of online social support.
The Effects of Simple Necessity and Sufficiency Relationships on Children's Causal Inferences
Siegler, Robert S.
1976-01-01
Attempted to determine (1) whether developmental differences existed in children's comprehension of simple necessity and simple sufficiency relationships, and (2) the source of developmental differences in children's causal reasoning. (SB)
Lee, Heok In; Rojewski, Jay W.; Gregg, Noel
2016-01-01
Using data from the National Longitudinal Transition Study-2, a propensity score analysis revealed significant causal effects for a secondary career and technical education (CTE) concentration on the postsecondary work outcomes of adolescents with high-incidence disabilities. High school students identified as CTE concentrators (three or more high…
Kelcey, Benjamin; Dong, Nianbo; Spybrook, Jessaca; Cox, Kyle
2017-01-01
Designs that facilitate inferences concerning both the total and indirect effects of a treatment potentially offer a more holistic description of interventions because they can complement "what works" questions with the comprehensive study of the causal connections implied by substantive theories. Mapping the sensitivity of designs to…
Causal inference in economics and marketing.
Varian, Hal R
2016-07-05
This is an elementary introduction to causal inference in economics written for readers familiar with machine learning methods. The critical step in any causal analysis is estimating the counterfactual-a prediction of what would have happened in the absence of the treatment. The powerful techniques used in machine learning may be useful for developing better estimates of the counterfactual, potentially improving causal inference.
Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)
Noureddine BOULENOUAR
2016-07-01
Full Text Available In the present study, a medicinal plant from algerian Sahara (South-West of Algeria, Acacia raddiana has been used (leaves, bark to evaluate its extracts (reflux extraction with four solvents: methanol, ethyl acetate, dichloromethane, hexane on Fusarium oxysporum f. sp. albedinis (Foa. The Foa is the causal agent of the most dangerous disease of date palm (Phoenix dactylifera L.. The preliminary evaluation has been realized by agar diffusion technique and virulence test on potato tuber tissues. The extracts that present an inhibition or decrease the relative virulence (RV below 50% undergo phytochemical screening and direct bioautography. The bioautography has been used to localize the antifungal activity on the chromatogram and study the correlation with phytochemical screening data. Among eight extracts, five has been chosen for phytochemical screening and bioautography (2 leaves extracts and 3 bark extracts. Only six tests among 32 (22.58% present a detectable effect. The best effect is related to bark extract with ethyl acetate (inhibition diameter: 18mm, which is a moderate effect. Some extracts show an increase in RV. On the other hand, others decrease the RV. The best effect on RV is presented by hexanic extract of bark (RV=48%. The phytochemical screening highlighted the presence of flavonoids, tannins, coumarins and alkaloids in the studied plant. The direct bioautography has demonstrated no detectable effect. According to realized analyses, we can conclude that this species contains bioactive substances on Foa but need more precise analyses. The reason is simple, in addition to synergy principle in the crude extracts; the quantity of these metabolites is low compared to the detection level.
Binder, Alexandra M; Michels, Karin B
2013-12-04
Investigation of the biological mechanism by which folate acts to affect fetal development can inform appraisal of expected benefits and risk management. This research is ethically imperative given the ubiquity of folic acid fortified products in the US. Considering that folate is an essential component in the one-carbon metabolism pathway that provides methyl groups for DNA methylation, epigenetic modifications provide a putative molecular mechanism mediating the effect of folic acid supplementation on neonatal and pediatric outcomes. In this study we use a Mendelian Randomization Unnecessary approach to assess the effect of red blood cell (RBC) folate on genome-wide DNA methylation in cord blood. Site-specific CpG methylation within the proximal promoter regions of approximately 14,500 genes was analyzed using the Illumina Infinium Human Methylation27 Bead Chip for 50 infants from the Epigenetic Birth Cohort at Brigham and Women's Hospital in Boston. Using methylenetetrahydrofolate reductase genotype as the instrument, the Mendelian Randomization approach identified 7 CpG loci with a significant (mostly positive) association between RBC folate and methylation level. Among the genes in closest proximity to this significant subset of CpG loci, several enriched biologic processes were involved in nucleic acid transport and metabolic processing. Compared to the standard ordinary least squares regression method, our estimates were demonstrated to be more robust to unmeasured confounding. To the authors' knowledge, this is the largest genome-wide analysis of the effects of folate on methylation pattern, and the first to employ Mendelian Randomization to assess the effects of an exposure on epigenetic modifications. These results can help guide future analyses of the causal effects of periconceptional folate levels on candidate pathways.
Effects of stress on memory in children and adolescents: testing causal connections.
Quas, Jodi A; Rush, Elizabeth B; Yim, Ilona S; Nikolayev, Mariya
2014-01-01
Although a sizeable body of research has examined children's memory for stressful prior experiences, relatively few studies have experimentally manipulated stress during a to-be-remembered event to draw causal inferences about the effects of stress, especially across wide age ranges. We exposed children and adolescents to a more or a less arousing version of the Trier Social Stress Test-Modified (TSST-M), a widely used laboratory stress task. Two weeks later, we tested their memory for what happened. Interviewers behaved in a supportive or non-supportive manner. In adolescents, those who completed the high-arousal TSST-M provided fewer correct responses to recognition questions and fewer incorrect responses to misleading questions for which any answer would have been incorrect, compared to those who completed the lower-arousal TSST-M. Thus, arousal seemed to have reduced the adolescents' willingness to answer questions rather than having influenced their memory per se. In children, across TSST-M conditions, greater physiological arousal during the TSST-M predicted enhanced recall. Finally, interviewer support reduced the amount of factual information provided in free recall but increased correct responses to misleading questions. Results highlight the complex ways in which event stress and interviewer demeanour shape recounting of prior experiences across development.
Carmody, Thomas; Greer, Tracy L; Walker, Robrina; Rethorst, Chad D; Trivedi, Madhukar H
2018-06-01
Exercise is a promising treatment for substance use disorders, yet an intention-to-treat analysis of a large, multi-site study found no reduction in stimulant use for exercise versus health education. Exercise adherence was sub-optimal; therefore, secondary post-hoc complier average causal effects (CACE) analysis was conducted to determine the potential effectiveness of adequately dosed exercise. The STimulant use Reduction Intervention using Dosed Exercise study was a randomized controlled trial comparing a 12 kcal/kg/week (KKW) exercise dose versus a health education control conducted at nine residential substance use treatment settings across the U.S. that are affiliated with the National Drug Abuse Treatment Clinical Trials Network. Participants were sedentary but medically approved for exercise, used stimulants within 30 days prior to study entry, and received a DSM-IV stimulant abuse or dependence diagnosis within the past year. A CACE analysis adjusted to include only participants with a minimum threshold of adherence (at least 8.3 KKW) and using a negative-binomial hurdle model focused on 218 participants who were 36.2% female, mean age 39.4 years ( SD =11.1), and averaged 13.0 ( SD =9.2) stimulant use days in the 30 days before residential treatment. The outcome was days of stimulant use as assessed by the self-reported TimeLine Follow Back and urine drug screen results. The CACE-adjusted analysis found a significantly lower probability of relapse to stimulant use in the exercise group versus the health education group (41.0% vs. 55.7%, p <.01) and significantly lower days of stimulant use among those who relapsed (5.0 days vs. 9.9 days, p <.01). The CACE adjustment revealed significant, positive effects for exercise. Further research is warranted to develop strategies for exercise adherence that can ensure achievement of an exercise dose sufficient to produce a significant treatment effect.
Instrumental variables estimates of peer effects in social networks.
An, Weihua
2015-03-01
Estimating peer effects with observational data is very difficult because of contextual confounding, peer selection, simultaneity bias, and measurement error, etc. In this paper, I show that instrumental variables (IVs) can help to address these problems in order to provide causal estimates of peer effects. Based on data collected from over 4000 students in six middle schools in China, I use the IV methods to estimate peer effects on smoking. My design-based IV approach differs from previous ones in that it helps to construct potentially strong IVs and to directly test possible violation of exogeneity of the IVs. I show that measurement error in smoking can lead to both under- and imprecise estimations of peer effects. Based on a refined measure of smoking, I find consistent evidence for peer effects on smoking. If a student's best friend smoked within the past 30 days, the student was about one fifth (as indicated by the OLS estimate) or 40 percentage points (as indicated by the IV estimate) more likely to smoke in the same time period. The findings are robust to a variety of robustness checks. I also show that sharing cigarettes may be a mechanism for peer effects on smoking. A 10% increase in the number of cigarettes smoked by a student's best friend is associated with about 4% increase in the number of cigarettes smoked by the student in the same time period. Copyright © 2014 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.
Park, Hyunjoon; Behrman, Jere R.; Choi, Jaesung
2013-01-01
Despite the voluminous literature on the potentials of single-sex schools, there is no consensus on the effects of single-sex schools because of student selection of school types. We exploit a unique feature of schooling in Seoul—the random assignment of students into single-sex versus coeducational high schools—to assess causal effects of single-sex schools on college entrance exam scores and college attendance. Our validation of the random assignment shows comparable socioeconomic backgroun...
Causal Diagrams for Empirical Research
Pearl, Judea
1994-01-01
The primary aim of this paper is to show how graphical models can be used as a mathematical language for integrating statistical and subject-matter information. In particular, the paper develops a principled, nonparametric framework for causal inference, in which diagrams are queried to determine if the assumptions available are sufficient for identifiying causal effects from non-experimental data. If so the diagrams can be queried to produce mathematical expressions for causal effects in ter...
Causal mediation analysis with multiple causally non-ordered mediators.
Taguri, Masataka; Featherstone, John; Cheng, Jing
2018-01-01
In many health studies, researchers are interested in estimating the treatment effects on the outcome around and through an intermediate variable. Such causal mediation analyses aim to understand the mechanisms that explain the treatment effect. Although multiple mediators are often involved in real studies, most of the literature considered mediation analyses with one mediator at a time. In this article, we consider mediation analyses when there are causally non-ordered multiple mediators. Even if the mediators do not affect each other, the sum of two indirect effects through the two mediators considered separately may diverge from the joint natural indirect effect when there are additive interactions between the effects of the two mediators on the outcome. Therefore, we derive an equation for the joint natural indirect effect based on the individual mediation effects and their interactive effect, which helps us understand how the mediation effect works through the two mediators and relative contributions of the mediators and their interaction. We also discuss an extension for three mediators. The proposed method is illustrated using data from a randomized trial on the prevention of dental caries.
Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)
Aaron Leong
2014-10-01
Full Text Available Observational studies have shown that vitamin D binding protein (DBP levels, a key determinant of 25-hydroxy-vitamin D (25OHD levels, and 25OHD levels themselves both associate with risk of disease. If 25OHD levels have a causal influence on disease, and DBP lies in this causal pathway, then DBP levels should likewise be causally associated with disease. We undertook a Mendelian randomization study to determine whether DBP levels have causal effects on common calcemic and cardiometabolic disease.We measured DBP and 25OHD levels in 2,254 individuals, followed for up to 10 y, in the Canadian Multicentre Osteoporosis Study (CaMos. Using the single nucleotide polymorphism rs2282679 as an instrumental variable, we applied Mendelian randomization methods to determine the causal effect of DBP on calcemic (osteoporosis and hyperparathyroidism and cardiometabolic diseases (hypertension, type 2 diabetes, coronary artery disease, and stroke and related traits, first in CaMos and then in large-scale genome-wide association study consortia. The effect allele was associated with an age- and sex-adjusted decrease in DBP level of 27.4 mg/l (95% CI 24.7, 30.0; n = 2,254. DBP had a strong observational and causal association with 25OHD levels (p = 3.2 × 10(-19. While DBP levels were observationally associated with calcium and body mass index (BMI, these associations were not supported by causal analyses. Despite well-powered sample sizes from consortia, there were no associations of rs2282679 with any other traits and diseases: fasting glucose (0.00 mmol/l [95% CI -0.01, 0.01]; p = 1.00; n = 46,186; fasting insulin (0.01 pmol/l [95% CI -0.00, 0.01,]; p = 0.22; n = 46,186; BMI (0.00 kg/m(2 [95% CI -0.01, 0.01]; p = 0.80; n = 127,587; bone mineral density (0.01 g/cm(2 [95% CI -0.01, 0.03]; p = 0.36; n = 32,961; mean arterial pressure (-0.06 mm Hg [95% CI -0.19, 0.07]; p = 0.36; n = 28,775; ischemic stroke (odds ratio [OR] = 1.00 [95% CI 0.97, 1.04]; p = 0.92; n
Dong, Ying; Stupnisky, Robert H.; Obade, Masela; Gerszewski, Tammy; Ruthig, Joelle C.
2015-01-01
Causal attributions (explanations for outcomes) have been found to predict college students' academic success; however, not all students attributing success or failure to adaptive (i.e., controllable) causes perform well in university. Eccles et al.'s ("Achievement and achievement motives." W.H. Freeman, San Francisco, pp 75-145, 1983)…
Causal Attributions for Failure and the Effect of Gender among Moroccan EFL University Learners
Zohri, Abdelaziz
2011-01-01
This paper reports a study that sought to investigate Moroccan university learners' perceptions of failure. 333 subjects studying English at university ranked their perceptions of failure in a Causal Attribution Scale of University Failure (CASUF). The results show that Moroccan learners attribute their failure to teachers' attitude, effort,…
Dougherty, Shaun M.
2018-01-01
Earlier work demonstrates that career and technical education (CTE) can provide long-term financial benefits to participants, yet few have explored potential academic impacts, with none in the era of high-stakes accountability. This paper investigates the causal impact of participating in a specialized high school-based CTE delivery system on high…
Lawton, Joseph T.
1977-01-01
Tests Ausubel's (1960) subsumption theory of learning in the context of children's use of causal and logical connectives. Predicts that the acquisition of prior cognitive structure organizers would facilitate the learning and retention of subsequently presented concepts and logical operations and lead to a decrease of syncretic reasoning and…
2009-07-28
further referred to as normative models of causation. A second type of model, which are based on Pavlovian classical conditioning, is associative...covariation detection and causal judgment literature including fertilizers and plant growth; gene expression and physical traits; drug administration...Allergy Food C Reaction 4 Food Allergy Food D Reaction 1 Experimental Drug Drug A Pain Relief 2 Experimental Drug
Page, Lindsay C
2012-04-01
Results from MDRC's longitudinal, random-assignment evaluation of career-academy high schools reveal that several years after high-school completion, those randomized to receive the academy opportunity realized a $175 (11%) increase in monthly earnings, on average. In this paper, I investigate the impact of duration of actual academy enrollment, as nearly half of treatment group students either never enrolled or participated for only a portion of high school. I capitalize on data from this experimental evaluation and utilize a principal stratification framework and Bayesian inference to investigate the causal impact of academy participation. This analysis focuses on a sample of 1,306 students across seven sites in the MDRC evaluation. Participation is measured by number of years of academy enrollment, and the outcome of interest is average monthly earnings in the period of four to eight years after high school graduation. I estimate an average causal effect of treatment assignment on subsequent monthly earnings of approximately $588 among males who remained enrolled in an academy throughout high school and more modest impacts among those who participated only partially. Different from an instrumental variables approach to treatment non-compliance, which allows for the estimation of linear returns to treatment take-up, the more general framework of principal stratification allows for the consideration of non-linear returns, although at the expense of additional model-based assumptions.
[Electroconvulsive therapy and level of evidence: From causality to dose-effect relationship].
Micoulaud-Franchi, J-A; Quilès, C; Cermolacce, M; Belzeaux, R; Adida, M; Fakra, E; Azorin, J-M
2016-12-01
The first objective of this article is to summarize the history of electroconvulsive therapy (ECT) in psychiatry in order to highlight the transition from clinical level of evidence based on phenomenological descriptions to controlled trial establishing causal relationship. The second objective is to apply the criteria of causation for ECT, to focus on the dose-effect relationship criteria, and thus to analyze the conditions of application of these criteria for ECT. A literature review exploring the use of electricity, ECT and electroencephalography (EEG) in psychiatry was conducted. The publications were identified from the Pubmed and GoogleScholar electronic databases. The scientific literature search of international articles was performed in July 2016. In 1784, a Royal commission established in France by King Louis XVI tested Mesmer's claims concerning animal magnetism. By doing that, the commission, including such prominent scientists as the chemist Anton Lavoisier and the scientist and researcher on electricity and therapeutics Benjamin Franklin, played a central role in establishing the criteria needed to assess the level of evidence of electrical therapeutics in psychiatry. Surprisingly, it is possible to identify the classical Bradford Hill criteria of causation in the report of the commission, except the dose-effect relationship criteria. Since then, it has been conducted blinded randomized controlled trials that confirmed the effectiveness of ECT against ECT placebos for the treatment of psychiatric disorders. At present, the dose-effect relationship criteria can be analyzed through an EEG quality assessment of ECT-induced seizures. EEG quality assessment includes several indices: TSLOW (time to onset of seizure activity ≤5Hz, seconds), peak mid-ictal amplitude (mm), regularity (intensity or morphology of the seizure (0-6)), stereotypy (global seizure patterning, 0-3) and post-ictal suppression (0-3). A manual rating sheet is needed to score theses
The causal effect of restrictive bank lending on employment growth: A matching approach
Kleemann, Michael; Wiegand, Manuel
2013-01-01
Does restrictive bank lending cause lower employment growth at the firm-level or does it reflect firm characteristics that drive the deterioration of employment figures? Applying propensity score matching, we estimate the treatment effect of restrictive bank lending on employment growth. Combining balance sheet information and survey data on a firm's current and expected future business situation, we rule out the impact of firm heterogeneity. We find that credit constraints have a significant...
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John F Magnotti
2017-02-01
Full Text Available Audiovisual speech integration combines information from auditory speech (talker's voice and visual speech (talker's mouth movements to improve perceptual accuracy. However, if the auditory and visual speech emanate from different talkers, integration decreases accuracy. Therefore, a key step in audiovisual speech perception is deciding whether auditory and visual speech have the same source, a process known as causal inference. A well-known illusion, the McGurk Effect, consists of incongruent audiovisual syllables, such as auditory "ba" + visual "ga" (AbaVga, that are integrated to produce a fused percept ("da". This illusion raises two fundamental questions: first, given the incongruence between the auditory and visual syllables in the McGurk stimulus, why are they integrated; and second, why does the McGurk effect not occur for other, very similar syllables (e.g., AgaVba. We describe a simplified model of causal inference in multisensory speech perception (CIMS that predicts the perception of arbitrary combinations of auditory and visual speech. We applied this model to behavioral data collected from 60 subjects perceiving both McGurk and non-McGurk incongruent speech stimuli. The CIMS model successfully predicted both the audiovisual integration observed for McGurk stimuli and the lack of integration observed for non-McGurk stimuli. An identical model without causal inference failed to accurately predict perception for either form of incongruent speech. The CIMS model uses causal inference to provide a computational framework for studying how the brain performs one of its most important tasks, integrating auditory and visual speech cues to allow us to communicate with others.
Wolfinger, Donna M.
The purpose of this research was to determine whether the young child's understanding of physical causality is affected by school science instruction. Sixty-four subjects, four and one-half through seven years of age, received 300 min of instruction designed to affect the subject's conception of causality as reflected in animism and dynamism. Instruction took place for 30 min per day on ten successive school days. Pretesting was done to allow a stratified random sample to be based on vocabulary level and developmental stage as well as on age and gender. Post-testing consisted of testing of developmental level and level within the causal relations of animism and dynamism. Significant differences (1.05 level) were found between the experimental and control groups for animism. Within the experimental group, males differed significantly (1.001 level) from females. The elimination of animism appeared to have occurred. For dynamism, significant differences (0.05 level) were found only between concrete operational subjects in the experimental and control groups, indicating a concrete level of operations was necessary if dynamism was to be affected. However, a review of interview protocols indicated that subjects classified as nonanimistic had learned to apply a definition rather than to think in a nonanimistic manner.
Causality between Prices and Wages: VECM Analysis for EU-27
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Adriatik Hoxha
2010-09-01
Full Text Available The literature on causality as well as the empirical evidence clearly shows that there are two opposing groups of economists, who support different hypotheses with respect to the flow of causality in the price-wage causal relationship. The first group argues that causality runs from wages to prices, whereas the second argues that effect flows from prices to wages. Nonetheless, the literature review suggeststhat there is at least some consensus in that researcher’s conclusions may be contingent on the type of data employed, applied econometric model, or even that relationship may alter with economic cycles. This paper empirically examines theprice-wage causal relationship in EU-27, by using the OLS and VECM analysis, and it also provides robust evidence in support of a bilateral causal relationship between prices and wages, both in long-run as well as in the shortrun.Prior to designing and estimating the econometric model we have performed stationarity tests for the employed price, wage and productivity variables. Additionally, we have also specified the model taking into account the lag order as well as the rank of co-integration for the co-integrated variables. Furthermore, we have also applied respective restrictions on the parameters of estimatedVECM. The evidence resulting from model robustness checks indicates that results are statistically robust. Although far from closing the issue of causality between prices and wages, this paper at least provides some fresh evidence in the case of EU-27.
Latimer, N.R.; White, I.R.; Abrams, K.R.; Sieburt, U.
2017-01-01
Treatment switching often has a crucial impact on estimates of effectiveness and cost-effectiveness of new oncology treatments. Rank preserving structural failure time models (RPSFTM) and two-stage estimation (TSE) methods estimate ‘counterfactual’ (i.e. had there been no switching) survival times and incorporate re-censoring to guard against informative censoring in the counterfactual dataset. However, re-censoring causes a loss of longer term survival information which is problematic when e...
Fairhall, Nicola; Sherrington, Catherine; Cameron, Ian D; Kurrle, Susan E; Lord, Stephen R; Lockwood, Keri; Herbert, Robert D
2017-01-01
What is the effect of a multifactorial intervention on frailty and mobility in frail older people who comply with their allocated treatment? Secondary analysis of a randomised, controlled trial to derive an estimate of complier average causal effect (CACE) of treatment. A total of 241 frail community-dwelling people aged ≥ 70 years. Intervention participants received a 12-month multidisciplinary intervention targeting frailty, with home exercise as an important component. Control participants received usual care. Primary outcomes were frailty, assessed using the Cardiovascular Health Study criteria (range 0 to 5 criteria), and mobility measured using the 12-point Short Physical Performance Battery. Outcomes were assessed 12 months after randomisation. The treating physiotherapist evaluated the amount of treatment received on a 5-point scale. 216 participants (90%) completed the study. The median amount of treatment received was 25 to 50% (range 0 to 100). The CACE (ie, the effect of treatment in participants compliant with allocation) was to reduce frailty by 1.0 frailty criterion (95% CI 0.4 to 1.5) and increase mobility by 3.2 points (95% CI 1.8 to 4.6) at 12 months. The mean CACE was substantially larger than the intention-to-treat effect, which was to reduce frailty by 0.4 frailty criteria (95% CI 0.1 to 0.7) and increase mobility by 1.4 points (95% CI 0.8 to 2.1) at 12 months. Overall, compliance was low in this group of frail people. The effect of the treatment on participants who comply with allocated treatment was substantially greater than the effect of allocation on all trial participants. Australian and New Zealand Trial Registry ANZCTRN12608000250336. [Fairhall N, Sherrington C, Cameron ID, Kurrle SE, Lord SR, Lockwood K, Herbert RD (2016) A multifactorial intervention for frail older people is more than twice as effective among those who are compliant: complier average causal effect analysis of a randomised trial.Journal of Physiotherapy63: 40
Sanderson, Eleanor; Macdonald-Wallis, Corrie; Davey Smith, George
2018-04-01
Negative control exposure studies are increasingly being used in epidemiological studies to strengthen causal inference regarding an exposure-outcome association when unobserved confounding is thought to be present. Negative control exposure studies contrast the magnitude of association of the negative control, which has no causal effect on the outcome but is associated with the unmeasured confounders in the same way as the exposure, with the magnitude of the association of the exposure with the outcome. A markedly larger effect of the exposure on the outcome than the negative control on the outcome strengthens inference that the exposure has a causal effect on the outcome. We investigate the effect of measurement error in the exposure and negative control variables on the results obtained from a negative control exposure study. We do this in models with continuous and binary exposure and negative control variables using analysis of the bias of the estimated coefficients and Monte Carlo simulations. Our results show that measurement error in either the exposure or negative control variables can bias the estimated results from the negative control exposure study. Measurement error is common in the variables used in epidemiological studies; these results show that negative control exposure studies cannot be used to precisely determine the size of the effect of the exposure variable, or adequately adjust for unobserved confounding; however, they can be used as part of a body of evidence to aid inference as to whether a causal effect of the exposure on the outcome is present.
Explaining through causal mechanisms
Biesbroek, Robbert; Dupuis, Johann; Wellstead, Adam
2017-01-01
This paper synthesizes and builds on recent critiques of the resilience literature; namely that the field has largely been unsuccessful in capturing the complexity of governance processes, in particular cause–effects relationships. We demonstrate that absence of a causal model is reflected in the
Tests of the power PC theory of causal induction with negative contingencies.
Shanks, David R
2002-01-01
The power PC theory of causal induction (Cheng, 1997) proposes that causal estimates are based on the power p of a potential cause, where p is the contingency between the cause and effect normalized by the base rate of the effect. Previous tests of this theory have concentrated on generative causes that have positive contingencies with their associated outcomes. Here we empirically test this theory in two experiments using preventive causes that have negative contingencies for their outcomes. Contrary to the power PC theory, the results show that causal judgments vary with contingency across conditions of constant power p. This pattern is consistent, however, with several alternative accounts of causal judgment.
Meresescu, Alina G.; Kowalski, Matthieu; Schmidt, Frédéric; Landais, François
2018-06-01
The Water Residence Time distribution is the equivalent of the impulse response of a linear system allowing the propagation of water through a medium, e.g. the propagation of rain water from the top of the mountain towards the aquifers. We consider the output aquifer levels as the convolution between the input rain levels and the Water Residence Time, starting with an initial aquifer base level. The estimation of Water Residence Time is important for a better understanding of hydro-bio-geochemical processes and mixing properties of wetlands used as filters in ecological applications, as well as protecting fresh water sources for wells from pollutants. Common methods of estimating the Water Residence Time focus on cross-correlation, parameter fitting and non-parametric deconvolution methods. Here we propose a 1D full-deconvolution, regularized, non-parametric inverse problem algorithm that enforces smoothness and uses constraints of causality and positivity to estimate the Water Residence Time curve. Compared to Bayesian non-parametric deconvolution approaches, it has a fast runtime per test case; compared to the popular and fast cross-correlation method, it produces a more precise Water Residence Time curve even in the case of noisy measurements. The algorithm needs only one regularization parameter to balance between smoothness of the Water Residence Time and accuracy of the reconstruction. We propose an approach on how to automatically find a suitable value of the regularization parameter from the input data only. Tests on real data illustrate the potential of this method to analyze hydrological datasets.
Principal stratification in causal inference.
Frangakis, Constantine E; Rubin, Donald B
2002-03-01
Many scientific problems require that treatment comparisons be adjusted for posttreatment variables, but the estimands underlying standard methods are not causal effects. To address this deficiency, we propose a general framework for comparing treatments adjusting for posttreatment variables that yields principal effects based on principal stratification. Principal stratification with respect to a posttreatment variable is a cross-classification of subjects defined by the joint potential values of that posttreatment variable tinder each of the treatments being compared. Principal effects are causal effects within a principal stratum. The key property of principal strata is that they are not affected by treatment assignment and therefore can be used just as any pretreatment covariate. such as age category. As a result, the central property of our principal effects is that they are always causal effects and do not suffer from the complications of standard posttreatment-adjusted estimands. We discuss briefly that such principal causal effects are the link between three recent applications with adjustment for posttreatment variables: (i) treatment noncompliance, (ii) missing outcomes (dropout) following treatment noncompliance. and (iii) censoring by death. We then attack the problem of surrogate or biomarker endpoints, where we show, using principal causal effects, that all current definitions of surrogacy, even when perfectly true, do not generally have the desired interpretation as causal effects of treatment on outcome. We go on to forrmulate estimands based on principal stratification and principal causal effects and show their superiority.
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Arielle Selya
2016-07-01
Full Text Available This paper presents a limited case study examining the causal inference of student mobility on standardized test performance, within one middle-class high school in suburban Connecticut. Administrative data were used from a district public high school enrolling 319 10th graders in 2010. Propensity score methods were used to estimate the causal effect of student mobility on Math, Science, Reading, and Writing portions of the Connecticut Academic Performance Test (CAPT, after matching mobile vs. stable students on gender, race/ethnicity, eligibility for free/reduced lunches, and special education status. Analyses showed that mobility was associated with lower performance in the CAPT Writing exam. Follow-up analyses revealed that this trend was only significant among those who were ineligible for free/reduced lunches, but not among eligible students. Additionally, mobile students who were ineligible for free/reduced lunches had lower performance in the CAPT Science exam according to some analyses. Large numbers of students transferring into a school district may adversely affect standardized test performance. This is especially relevant for policies that affect student mobility in schools, given the accountability measures in the No Child Left Behind that are currently being re-considered in the recent Every Student Succeeds Act.
Selya, Arielle S; Engel-Rebitzer, Eden; Dierker, Lisa; Stephen, Eric; Rose, Jennifer; Coffman, Donna L; Otis, Mindy
2016-01-01
This paper presents a limited case study examining the causal inference of student mobility on standardized test performance, within one middle-class high school in suburban Connecticut. Administrative data were used from a district public high school enrolling 319 10th graders in 2010. Propensity score methods were used to estimate the causal effect of student mobility on Math, Science, Reading, and Writing portions of the Connecticut Academic Performance Test (CAPT), after matching mobile vs. stable students on gender, race/ethnicity, eligibility for free/reduced lunches, and special education status. Analyses showed that mobility was associated with lower performance in the CAPT Writing exam. Follow-up analyses revealed that this trend was only significant among those who were ineligible for free/reduced lunches, but not among eligible students. Additionally, mobile students who were ineligible for free/reduced lunches had lower performance in the CAPT Science exam according to some analyses. Large numbers of students transferring into a school district may adversely affect standardized test performance. This is especially relevant for policies that affect student mobility in schools, given the accountability measures in the No Child Left Behind that are currently being re-considered in the recent Every Student Succeeds Act.
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Van der Merwe, Karl Robert
2014-05-01
Full Text Available Although it is generally accepted that lean manufacturing improves operational performance, many organisations are struggling to adapt to the lean philosophy. The purpose of this study is to contribute to a more effective strategy for implementing the lean manufacturing improvement philosophy. The study sets out both to integrate well-researched findings and theories related to generic organisational culture with more recent research and experience related to lean culture, and to examine the role that culture plays in the effective implementation of lean manufacturing principles and techniques. The ultimate aim of this exercise is to develop a theoretical lean culture causal framework.
Spectral dimension in causal set quantum gravity
International Nuclear Information System (INIS)
Eichhorn, Astrid; Mizera, Sebastian
2014-01-01
We evaluate the spectral dimension in causal set quantum gravity by simulating random walks on causal sets. In contrast to other approaches to quantum gravity, we find an increasing spectral dimension at small scales. This observation can be connected to the nonlocality of causal set theory that is deeply rooted in its fundamentally Lorentzian nature. Based on its large-scale behaviour, we conjecture that the spectral dimension can serve as a tool to distinguish causal sets that approximate manifolds from those that do not. As a new tool to probe quantum spacetime in different quantum gravity approaches, we introduce a novel dimensional estimator, the causal spectral dimension, based on the meeting probability of two random walkers, which respect the causal structure of the quantum spacetime. We discuss a causal-set example, where the spectral dimension and the causal spectral dimension differ, due to the existence of a preferred foliation. (paper)
Swanson, Sonja A; Labrecque, Jeremy; Hernán, Miguel A
2018-05-02
Sometimes instrumental variable methods are used to test whether a causal effect is null rather than to estimate the magnitude of a causal effect. However, when instrumental variable methods are applied to time-varying exposures, as in many Mendelian randomization studies, it is unclear what causal null hypothesis is tested. Here, we consider different versions of causal null hypotheses for time-varying exposures, show that the instrumental variable conditions alone are insufficient to test some of them, and describe additional assumptions that can be made to test a wider range of causal null hypotheses, including both sharp and average causal null hypotheses. Implications for interpretation and reporting of instrumental variable results are discussed.
BOLD Granger causality reflects vascular anatomy.
Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)
J Taylor Webb
Full Text Available A number of studies have tried to exploit subtle phase differences in BOLD time series to resolve the order of sequential activation of brain regions, or more generally the ability of signal in one region to predict subsequent signal in another region. More recently, such lag-based measures have been applied to investigate directed functional connectivity, although this application has been controversial. We attempted to use large publicly available datasets (FCON 1000, ADHD 200, Human Connectome Project to determine whether consistent spatial patterns of Granger Causality are observed in typical fMRI data. For BOLD datasets from 1,240 typically developing subjects ages 7-40, we measured Granger causality between time series for every pair of 7,266 spherical ROIs covering the gray matter and 264 seed ROIs at hubs of the brain's functional network architecture. Granger causality estimates were strongly reproducible for connections in a test and replication sample (n=620 subjects for each group, as well as in data from a single subject scanned repeatedly, both during resting and passive video viewing. The same effect was even stronger in high temporal resolution fMRI data from the Human Connectome Project, and was observed independently in data collected during performance of 7 task paradigms. The spatial distribution of Granger causality reflected vascular anatomy with a progression from Granger causality sources, in Circle of Willis arterial inflow distributions, to sinks, near large venous vascular structures such as dural venous sinuses and at the periphery of the brain. Attempts to resolve BOLD phase differences with Granger causality should consider the possibility of reproducible vascular confounds, a problem that is independent of the known regional variability of the hemodynamic response.
Causal inference in survival analysis using pseudo-observations.
Andersen, Per K; Syriopoulou, Elisavet; Parner, Erik T
2017-07-30
Causal inference for non-censored response variables, such as binary or quantitative outcomes, is often based on either (1) direct standardization ('G-formula') or (2) inverse probability of treatment assignment weights ('propensity score'). To do causal inference in survival analysis, one needs to address right-censoring, and often, special techniques are required for that purpose. We will show how censoring can be dealt with 'once and for all' by means of so-called pseudo-observations when doing causal inference in survival analysis. The pseudo-observations can be used as a replacement of the outcomes without censoring when applying 'standard' causal inference methods, such as (1) or (2) earlier. We study this idea for estimating the average causal effect of a binary treatment on the survival probability, the restricted mean lifetime, and the cumulative incidence in a competing risks situation. The methods will be illustrated in a small simulation study and via a study of patients with acute myeloid leukemia who received either myeloablative or non-myeloablative conditioning before allogeneic hematopoetic cell transplantation. We will estimate the average causal effect of the conditioning regime on outcomes such as the 3-year overall survival probability and the 3-year risk of chronic graft-versus-host disease. Copyright © 2017 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd. Copyright © 2017 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.
Sharaev, Maksim G; Zavyalova, Viktoria V; Ushakov, Vadim L; Kartashov, Sergey I; Velichkovsky, Boris M
2016-01-01
The Default Mode Network (DMN) is a brain system that mediates internal modes of cognitive activity, showing higher neural activation when one is at rest. Nowadays, there is a lot of interest in assessing functional interactions between its key regions, but in the majority of studies only association of Blood-oxygen-level dependent (BOLD) activation patterns is measured, so it is impossible to identify causal influences. There are some studies of causal interactions (i.e., effective connectivity), however often with inconsistent results. The aim of the current work is to find a stable pattern of connectivity between four DMN key regions: the medial prefrontal cortex (mPFC), the posterior cingulate cortex (PCC), left and right intraparietal cortex (LIPC and RIPC). For this purpose functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) data from 30 healthy subjects (1000 time points from each one) was acquired and spectral dynamic causal modeling (DCM) on a resting-state fMRI data was performed. The endogenous brain fluctuations were explicitly modeled by Discrete Cosine Set at the low frequency band of 0.0078-0.1 Hz. The best model at the group level is the one where connections from both bilateral IPC to mPFC and PCC are significant and symmetrical in strength (p bidirectional, significant in the group and weaker than connections originating from bilateral IPC. In general, all connections from LIPC/RIPC to other DMN regions are much stronger. One can assume that these regions have a driving role within the DMN. Our results replicate some data from earlier works on effective connectivity within the DMN as well as provide new insights on internal DMN relationships and brain's functioning at resting state.
Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)
Maksim eSharaev
2016-02-01
Full Text Available The Default Mode Network (DMN is a brain system that mediates internal modes of cognitive activity, showing higher neural activation when one is at rest. Nowadays, there is a lot of interest in assessing functional interactions between its key regions, but in the majority of studies only association of BOLD (Blood-oxygen-level dependent activation patterns is measured, so it is impossible to identify causal influences. There are some studies of causal interactions (i.e. effective connectivity, however often with inconsistent results. The aim of the current work is to find a stable pattern of connectivity between four DMN key regions: the medial prefrontal cortex mPFC, the posterior cingulate cortex PCC, left and right intraparietal cortex LIPC and RIPC. For this purpose fMRI (functional magnetic resonance imaging data from 30 healthy subjects (1000 time points from each one was acquired and spectral dynamic causal modeling (DCM on a resting-state fMRI data was performed. The endogenous brain fluctuations were explicitly modeled by Discrete Cosine Set at the low frequency band of 0.0078–0.1 Hz. The best model at the group level is the one where connections from both bilateral IPC to mPFC and PCC are significant and symmetrical in strength (p<0.05. Connections between mPFC and PCC are bidirectional, significant in the group and weaker than connections originating from bilateral IPC. In general, all connections from LIPC/RIPC to other DMN regions are much stronger. One can assume that these regions have a driving role within the DMN. Our results replicate some data from earlier works on effective connectivity within the DMN as well as provide new insights on internal DMN relationships and brain’s functioning at resting state.
Jobbagy, Zoltán
2009-01-01
The author addresses a recent force employment concept called effects-based operations, which first appeared during the 1991 war against Iraq. The attributes of effects-based operations can be grouped around three common, but interrelated elements such as effects focus, advanced technology, and systems thinking. However, the characteristics upon which the common elements are built, such as causality/deduction for effects focus, intangibles/control for advanced technology, and categorisation/a...
New Insights into Signed Path Coefficient Granger Causality Analysis.
Zhang, Jian; Li, Chong; Jiang, Tianzi
2016-01-01
Granger causality analysis, as a time series analysis technique derived from econometrics, has been applied in an ever-increasing number of publications in the field of neuroscience, including fMRI, EEG/MEG, and fNIRS. The present study mainly focuses on the validity of "signed path coefficient Granger causality," a Granger-causality-derived analysis method that has been adopted by many fMRI researches in the last few years. This method generally estimates the causality effect among the time series by an order-1 autoregression, and defines a positive or negative coefficient as an "excitatory" or "inhibitory" influence. In the current work we conducted a series of computations from resting-state fMRI data and simulation experiments to illustrate the signed path coefficient method was flawed and untenable, due to the fact that the autoregressive coefficients were not always consistent with the real causal relationships and this would inevitablely lead to erroneous conclusions. Overall our findings suggested that the applicability of this kind of causality analysis was rather limited, hence researchers should be more cautious in applying the signed path coefficient Granger causality to fMRI data to avoid misinterpretation.
Effect of Motivational Goals on the Causal Realism of Counterfactual Thoughts.
Kokkinaki, Flora; Sevdalis, Nick
2015-01-01
Counterfactual thinking refers to mental comparisons of reality with imagined alternatives of it. The "functional view" of counterfactual thinking suggests that upward counterfactuals (which improve on reality) serve a preparative function and downward counterfactuals (which worsen reality) serve an affective function. This view presumes that people generate counterfactuals that focus on cause(s) that have actually produced the negative outcomes. The two experiments reported here demonstrate that people spontaneously manipulate the causal content of their counterfactuals, depending on their motivational goals. Specifically, it was found that when people aim to feel better about a poor decision they generate less realistic (upward) counterfactuals, experience less negative affect and tend to attribute the outcome to less controllable causes than when they aim to learn from their experience. The theoretical and practical implications of these findings are discussed.
Illusory reversal of causality between touch and vision has no effect on prism adaptation rate
Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)
Hirokazu eTanaka
2012-12-01
Full Text Available Learning, according to Oxford Dictionary, is to gain knowledge or skill by studying, from experience, from being taught, etc. In order to learn from experience, the central nervous system has to decide what action leads to what consequence, and temporal perception plays a critical role in determining the causality between actions and consequences. In motor adaptation, causality between action and consequence is implicitly assumed so that a subject adapts to a new environment based on the consequence caused by her action. Adaptation to visual displacement induced by prisms is a prime example; the visual error signal associated with the motor output contributes to the recovery of accurate reaching, and a delayed feedback of visual error can decrease the adaptation rate. Subjective feeling of temporal order of action and consequence, however, can be modified or even reversed when her sense of simultaneity is manipulated with an artificially delayed feedback. Our previous study (Tanaka, Homma & Imamizu (2011 Exp Brain Res demonstrated that the rate of prism adaptation was unaffected when the subjective delay of visual feedback was shortened. This study asked whether subjects could adapt to prism adaptation and whether the rate of prism adaptation was affected when the subjective temporal order was illusory reversed. Adapting to additional 100 ms delay and its sudden removal caused a positive shift of point of simultaneity in a temporal-order judgment experiment, indicating an illusory reversal of action and consequence. We found that, even in this case, the subjects were able to adapt to prism displacement with the learning rate that was statistically indistinguishable to that without temporal adaptation. This result provides further evidence to the dissociation between conscious temporal perception and motor adaptation.
Illusory Reversal of Causality between Touch and Vision has No Effect on Prism Adaptation Rate.
Tanaka, Hirokazu; Homma, Kazuhiro; Imamizu, Hiroshi
2012-01-01
Learning, according to Oxford Dictionary, is "to gain knowledge or skill by studying, from experience, from being taught, etc." In order to learn from experience, the central nervous system has to decide what action leads to what consequence, and temporal perception plays a critical role in determining the causality between actions and consequences. In motor adaptation, causality between action and consequence is implicitly assumed so that a subject adapts to a new environment based on the consequence caused by her action. Adaptation to visual displacement induced by prisms is a prime example; the visual error signal associated with the motor output contributes to the recovery of accurate reaching, and a delayed feedback of visual error can decrease the adaptation rate. Subjective feeling of temporal order of action and consequence, however, can be modified or even reversed when her sense of simultaneity is manipulated with an artificially delayed feedback. Our previous study (Tanaka et al., 2011; Exp. Brain Res.) demonstrated that the rate of prism adaptation was unaffected when the subjective delay of visual feedback was shortened. This study asked whether subjects could adapt to prism adaptation and whether the rate of prism adaptation was affected when the subjective temporal order was illusory reversed. Adapting to additional 100 ms delay and its sudden removal caused a positive shift of point of simultaneity in a temporal order judgment experiment, indicating an illusory reversal of action and consequence. We found that, even in this case, the subjects were able to adapt to prism displacement with the learning rate that was statistically indistinguishable to that without temporal adaptation. This result provides further evidence to the dissociation between conscious temporal perception and motor adaptation.
Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)
Vadim Leonidovich Ushakov
2016-10-01
Full Text Available The purpose of this paper was to study causal relationships between left and right hippocampal regions (LHIP and RHIP, respectively within the default mode network (DMN as represented by its key structures: the medial prefrontal cortex (MPFC, posterior cingulate cortex (PCC and the inferior parietal cortex of left (LIPC and right (RIPC hemispheres. Furthermore, we were interested in testing the stability of the connectivity patterns when adding or deleting regions of interest. The functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI data from a group of 30 healthy right-handed subjects in the resting state were collected and a connectivity analysis was performed. To model the effective connectivity, we used the spectral Dynamic Causal Modeling (DCM. Three DCM analyses were completed. Two of them modeled interaction between five nodes that included four DMN key structures in addition to either LHIP or RHIP. The last DCM analysis modeled interactions between four nodes whereby one of the main DMN structures, PCC, was excluded from the analysis. The results of all DCM analyses indicated a high level of stability in the computational method: those parts of the winning models that included the key DMN structures demonstrated causal relations known from recent research. However, we discovered new results as well. First of all, we found a pronounced asymmetry in LHIP and RHIP connections. LHIP demonstrated a high involvement of DMN activity with preponderant information outflow to all other DMN regions. Causal interactions of LHIP were bidirectional only in the case of LIPC. On the contrary, RHIP was primarily affected by inputs from LIPC, RIPC and LHIP without influencing these or other DMN key structures. For the first time, an inhibitory link was found from MPFC to LIPC, which may indicate the subjects’ effort to maintain a resting state. Functional connectivity data echoed these results, though they also showed links not reflected in the patterns of
Khosravi, Ahmad; Mohammadpoorasl, Asghar; Holakouie-Naieni, Kourosh; Mahmoodi, Mahmood; Pouyan, Ali Akbar; Mansournia, Mohammad Ali
2016-12-01
Identification of the causal impact of self-esteem on smoking stages faces seemingly insurmountable problems in observational data, where self-esteem is not manipulable by the researcher and cannot be assigned randomly. The aim of this study was to find out if weaker self-esteem in adolescence is a risk factor of cigarette smoking in a longitudinal study in Iran. In this longitudinal study, 4,853 students (14-18 years) completed a self-administered multiple-choice anonym questionnaire. The students were evaluated twice, 12 months apart. Students were matched based on coarsened exact matching on pretreatment variables, including age, gender, smoking stages at the first wave of study, socioeconomic status, general risk-taking behavior, having a smoker in the family, having a smoker friend, attitude toward smoking, and self-injury, to ensure statistically equivalent comparison groups. Self-esteem was measured using the Rosenberg 10-item questionnaire and were classified using a latent class analysis. After matching, the effect of self-esteem was evaluated using a multinomial logistic model. In the causal fitted model, for adolescents with weaker self-esteem relative to those with stronger self-esteem, the relative risk for experimenters and regular smokers relative to nonsmokers would be expected to increase by a factor of 2.2 (1.9-2.6) and 2.0 (1.5-2.6), respectively. Using a causal approach, our study indicates that low self-esteem is consistently associated with progression in cigarette smoking stages.
Causally nonseparable processes admitting a causal model
International Nuclear Information System (INIS)
Feix, Adrien; Araújo, Mateus; Brukner, Caslav
2016-01-01
A recent framework of quantum theory with no global causal order predicts the existence of ‘causally nonseparable’ processes. Some of these processes produce correlations incompatible with any causal order (they violate so-called ‘causal inequalities’ analogous to Bell inequalities ) while others do not (they admit a ‘causal model’ analogous to a local model ). Here we show for the first time that bipartite causally nonseparable processes with a causal model exist, and give evidence that they have no clear physical interpretation. We also provide an algorithm to generate processes of this kind and show that they have nonzero measure in the set of all processes. We demonstrate the existence of processes which stop violating causal inequalities but are still causally nonseparable when mixed with a certain amount of ‘white noise’. This is reminiscent of the behavior of Werner states in the context of entanglement and nonlocality. Finally, we provide numerical evidence for the existence of causally nonseparable processes which have a causal model even when extended with an entangled state shared among the parties. (paper)
Estimating the Effects of Parental Divorce and Death With Fixed Effects Models.
Amato, Paul R; Anthony, Christopher J
2014-04-01
The authors used child fixed effects models to estimate the effects of parental divorce and death on a variety of outcomes using 2 large national data sets: (a) the Early Childhood Longitudinal Study, Kindergarten Cohort (kindergarten through the 5th grade) and (b) the National Educational Longitudinal Study (8th grade to the senior year of high school). In both data sets, divorce and death were associated with multiple negative outcomes among children. Although evidence for a causal effect of divorce on children was reasonably strong, effect sizes were small in magnitude. A second analysis revealed a substantial degree of variability in children's outcomes following parental divorce, with some children declining, others improving, and most not changing at all. The estimated effects of divorce appeared to be strongest among children with the highest propensity to experience parental divorce.
Estimating the Effects of Parental Divorce and Death With Fixed Effects Models
Amato, Paul R.; Anthony, Christopher J.
2014-01-01
The authors used child fixed effects models to estimate the effects of parental divorce and death on a variety of outcomes using 2 large national data sets: (a) the Early Childhood Longitudinal Study, Kindergarten Cohort (kindergarten through the 5th grade) and (b) the National Educational Longitudinal Study (8th grade to the senior year of high school). In both data sets, divorce and death were associated with multiple negative outcomes among children. Although evidence for a causal effect of divorce on children was reasonably strong, effect sizes were small in magnitude. A second analysis revealed a substantial degree of variability in children’s outcomes following parental divorce, with some children declining, others improving, and most not changing at all. The estimated effects of divorce appeared to be strongest among children with the highest propensity to experience parental divorce. PMID:24659827
Wu, Hong; Lu, Naiji; Wang, Chenguang; Tu, Xinming
2018-03-01
This article analyzes the causal effects of informal care, mental health, and physical health on falls and other accidents (e.g., traffic accidents) among elderly people. We also examine if there are heterogeneous impacts on elderly of different gender, urban status, and past accident history. To purge potential reversal causal effects, e.g., past accidents induce more future informal care, we use two-stage least squares to identify the impacts. We use longitudinal data from a representative national China Health and Retirement Longitudinal Study of people aged 45 and older in China. A total of 3935 respondents with two-wave data are included in our study. Each respondent is interviewed to measure health status and report their accident history. Mental health is assessed using CES-D questions. Our findings indicate that while informal care decreased the occurrence of accidents, poor health conditions increase the occurrence of accidents. We also find heterogeneous impacts on the occurrence of accidents, varying by gender, urban status, and past accident history. Our findings suggest the following three policy implications. First, policy makers who aim to decrease accidents should take informal care of elders into account. Second, ease of birth policy and postponed retirement policy are urgently needed to meet the demands of informal care. Third, medical policies should attach great importance not only to physical health but also mental health of elderly parents especially for older people with accident history.
Whose statistical reasoning is facilitated by a causal structure intervention?
McNair, Simon; Feeney, Aidan
2015-02-01
People often struggle when making Bayesian probabilistic estimates on the basis of competing sources of statistical evidence. Recently, Krynski and Tenenbaum (Journal of Experimental Psychology: General, 136, 430-450, 2007) proposed that a causal Bayesian framework accounts for peoples' errors in Bayesian reasoning and showed that, by clarifying the causal relations among the pieces of evidence, judgments on a classic statistical reasoning problem could be significantly improved. We aimed to understand whose statistical reasoning is facilitated by the causal structure intervention. In Experiment 1, although we observed causal facilitation effects overall, the effect was confined to participants high in numeracy. We did not find an overall facilitation effect in Experiment 2 but did replicate the earlier interaction between numerical ability and the presence or absence of causal content. This effect held when we controlled for general cognitive ability and thinking disposition. Our results suggest that clarifying causal structure facilitates Bayesian judgments, but only for participants with sufficient understanding of basic concepts in probability and statistics.
Scannell, Jack W; Marlow, Sally
2017-01-01
Objectives To assess the evidence for price-based alcohol policy interventions to determine whether minimum unit pricing (MUP) is likely to be effective. Design Systematic review and assessment of studies according to Preferred Reporting Items for Systematic Reviews and Meta-Analyses (PRISMA) guidelines, against the Bradford Hill criteria for causality. Three electronic databases were searched from inception to February 2017. Additional articles were found through hand searching and grey literature searches. Criteria for selecting studies We included any study design that reported on the effect of price-based interventions on alcohol consumption or alcohol-related morbidity, mortality and wider harms. Studies reporting on the effects of taxation or affordability and studies that only investigated price elasticity of demand were beyond the scope of this review. Studies with any conflict of interest were excluded. All studies were appraised for methodological quality. Results Of 517 studies assessed, 33 studies were included: 26 peer-reviewed research studies and seven from the grey literature. All nine of the Bradford Hill criteria were met, although different types of study satisfied different criteria. For example, modelling studies complied with the consistency and specificity criteria, time series analyses demonstrated the temporality and experiment criteria, and the analogy criterion was fulfilled by comparing the findings with the wider literature on taxation and affordability. Conclusions Overall, the Bradford Hill criteria for causality were satisfied. There was very little evidence that minimum alcohol prices are not associated with consumption or subsequent harms. However the overall quality of the evidence was variable, a large proportion of the evidence base has been produced by a small number of research teams, and the quantitative uncertainty in many estimates or forecasts is often poorly communicated outside the academic literature. Nonetheless, price
Di Lorenzo, Chiara; Ceschi, Alessandro; Kupferschmidt, Hugo; Lüde, Saskia; De Souza Nascimento, Elizabeth; Dos Santos, Ariana; Colombo, Francesca; Frigerio, Gianfranco; Nørby, Karin; Plumb, Jenny; Finglas, Paul; Restani, Patrizia
2015-04-01
The objective of this review was to collect available data on the following: (i) adverse effects observed in humans from the intake of plant food supplements or botanical preparations; (ii) the misidentification of poisonous plants; and (iii) interactions between plant food supplements/botanicals and conventional drugs or nutrients. PubMed/MEDLINE and Embase were searched from database inception to June 2014, using the terms 'adverse effect/s', 'poisoning/s', 'plant food supplement/s', 'misidentification/s' and 'interaction/s' in combination with the relevant plant name. All papers were critically evaluated according to the World Health Organization Guidelines for causality assessment. Data were obtained for 66 plants that are common ingredients of plant food supplements; of the 492 papers selected, 402 (81.7%) dealt with adverse effects directly associated with the botanical and 89 (18.1%) concerned interactions with conventional drugs. Only one case was associated with misidentification. Adverse effects were reported for 39 of the 66 botanical substances searched. Of the total references, 86.6% were associated with 14 plants, including Glycine max/soybean (19.3%), Glycyrrhiza glabra/liquorice (12.2%), Camellia sinensis/green tea ( 8.7%) and Ginkgo biloba/gingko (8.5%). Considering the length of time examined and the number of plants included in the review, it is remarkable that: (i) the adverse effects due to botanical ingredients were relatively infrequent, if assessed for causality; and (ii) the number of severe clinical reactions was very limited, but some fatal cases have been described. Data presented in this review were assessed for quality in order to make the results maximally useful for clinicians in identifying or excluding deleterious effects of botanicals. © 2014 The British Pharmacological Society.
Genetic evidence of a causal effect of insulin resistance on branched-chain amino acid levels
DEFF Research Database (Denmark)
Mahendran, Yuvaraj; Jonsson, Anna; Have, Christian T
2017-01-01
variable for insulin resistance. A GRS of three variants increasing circulating BCAA levels was used as an instrumental variable for circulating BCAA levels. RESULTS: Fasting plasma BCAA levels were associated with higher HOMA-IR in ADDITION-PRO (β 0.137 [95% CI 0.08, 0.19] p = 6 × 10(-7)). However......, the GRS for circulating BCAA levels was not associated with fasting insulin levels or HOMA-IR in ADDITION-PRO (β -0.011 [95% CI -0.053, 0.032] p = 0.6 and β -0.011 [95% CI -0.054, 0.031] p = 0.6, respectively) or in GWAS results for HOMA-IR from MAGIC (β for valine-increasing GRS -0.012 [95% CI -0.069, 0......(-4), and β 0.67 [95% CI 0.16, 1.18] p = 0.01 for isoleucine, leucine and valine levels, respectively) and instrumental variable analyses in ADDITION-PRO indicated that HOMA-IR is causally related to higher circulating fasting BCAA levels (β 0.73 [95% CI 0.26, 1.19] p = 0.002). CONCLUSIONS/INTERPRETATION: Our...
DEFF Research Database (Denmark)
Bhatti, Yosef; Gørtz, Mette; Pedersen, Lene Holm
2015-01-01
The present article finds that the causal effect of profound organizational change on employee health can be very low, if job insecurity is mitigated. We demonstrate this by investigating a rare case of a large-scale radical public sector reform with low job insecurity, in which a large number...... and job insecurity may explain the divergence from previous results. An important strength of our study is that the reform investigated can be considered a quasi-experiment, as it was exogenous and implemented simultaneously by the affected local governments. We also have access to an objective measure...... of robustness tests are performed, including propensity score matching and in-depth analysis of particular sub-groups of public sector employees. The results indicate that profound organizational change per se does not necessarily lead to decreased health, if job insecurity is low. However, a very modest effect...
A Bayesian Nonparametric Causal Model for Regression Discontinuity Designs
Karabatsos, George; Walker, Stephen G.
2013-01-01
The regression discontinuity (RD) design (Thistlewaite & Campbell, 1960; Cook, 2008) provides a framework to identify and estimate causal effects from a non-randomized design. Each subject of a RD design is assigned to the treatment (versus assignment to a non-treatment) whenever her/his observed value of the assignment variable equals or…
Estimating network effects in China's mobile telecommunications
Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)
无
2005-01-01
A model is proposed along with empirical investigation to prove the existence of network effects in China's mobile telecommunications market. Futhernore, network effects on China's mobile telecommunications are estimated with a dynamic model. The structural parameters are identified from regression coefficients and the results are analyzed and compared with another literature. Data and estimation issues are also discussed. Conclusions are drawn that network effects are significant in China's mobile telecommunications market, and that ignoring network effects leads to bad policy making.
Estimating intervention effects of prevention programs: accounting for noncompliance.
Stuart, Elizabeth A; Perry, Deborah F; Le, Huynh-Nhu; Ialongo, Nicholas S
2008-12-01
Individuals not fully complying with their assigned treatments is a common problem encountered in randomized evaluations of behavioral interventions. Treatment group members rarely attend all sessions or do all "required" activities; control group members sometimes find ways to participate in aspects of the intervention. As a result, there is often interest in estimating both the effect of being assigned to participate in the intervention, as well as the impact of actually participating and doing all of the required activities. Methods known broadly as "complier average causal effects" (CACE) or "instrumental variables" (IV) methods have been developed to estimate this latter effect, but they are more commonly applied in medical and treatment research. Since the use of these statistical techniques in prevention trials has been less widespread, many prevention scientists may not be familiar with the underlying assumptions and limitations of CACE and IV approaches. This paper provides an introduction to these methods, described in the context of randomized controlled trials of two preventive interventions: one for perinatal depression among at-risk women and the other for aggressive disruptive behavior in children. Through these case studies, the underlying assumptions and limitations of these methods are highlighted.
Pickles, Michael; Boily, Marie-Claude; Vickerman, Peter; Lowndes, Catherine M; Moses, Stephen; Blanchard, James F; Deering, Kathleen N; Bradley, Janet; Ramesh, Banadakoppa M; Washington, Reynold; Adhikary, Rajatashuvra; Mainkar, Mandar; Paranjape, Ramesh S; Alary, Michel
2013-11-01
Avahan, the India AIDS initiative of the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, was a large-scale, targeted HIV prevention intervention. We aimed to assess its overall effectiveness by estimating the number and proportion of HIV infections averted across Avahan districts, following the causal pathway of the intervention. We created a mathematical model of HIV transmission in high-risk groups and the general population using data from serial cross-sectional surveys (integrated behavioural and biological assessments, IBBAs) within a Bayesian framework, which we used to reproduce HIV prevalence trends in female sex workers and their clients, men who have sex with men, and the general population in 24 South Indian districts over the first 4 years (2004-07 or 2005-08 dependent on the district) and the full 10 years (2004-13) of the Avahan programme. We tested whether these prevalence trends were more consistent with self-reported increases in consistent condom use after the implementation of Avahan or with a counterfactual (assuming consistent condom use increased at slower, pre-Avahan rates) using a Bayes factor, which gave a measure of the strength of evidence for the effectiveness estimates. Using regression analysis, we extrapolated the prevention effect in the districts covered by IBBAs to all 69 Avahan districts. In 13 of 24 IBBA districts, modelling suggested medium to strong evidence for the large self-reported increase in consistent condom use since Avahan implementation. In the remaining 11 IBBA districts, the evidence was weaker, with consistent condom use generally already high before Avahan began. Roughly 32700 HIV infections (95% credibility interval 17900-61600) were averted over the first 4 years of the programme in the IBBA districts with moderate to strong evidence. Addition of the districts with weaker evidence increased this total to 62800 (32000-118000) averted infections, and extrapolation suggested that 202000 (98300-407000) infections were averted
Frisch, Mathias
2014-01-01
Much has been written on the role of causal notions and causal reasoning in the so-called 'special sciences' and in common sense. But does causal reasoning also play a role in physics? Mathias Frisch argues that, contrary to what influential philosophical arguments purport to show, the answer is yes. Time-asymmetric causal structures are as integral a part of the representational toolkit of physics as a theory's dynamical equations. Frisch develops his argument partly through a critique of anti-causal arguments and partly through a detailed examination of actual examples of causal notions in physics, including causal principles invoked in linear response theory and in representations of radiation phenomena. Offering a new perspective on the nature of scientific theories and causal reasoning, this book will be of interest to professional philosophers, graduate students, and anyone interested in the role of causal thinking in science.
Jones, Robert
2010-03-01
There are a wide range of views on causality. To some (e.g. Karl Popper) causality is superfluous. Bertrand Russell said ``In advanced science the word cause never occurs. Causality is a relic of a bygone age.'' At the other extreme Rafael Sorkin and L. Bombelli suggest that space and time do not exist but are only an approximation to a reality that is simply a discrete ordered set, a ``causal set.'' For them causality IS reality. Others, like Judea Pearl and Nancy Cartwright are seaking to build a complex fundamental theory of causality (Causality, Cambridge Univ. Press, 2000) Or perhaps a theory of causality is simply the theory of functions. This is more or less my take on causality.
Park, Soojin; Steiner, Peter M; Kaplan, David
2018-06-01
Considering that causal mechanisms unfold over time, it is important to investigate the mechanisms over time, taking into account the time-varying features of treatments and mediators. However, identification of the average causal mediation effect in the presence of time-varying treatments and mediators is often complicated by time-varying confounding. This article aims to provide a novel approach to uncovering causal mechanisms in time-varying treatments and mediators in the presence of time-varying confounding. We provide different strategies for identification and sensitivity analysis under homogeneous and heterogeneous effects. Homogeneous effects are those in which each individual experiences the same effect, and heterogeneous effects are those in which the effects vary over individuals. Most importantly, we provide an alternative definition of average causal mediation effects that evaluates a partial mediation effect; the effect that is mediated by paths other than through an intermediate confounding variable. We argue that this alternative definition allows us to better assess at least a part of the mediated effect and provides meaningful and unique interpretations. A case study using ECLS-K data that evaluates kindergarten retention policy is offered to illustrate our proposed approach.
Causal Bayes Model of Mathematical Competence in Kindergarten
Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)
Božidar Tepeš
2016-06-01
Full Text Available In this paper authors define mathematical competences in the kindergarten. The basic objective was to measure the mathematical competences or mathematical knowledge, skills and abilities in mathematical education. Mathematical competences were grouped in the following areas: Arithmetic and Geometry. Statistical set consisted of 59 children, 65 to 85 months of age, from the Kindergarten Milan Sachs from Zagreb. The authors describe 13 variables for measuring mathematical competences. Five measuring variables were described for the geometry, and eight measuring variables for the arithmetic. Measuring variables are tasks which children solved with the evaluated results. By measuring mathematical competences the authors make causal Bayes model using free software Tetrad 5.2.1-3. Software makes many causal Bayes models and authors as experts chose the model of the mathematical competences in the kindergarten. Causal Bayes model describes five levels for mathematical competences. At the end of the modeling authors use Bayes estimator. In the results, authors describe by causal Bayes model of mathematical competences, causal effect mathematical competences or how intervention on some competences cause other competences. Authors measure mathematical competences with their expectation as random variables. When expectation of competences was greater, competences improved. Mathematical competences can be improved with intervention on causal competences. Levels of mathematical competences and the result of intervention on mathematical competences can help mathematical teachers.
Almirall, Daniel; Griffin, Beth Ann; McCaffrey, Daniel F.; Ramchand, Rajeev; Yuen, Robert A.; Murphy, Susan A.
2014-01-01
This article considers the problem of examining time-varying causal effect moderation using observational, longitudinal data in which treatment, candidate moderators, and possible confounders are time varying. The structural nested mean model (SNMM) is used to specify the moderated time-varying causal effects of interest in a conditional mean model for a continuous response given time-varying treatments and moderators. We present an easy-to-use estimator of the SNMM that combines an existing regression-with-residuals (RR) approach with an inverse-probability-of-treatment weighting (IPTW) strategy. The RR approach has been shown to identify the moderated time-varying causal effects if the time-varying moderators are also the sole time-varying confounders. The proposed IPTW+RR approach provides estimators of the moderated time-varying causal effects in the SNMM in the presence of an additional, auxiliary set of known and measured time-varying confounders. We use a small simulation experiment to compare IPTW+RR versus the traditional regression approach and to compare small and large sample properties of asymptotic versus bootstrap estimators of the standard errors for the IPTW+RR approach. This article clarifies the distinction between time-varying moderators and time-varying confounders. We illustrate the methodology in a case study to assess if time-varying substance use moderates treatment effects on future substance use. PMID:23873437
Normative and descriptive accounts of the influence of power and contingency on causal judgement.
Perales, José C; Shanks, David R
2003-08-01
The power PC theory (Cheng, 1997) is a normative account of causal inference, which predicts that causal judgements are based on the power p of a potential cause, where p is the cause-effect contingency normalized by the base rate of the effect. In three experiments we demonstrate that both cause-effect contingency and effect base-rate independently affect estimates in causal learning tasks. In Experiment 1, causal strength judgements were directly related to power p in a task in which the effect base-rate was manipulated across two positive and two negative contingency conditions. In Experiments 2 and 3 contingency manipulations affected causal estimates in several situations in which power p was held constant, contrary to the power PC theory's predictions. This latter effect cannot be explained by participants' conflation of reliability and causal strength, as Experiment 3 demonstrated independence of causal judgements and confidence. From a descriptive point of view, the data are compatible with Pearce's (1987) model, as well as with several other judgement rules, but not with the Rescorla-Wagner (Rescorla & Wagner, 1972) or power PC models.
Regression to Causality : Regression-style presentation influences causal attribution
DEFF Research Database (Denmark)
Bordacconi, Mats Joe; Larsen, Martin Vinæs
2014-01-01
of equivalent results presented as either regression models or as a test of two sample means. Our experiment shows that the subjects who were presented with results as estimates from a regression model were more inclined to interpret these results causally. Our experiment implies that scholars using regression...... models – one of the primary vehicles for analyzing statistical results in political science – encourage causal interpretation. Specifically, we demonstrate that presenting observational results in a regression model, rather than as a simple comparison of means, makes causal interpretation of the results...... more likely. Our experiment drew on a sample of 235 university students from three different social science degree programs (political science, sociology and economics), all of whom had received substantial training in statistics. The subjects were asked to compare and evaluate the validity...
Tay, Cheryl; Ang, Soon; Van Dyne, Linn
2006-03-01
In this study, the authors developed and tested a model of performance in job interviews that examines the mediating role of interviewing self-efficacy (I-SE; job applicants' beliefs about their interviewing capabilities) in linking personality and biographical background with interview success and the moderating role of locus of causality attributions in influencing the relationship between interview success and subsequent I-SE. The authors tested their model (over 5 months' duration) with matched data from 229 graduating seniors, firms, and university records. Hierarchical regression analyses demonstrated I-SE mediated the effects of Extraversion, Conscientiousness, and leadership experience on interview success. Locus of causality attributions for interview outcomes moderated the relationship between interview success and subsequent I-SE. Theoretical and practical implications are discussed.
Expert elicitation on ultrafine particles: likelihood of health effects and causal pathways.
Knol, A.B.; de Hartog, J.J.|info:eu-repo/dai/nl/288354850; Boogaard, H.|info:eu-repo/dai/nl/314406522; Slottje, P.|info:eu-repo/dai/nl/299345351; van der Sluijs, J.P.|info:eu-repo/dai/nl/073427489; Lebret, E.|info:eu-repo/dai/nl/071318917; Cassee, F.R.|info:eu-repo/dai/nl/143038990; Wardekker, J.A.|info:eu-repo/dai/nl/306644398; Ayres, J.G.; Borm, P.; Brunekreef, B.|info:eu-repo/dai/nl/067548180; Donaldson, K.; Forastiere, F.; Holgate, S.T.; Kreyling, W.; Nemery, B.; Pekkanen, J.; Stone, V.; Wichmann, H.E.; Hoek, G.|info:eu-repo/dai/nl/069553475
2009-01-01
ABSTRACT: BACKGROUND: Exposure to fine ambient particulate matter (PM) has consistently been associated with increased morbidity and mortality. The relationship between exposure to ultrafine particles (UFP) and health effects is less firmly established. If UFP cause health effects independently from
On causal roles and selected effects: our genome is mostly junk.
Doolittle, W Ford; Brunet, Tyler D P
2017-12-05
The idea that much of our genome is irrelevant to fitness-is not the product of positive natural selection at the organismal level-remains viable. Claims to the contrary, and specifically that the notion of "junk DNA" should be abandoned, are based on conflating meanings of the word "function". Recent estimates suggest that perhaps 90% of our DNA, though biochemically active, does not contribute to fitness in any sequence-dependent way, and possibly in no way at all. Comparisons to vertebrates with much larger and smaller genomes (the lungfish and the pufferfish) strongly align with such a conclusion, as they have done for the last half-century.
Under What Assumptions Do Site-by-Treatment Instruments Identify Average Causal Effects?
Reardon, Sean F.; Raudenbush, Stephen W.
2013-01-01
The increasing availability of data from multi-site randomized trials provides a potential opportunity to use instrumental variables methods to study the effects of multiple hypothesized mediators of the effect of a treatment. We derive nine assumptions needed to identify the effects of multiple mediators when using site-by-treatment interactions…
Climate change trade measures : estimating industry effects
2009-06-01
Estimating the potential effects of domestic emissions pricing for industries in the United States is complex. If the United States were to regulate greenhouse gas emissions, production costs could rise for certain industries and could cause output, ...
Rehder, Bob
2017-01-01
This article assesses how people reason with categories whose features are related in causal cycles. Whereas models based on causal graphical models (CGMs) have enjoyed success modeling category-based judgments as well as a number of other cognitive phenomena, CGMs are only able to represent causal structures that are acyclic. A number of new…
Causal Client Models in Selecting Effective Interventions: A Cognitive Mapping Study
de Kwaadsteniet, Leontien; Hagmayer, York; Krol, Nicole P. C. M.; Witteman, Cilia L. M.
2010-01-01
An important reason to choose an intervention to treat psychological problems of clients is the expectation that the intervention will be effective in alleviating the problems. The authors investigated whether clinicians base their ratings of the effectiveness of interventions on models that they construct representing the factors causing and…
Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)
R. Eric Heidel
2016-01-01
Full Text Available Statistical power is the ability to detect a significant effect, given that the effect actually exists in a population. Like most statistical concepts, statistical power tends to induce cognitive dissonance in hepatology researchers. However, planning for statistical power by an a priori sample size calculation is of paramount importance when designing a research study. There are five specific empirical components that make up an a priori sample size calculation: the scale of measurement of the outcome, the research design, the magnitude of the effect size, the variance of the effect size, and the sample size. A framework grounded in the phenomenon of isomorphism, or interdependencies amongst different constructs with similar forms, will be presented to understand the isomorphic effects of decisions made on each of the five aforementioned components of statistical power.
Drawing causal inferences using propensity scores: a practical guide for community psychologists.
Lanza, Stephanie T; Moore, Julia E; Butera, Nicole M
2013-12-01
Confounding present in observational data impede community psychologists' ability to draw causal inferences. This paper describes propensity score methods as a conceptually straightforward approach to drawing causal inferences from observational data. A step-by-step demonstration of three propensity score methods-weighting, matching, and subclassification-is presented in the context of an empirical examination of the causal effect of preschool experiences (Head Start vs. parental care) on reading development in kindergarten. Although the unadjusted population estimate indicated that children with parental care had substantially higher reading scores than children who attended Head Start, all propensity score adjustments reduce the size of this overall causal effect by more than half. The causal effect was also defined and estimated among children who attended Head Start. Results provide no evidence for improved reading if those children had instead received parental care. We carefully define different causal effects and discuss their respective policy implications, summarize advantages and limitations of each propensity score method, and provide SAS and R syntax so that community psychologists may conduct causal inference in their own research.
Park, Woochul; Epstein, Norman B.
2013-01-01
This study examined the longitudinal relationship between self-esteem and body image distress, as well as the moderating effect of relationships with parents, among adolescents in Korea, using nationally representative prospective panel data. Regarding causal direction, the findings supported bi-directionality for girls, but for boys the…
Causality as a Rigorous Notion and Quantitative Causality Analysis with Time Series
Liang, X. S.
2017-12-01
Given two time series, can one faithfully tell, in a rigorous and quantitative way, the cause and effect between them? Here we show that this important and challenging question (one of the major challenges in the science of big data), which is of interest in a wide variety of disciplines, has a positive answer. Particularly, for linear systems, the maximal likelihood estimator of the causality from a series X2 to another series X1, written T2→1, turns out to be concise in form: T2→1 = [C11 C12 C2,d1 — C112 C1,d1] / [C112 C22 — C11C122] where Cij (i,j=1,2) is the sample covariance between Xi and Xj, and Ci,dj the covariance between Xi and ΔXj/Δt, the difference approximation of dXj/dt using the Euler forward scheme. An immediate corollary is that causation implies correlation, but not vice versa, resolving the long-standing debate over causation versus correlation. The above formula has been validated with touchstone series purportedly generated with one-way causality that evades the classical approaches such as Granger causality test and transfer entropy analysis. It has also been applied successfully to the investigation of many real problems. Through a simple analysis with the stock series of IBM and GE, an unusually strong one-way causality is identified from the former to the latter in their early era, revealing to us an old story, which has almost faded into oblivion, about "Seven Dwarfs" competing with a "Giant" for the computer market. Another example presented here regards the cause-effect relation between the two climate modes, El Niño and Indian Ocean Dipole (IOD). In general, these modes are mutually causal, but the causality is asymmetric. To El Niño, the information flowing from IOD manifests itself as a propagation of uncertainty from the Indian Ocean. In the third example, an unambiguous one-way causality is found between CO2 and the global mean temperature anomaly. While it is confirmed that CO2 indeed drives the recent global warming
Sinaulan; Noor; wildan
2017-01-01
Research aims to confirm and test the interactive effect of motivation, job satisfaction, and job performance. This study applied to employees of Sharia Financial Institutions in Jakarta. The number of respondents is 70 employees with randomly selected samples stratified. Research analysis data using multiple indicators within analyzed using structural equation model. The results showed that there was a positive interactive effect motivation on job performance and job performance on motivatio...
Boniface, Sadie; Scannell, Jack W; Marlow, Sally
2017-06-06
To assess the evidence for price-based alcohol policy interventions to determine whether minimum unit pricing (MUP) is likely to be effective. Systematic review and assessment of studies according to Preferred Reporting Items for Systematic Reviews and Meta-Analyses (PRISMA) guidelines, against the Bradford Hill criteria for causality. Three electronic databases were searched from inception to February 2017. Additional articles were found through hand searching and grey literature searches. We included any study design that reported on the effect of price-based interventions on alcohol consumption or alcohol-related morbidity, mortality and wider harms. Studies reporting on the effects of taxation or affordability and studies that only investigated price elasticity of demand were beyond the scope of this review. Studies with any conflict of interest were excluded. All studies were appraised for methodological quality. Of 517 studies assessed, 33 studies were included: 26 peer-reviewed research studies and seven from the grey literature. All nine of the Bradford Hill criteria were met, although different types of study satisfied different criteria. For example, modelling studies complied with the consistency and specificity criteria, time series analyses demonstrated the temporality and experiment criteria, and the analogy criterion was fulfilled by comparing the findings with the wider literature on taxation and affordability. Overall, the Bradford Hill criteria for causality were satisfied. There was very little evidence that minimum alcohol prices are not associated with consumption or subsequent harms. However the overall quality of the evidence was variable, a large proportion of the evidence base has been produced by a small number of research teams, and the quantitative uncertainty in many estimates or forecasts is often poorly communicated outside the academic literature. Nonetheless, price-based alcohol policy interventions such as MUP are likely to reduce
Causal imprinting in causal structure learning.
Taylor, Eric G; Ahn, Woo-Kyoung
2012-11-01
Suppose one observes a correlation between two events, B and C, and infers that B causes C. Later one discovers that event A explains away the correlation between B and C. Normatively, one should now dismiss or weaken the belief that B causes C. Nonetheless, participants in the current study who observed a positive contingency between B and C followed by evidence that B and C were independent given A, persisted in believing that B causes C. The authors term this difficulty in revising initially learned causal structures "causal imprinting." Throughout four experiments, causal imprinting was obtained using multiple dependent measures and control conditions. A Bayesian analysis showed that causal imprinting may be normative under some conditions, but causal imprinting also occurred in the current study when it was clearly non-normative. It is suggested that causal imprinting occurs due to the influence of prior knowledge on how reasoners interpret later evidence. Consistent with this view, when participants first viewed the evidence showing that B and C are independent given A, later evidence with only B and C did not lead to the belief that B causes C. Copyright © 2012 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.
Biesta, Gert
2016-01-01
This paper focuses on the role of research in the improvement of educational practice. I use the "10 Principles for Effective Pedagogy," which were formulated on the basis of research conducted in the UK's Teacher and Learning Research Programme as an example to highlight some common problems in the discussion about research and…
Estimating haplotype effects for survival data
DEFF Research Database (Denmark)
Scheike, Thomas; Martinussen, Torben; Silver, J
2010-01-01
Genetic association studies often investigate the effect of haplotypes on an outcome of interest. Haplotypes are not observed directly, and this complicates the inclusion of such effects in survival models. We describe a new estimating equations approach for Cox's regression model to assess haplo...
Estimating haplotype effects for survival data.
Scheike, Thomas H; Martinussen, Torben; Silver, Jeremy D
2010-09-01
Genetic association studies often investigate the effect of haplotypes on an outcome of interest. Haplotypes are not observed directly, and this complicates the inclusion of such effects in survival models. We describe a new estimating equations approach for Cox's regression model to assess haplotype effects for survival data. These estimating equations are simple to implement and avoid the use of the EM algorithm, which may be slow in the context of the semiparametric Cox model with incomplete covariate information. These estimating equations also lead to easily computable, direct estimators of standard errors, and thus overcome some of the difficulty in obtaining variance estimators based on the EM algorithm in this setting. We also develop an easily implemented goodness-of-fit procedure for Cox's regression model including haplotype effects. Finally, we apply the procedures presented in this article to investigate possible haplotype effects of the PAF-receptor on cardiovascular events in patients with coronary artery disease, and compare our results to those based on the EM algorithm. © 2009, The International Biometric Society.
Repeated causal decision making.
Hagmayer, York; Meder, Björn
2013-01-01
Many of our decisions refer to actions that have a causal impact on the external environment. Such actions may not only allow for the mere learning of expected values or utilities but also for acquiring knowledge about the causal structure of our world. We used a repeated decision-making paradigm to examine what kind of knowledge people acquire in such situations and how they use their knowledge to adapt to changes in the decision context. Our studies show that decision makers' behavior is strongly contingent on their causal beliefs and that people exploit their causal knowledge to assess the consequences of changes in the decision problem. A high consistency between hypotheses about causal structure, causally expected values, and actual choices was observed. The experiments show that (a) existing causal hypotheses guide the interpretation of decision feedback, (b) consequences of decisions are used to revise existing causal beliefs, and (c) decision makers use the experienced feedback to induce a causal model of the choice situation even when they have no initial causal hypotheses, which (d) enables them to adapt their choices to changes of the decision problem. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2013 APA, all rights reserved).
Alvarado, Israel; Margotta, Joseph W; Aoki, Mai M; Flores, Fernando; Agudelo, Fresia; Michel, Guillermo; Elekonich, Michelle M; Abel-Santos, Ernesto
2017-09-01
Paenibacillus larvae, a Gram-positive bacterium, causes American foulbrood (AFB) in honey bee larvae (Apis mellifera Linnaeus [Hymenoptera: Apidae]). P. larvae spores exit dormancy in the gut of bee larvae, the germinated cells proliferate, and ultimately bacteremia kills the host. Hence, spore germination is a required step for establishing AFB disease. We previously found that P. larvae spores germinate in response to l-tyrosine plus uric acid in vitro. Additionally, we determined that indole and phenol blocked spore germination. In this work, we evaluated the antagonistic effect of 35 indole and phenol analogs and identified strong inhibitors of P. larvae spore germination in vitro. We further tested the most promising candidate, 5-chloroindole, and found that it significantly reduced bacterial proliferation. Finally, feeding artificial worker jelly containing anti-germination compounds to AFB-exposed larvae significantly decreased AFB infection in laboratory-reared honey bee larvae. Together, these results suggest that inhibitors of P. larvae spore germination could provide another method to control AFB. © The Authors 2017. Published by Oxford University Press on behalf of Entomological Society of America.
Faes, L; Porta, A; Cucino, R; Cerutti, S; Antolini, R; Nollo, G
2004-06-01
Although the concept of transfer function is intrinsically related to an input-output relationship, the traditional and widely used estimation method merges both feedback and feedforward interactions between the two analyzed signals. This limitation may endanger the reliability of transfer function analysis in biological systems characterized by closed loop interactions. In this study, a method for estimating the transfer function between closed loop interacting signals was proposed and validated in the field of cardiovascular and cardiorespiratory variability. The two analyzed signals x and y were described by a bivariate autoregressive model, and the causal transfer function from x to y was estimated after imposing causality by setting to zero the model coefficients representative of the reverse effects from y to x. The method was tested in simulations reproducing linear open and closed loop interactions, showing a better adherence of the causal transfer function to the theoretical curves with respect to the traditional approach in presence of non-negligible reverse effects. It was then applied in ten healthy young subjects to characterize the transfer functions from respiration to heart period (RR interval) and to systolic arterial pressure (SAP), and from SAP to RR interval. In the first two cases, the causal and non-causal transfer function estimates were comparable, indicating that respiration, acting as exogenous signal, sets an open loop relationship upon SAP and RR interval. On the contrary, causal and traditional transfer functions from SAP to RR were significantly different, suggesting the presence of a considerable influence on the opposite causal direction. Thus, the proposed causal approach seems to be appropriate for the estimation of parameters, like the gain and the phase lag from SAP to RR interval, which have a large clinical and physiological relevance.
Applying causal mediation analysis to personality disorder research.
Walters, Glenn D
2018-01-01
This article is designed to address fundamental issues in the application of causal mediation analysis to research on personality disorders. Causal mediation analysis is used to identify mechanisms of effect by testing variables as putative links between the independent and dependent variables. As such, it would appear to have relevance to personality disorder research. It is argued that proper implementation of causal mediation analysis requires that investigators take several factors into account. These factors are discussed under 5 headings: variable selection, model specification, significance evaluation, effect size estimation, and sensitivity testing. First, care must be taken when selecting the independent, dependent, mediator, and control variables for a mediation analysis. Some variables make better mediators than others and all variables should be based on reasonably reliable indicators. Second, the mediation model needs to be properly specified. This requires that the data for the analysis be prospectively or historically ordered and possess proper causal direction. Third, it is imperative that the significance of the identified pathways be established, preferably with a nonparametric bootstrap resampling approach. Fourth, effect size estimates should be computed or competing pathways compared. Finally, investigators employing the mediation method are advised to perform a sensitivity analysis. Additional topics covered in this article include parallel and serial multiple mediation designs, moderation, and the relationship between mediation and moderation. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2018 APA, all rights reserved).
Gollust, Sarah E; Lynch, Julia
2011-12-01
This research investigates the impact of cues about ascriptive group characteristics (race, class, gender) and the causes of ill health (health behaviors, inborn biological traits, social systemic factors) on beliefs about who deserves society's help in paying for the costs of medical treatment. Drawing on data from three original vignette experiments embedded in a nationally representative survey of American adults, we find that respondents are reluctant to blame or deny societal support in response to explicit cues about racial attributes--but equally explicit cues about the causal impact of individual behaviors on health have large effects on expressed attitudes. Across all three experiments, a focus on individual behavioral causes of illness is associated with increased support for individual responsibility for health care costs and lower support for government-financed health insurance. Beliefs about social groups and causal attributions are, however, tightly intertwined. We find that when groups suffering ill health are defined in racial, class, or gender terms, Americans differ in their attribution of health disparities to individual behaviors versus biological or systemic factors. Because causal attributions also affect health policy opinions, varying patterns of causal attribution may reinforce group stereotypes and undermine support for universal access to health care.
Causality and analyticity in optics
International Nuclear Information System (INIS)
Nussenzveig, H.M.
In order to provide an overall picture of the broad range of optical phenomena that are directly linked with the concepts of causality and analyticity, the following topics are briefly reviewed, emphasizing recent developments: 1) Derivation of dispersion relations for the optical constants of general linear media from causality. Application to the theory of natural optical activity. 2) Derivation of sum rules for the optical constants from causality and from the short-time response function (asymptotic high-frequency behavior). Average spectral behavior of optical media. Applications. 3) Role of spectral conditions. Analytic properties of coherence functions in quantum optics. Reconstruction theorem.4) Phase retrieval problems. 5) Inverse scattering problems. 6) Solution of nonlinear evolution equations in optics by inverse scattering methods. Application to self-induced transparency. Causality in nonlinear wave propagation. 7) Analytic continuation in frequency and angular momentum. Complex singularities. Resonances and natural-mode expansions. Regge poles. 8) Wigner's causal inequality. Time delay. Spatial displacements in total reflection. 9) Analyticity in diffraction theory. Complex angular momentum theory of Mie scattering. Diffraction as a barrier tunnelling effect. Complex trajectories in optics. (Author) [pt
A frequency domain subspace algorithm for mixed causal, anti-causal LTI systems
Fraanje, Rufus; Verhaegen, Michel; Verdult, Vincent; Pintelon, Rik
2003-01-01
The paper extends the subspacc identification method to estimate state-space models from frequency response function (FRF) samples, proposed by McKelvey et al. (1996) for mixed causal/anti-causal systems, and shows that other frequency domain subspace algorithms can be extended similarly. The method
Health effects estimation for contaminated properties
International Nuclear Information System (INIS)
Marks, S.; Denham, D.H.; Cross, F.T.; Kennedy, W.E. Jr.
1984-05-01
As part of an overall remedial action program to evaluate the need for and institute actions designed to minimize health hazards from inactive tailings piles and from displaced tailings, methods for estimating health effects from tailings were developed and applied to the Salt Lake City area. 2 references, 2 tables
International Nuclear Information System (INIS)
Bombelli, L.; Lee, J.; Meyer, D.; Sorkin, R.D.
1987-01-01
We propose that space-time at the smallest scales is in reality a causal set: a locally finite set of elements endowed with a partial order corresponding to the macroscopic relation that defines past and future. We explore how a Lorentzian manifold can approximate a causal set, noting in particular that the thereby defined effective dimensionality of a given causal set can vary with length scale. Finally, we speculate briefly on the quantum dynamics of causal sets, indicating why an appropriate choice of action can reproduce general relativity in the classical limit
Estimating the effects of wages on obesity.
Kim, DaeHwan; Leigh, John Paul
2010-05-01
To estimate the effects of wages on obesity and body mass. Data on household heads, aged 20 to 65 years, with full-time jobs, were drawn from the Panel Study of Income Dynamics for 2003 to 2007. The Panel Study of Income Dynamics is a nationally representative sample. Instrumental variables (IV) for wages were created using knowledge of computer software and state legal minimum wages. Least squares (linear regression) with corrected standard errors were used to estimate the equations. Statistical tests revealed both instruments were strong and tests for over-identifying restrictions were favorable. Wages were found to be predictive (P low wages increase obesity prevalence and body mass.
The stochastic system approach for estimating dynamic treatments effect.
Commenges, Daniel; Gégout-Petit, Anne
2015-10-01
The problem of assessing the effect of a treatment on a marker in observational studies raises the difficulty that attribution of the treatment may depend on the observed marker values. As an example, we focus on the analysis of the effect of a HAART on CD4 counts, where attribution of the treatment may depend on the observed marker values. This problem has been treated using marginal structural models relying on the counterfactual/potential response formalism. Another approach to causality is based on dynamical models, and causal influence has been formalized in the framework of the Doob-Meyer decomposition of stochastic processes. Causal inference however needs assumptions that we detail in this paper and we call this approach to causality the "stochastic system" approach. First we treat this problem in discrete time, then in continuous time. This approach allows incorporating biological knowledge naturally. When working in continuous time, the mechanistic approach involves distinguishing the model for the system and the model for the observations. Indeed, biological systems live in continuous time, and mechanisms can be expressed in the form of a system of differential equations, while observations are taken at discrete times. Inference in mechanistic models is challenging, particularly from a numerical point of view, but these models can yield much richer and reliable results.
Quantitative Estimation for the Effectiveness of Automation
International Nuclear Information System (INIS)
Lee, Seung Min; Seong, Poong Hyun
2012-01-01
In advanced MCR, various automation systems are applied to enhance the human performance and reduce the human errors in industrial fields. It is expected that automation provides greater efficiency, lower workload, and fewer human errors. However, these promises are not always fulfilled. As the new types of events related to application of the imperfect and complex automation are occurred, it is required to analyze the effects of automation system for the performance of human operators. Therefore, we suggest the quantitative estimation method to analyze the effectiveness of the automation systems according to Level of Automation (LOA) classification, which has been developed over 30 years. The estimation of the effectiveness of automation will be achieved by calculating the failure probability of human performance related to the cognitive activities
Hayes, Brett K.; Hawkins, Guy E.; Newell, Ben R.
2016-01-01
Four experiments examined the locus of impact of causal knowledge on consideration of alternative hypotheses in judgments under uncertainty. Two possible loci were examined; overcoming neglect of the alternative when developing a representation of a judgment problem and improving utilization of statistics associated with the alternative…
Modeling the Effect of Religion on Human Empathy Based on an Adaptive Temporal-Causal Network Model
van Ments, L.I.; Roelofsma, P.H.M.P.; Treur, J.
2018-01-01
Religion is a central aspect of many individuals’ lives around the world, and its influence on human behaviour has been extensively studied from many different perspectives. The current study integrates a number of these perspectives into one adaptive temporal-causal network model describing the
Zitek, A.; Poppe, M.; Stelzhammer, M.; Muhar, S.; Bredeweg, B.; Biswas, G.; Bull, S.; Kay, J.; Mitrovic, A.
2011-01-01
The DynaLearn software, a new intelligent learning environment aimed at supporting a better conceptual and causal understanding of environmental sciences was evaluated. The main goals of these pilot evaluations were to provide information on (1) usability of the software and problems learners
CAUSAL INFERENCE WITH A GRAPHICAL HIERARCHY OF INTERVENTIONS.
Shpitser, Ilya; Tchetgen, Eric Tchetgen
2016-12-01
Identifying causal parameters from observational data is fraught with subtleties due to the issues of selection bias and confounding. In addition, more complex questions of interest, such as effects of treatment on the treated and mediated effects may not always be identified even in data where treatment assignment is known and under investigator control, or may be identified under one causal model but not another. Increasingly complex effects of interest, coupled with a diversity of causal models in use resulted in a fragmented view of identification. This fragmentation makes it unnecessarily difficult to determine if a given parameter is identified (and in what model), and what assumptions must hold for this to be the case. This, in turn, complicates the development of estimation theory and sensitivity analysis procedures. In this paper, we give a unifying view of a large class of causal effects of interest, including novel effects not previously considered, in terms of a hierarchy of interventions, and show that identification theory for this large class reduces to an identification theory of random variables under interventions from this hierarchy. Moreover, we show that one type of intervention in the hierarchy is naturally associated with queries identified under the Finest Fully Randomized Causally Interpretable Structure Tree Graph (FFRCISTG) model of Robins (via the extended g-formula), and another is naturally associated with queries identified under the Non-Parametric Structural Equation Model with Independent Errors (NPSEM-IE) of Pearl, via a more general functional we call the edge g-formula. Our results motivate the study of estimation theory for the edge g-formula, since we show it arises both in mediation analysis, and in settings where treatment assignment has unobserved causes, such as models associated with Pearl's front-door criterion.
[Effect of speech estimation on social anxiety].
Shirotsuki, Kentaro; Sasagawa, Satoko; Nomura, Shinobu
2009-02-01
This study investigates the effect of speech estimation on social anxiety to further understanding of this characteristic of Social Anxiety Disorder (SAD). In the first study, we developed the Speech Estimation Scale (SES) to assess negative estimation before giving a speech which has been reported to be the most fearful social situation in SAD. Undergraduate students (n = 306) completed a set of questionnaires, which consisted of the Short Fear of Negative Evaluation Scale (SFNE), the Social Interaction Anxiety Scale (SIAS), the Social Phobia Scale (SPS), and the SES. Exploratory factor analysis showed an adequate one-factor structure with eight items. Further analysis indicated that the SES had good reliability and validity. In the second study, undergraduate students (n = 315) completed the SFNE, SIAS, SPS, SES, and the Self-reported Depression Scale (SDS). The results of path analysis showed that fear of negative evaluation from others (FNE) predicted social anxiety, and speech estimation mediated the relationship between FNE and social anxiety. These results suggest that speech estimation might maintain SAD symptoms, and could be used as a specific target for cognitive intervention in SAD.
Repeated Causal Decision Making
Hagmayer, York; Meder, Bjorn
2013-01-01
Many of our decisions refer to actions that have a causal impact on the external environment. Such actions may not only allow for the mere learning of expected values or utilities but also for acquiring knowledge about the causal structure of our world. We used a repeated decision-making paradigm to examine what kind of knowledge people acquire in…
International Nuclear Information System (INIS)
Novello, M.; Salim, J.M.; Torres, J.; Oliveira, H.P. de
1989-01-01
A set of spatially homogeneous and isotropic cosmological geometries generated by a class of non-perfect is investigated fluids. The irreversibility if this system is studied in the context of causal thermodynamics which provides a useful mechanism to conform to the non-violation of the causal principle. (author) [pt
Causal Analysis After Haavelmo
Heckman, James; Pinto, Rodrigo
2014-01-01
Haavelmo's seminal 1943 and 1944 papers are the first rigorous treatment of causality. In them, he distinguished the definition of causal parameters from their identification. He showed that causal parameters are defined using hypothetical models that assign variation to some of the inputs determining outcomes while holding all other inputs fixed. He thus formalized and made operational Marshall's (1890) ceteris paribus analysis. We embed Haavelmo's framework into the recursive framework of Directed Acyclic Graphs (DAGs) used in one influential recent approach to causality (Pearl, 2000) and in the related literature on Bayesian nets (Lauritzen, 1996). We compare the simplicity of an analysis of causality based on Haavelmo's methodology with the complex and nonintuitive approach used in the causal literature of DAGs—the “do-calculus” of Pearl (2009). We discuss the severe limitations of DAGs and in particular of the do-calculus of Pearl in securing identification of economic models. We extend our framework to consider models for simultaneous causality, a central contribution of Haavelmo. In general cases, DAGs cannot be used to analyze models for simultaneous causality, but Haavelmo's approach naturally generalizes to cover them. PMID:25729123
Causality in Classical Electrodynamics
Savage, Craig
2012-01-01
Causality in electrodynamics is a subject of some confusion, especially regarding the application of Faraday's law and the Ampere-Maxwell law. This has led to the suggestion that we should not teach students that electric and magnetic fields can cause each other, but rather focus on charges and currents as the causal agents. In this paper I argue…
Estimating scaled treatment effects with multiple outcomes.
Kennedy, Edward H; Kangovi, Shreya; Mitra, Nandita
2017-01-01
In classical study designs, the aim is often to learn about the effects of a treatment or intervention on a single outcome; in many modern studies, however, data on multiple outcomes are collected and it is of interest to explore effects on multiple outcomes simultaneously. Such designs can be particularly useful in patient-centered research, where different outcomes might be more or less important to different patients. In this paper, we propose scaled effect measures (via potential outcomes) that translate effects on multiple outcomes to a common scale, using mean-variance and median-interquartile range based standardizations. We present efficient, nonparametric, doubly robust methods for estimating these scaled effects (and weighted average summary measures), and for testing the null hypothesis that treatment affects all outcomes equally. We also discuss methods for exploring how treatment effects depend on covariates (i.e., effect modification). In addition to describing efficiency theory for our estimands and the asymptotic behavior of our estimators, we illustrate the methods in a simulation study and a data analysis. Importantly, and in contrast to much of the literature concerning effects on multiple outcomes, our methods are nonparametric and can be used not only in randomized trials to yield increased efficiency, but also in observational studies with high-dimensional covariates to reduce confounding bias.
Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)
Thomas eWidlok
2014-11-01
Full Text Available Cognitive Scientists interested in causal cognition increasingly search for evidence from non-WEIRD people but find only very few cross-cultural studies that specifically target causal cognition. This article suggests how information about causality can be retrieved from ethnographic monographs, specifically from ethnographies that discuss agency and concepts of time. Many apparent cultural differences with regard to causal cognition dissolve when cultural extensions of agency and personhood to non-humans are taken into account. At the same time considerable variability remains when we include notions of time, linearity and sequence. The article focuses on ethnographic case studies from Africa but provides a more general perspective on the role of ethnography in research on the diversity and universality of causal cognition.
Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)
Ämin Baumeler
2017-07-01
Full Text Available Computation models such as circuits describe sequences of computation steps that are carried out one after the other. In other words, algorithm design is traditionally subject to the restriction imposed by a fixed causal order. We address a novel computing paradigm beyond quantum computing, replacing this assumption by mere logical consistency: We study non-causal circuits, where a fixed time structure within a gate is locally assumed whilst the global causal structure between the gates is dropped. We present examples of logically consistent non-causal circuits outperforming all causal ones; they imply that suppressing loops entirely is more restrictive than just avoiding the contradictions they can give rise to. That fact is already known for correlations as well as for communication, and we here extend it to computation.
A General Approach to Causal Mediation Analysis
Imai, Kosuke; Keele, Luke; Tingley, Dustin
2010-01-01
Traditionally in the social sciences, causal mediation analysis has been formulated, understood, and implemented within the framework of linear structural equation models. We argue and demonstrate that this is problematic for 3 reasons: the lack of a general definition of causal mediation effects independent of a particular statistical model, the…
A Causal Model of Faculty Research Productivity.
Bean, John P.
A causal model of faculty research productivity was developed through a survey of the literature. Models of organizational behavior, organizational effectiveness, and motivation were synthesized into a causal model of productivity. Two general types of variables were assumed to affect individual research productivity: institutional variables and…
Quasi-Experimental Designs for Causal Inference
Kim, Yongnam; Steiner, Peter
2016-01-01
When randomized experiments are infeasible, quasi-experimental designs can be exploited to evaluate causal treatment effects. The strongest quasi-experimental designs for causal inference are regression discontinuity designs, instrumental variable designs, matching and propensity score designs, and comparative interrupted time series designs. This…
Determining Directional Dependency in Causal Associations
Pornprasertmanit, Sunthud; Little, Todd D.
2012-01-01
Directional dependency is a method to determine the likely causal direction of effect between two variables. This article aims to critique and improve upon the use of directional dependency as a technique to infer causal associations. We comment on several issues raised by von Eye and DeShon (2012), including: encouraging the use of the signs of…
[Causal analysis approaches in epidemiology].
Dumas, O; Siroux, V; Le Moual, N; Varraso, R
2014-02-01
Epidemiological research is mostly based on observational studies. Whether such studies can provide evidence of causation remains discussed. Several causal analysis methods have been developed in epidemiology. This paper aims at presenting an overview of these methods: graphical models, path analysis and its extensions, and models based on the counterfactual approach, with a special emphasis on marginal structural models. Graphical approaches have been developed to allow synthetic representations of supposed causal relationships in a given problem. They serve as qualitative support in the study of causal relationships. The sufficient-component cause model has been developed to deal with the issue of multicausality raised by the emergence of chronic multifactorial diseases. Directed acyclic graphs are mostly used as a visual tool to identify possible confounding sources in a study. Structural equations models, the main extension of path analysis, combine a system of equations and a path diagram, representing a set of possible causal relationships. They allow quantifying direct and indirect effects in a general model in which several relationships can be tested simultaneously. Dynamic path analysis further takes into account the role of time. The counterfactual approach defines causality by comparing the observed event and the counterfactual event (the event that would have been observed if, contrary to the fact, the subject had received a different exposure than the one he actually received). This theoretical approach has shown limits of traditional methods to address some causality questions. In particular, in longitudinal studies, when there is time-varying confounding, classical methods (regressions) may be biased. Marginal structural models have been developed to address this issue. In conclusion, "causal models", though they were developed partly independently, are based on equivalent logical foundations. A crucial step in the application of these models is the
Estimating network effect in geocenter motion: Theory
Zannat, Umma Jamila; Tregoning, Paul
2017-10-01
Geophysical models and their interpretations of several processes of interest, such as sea level rise, postseismic relaxation, and glacial isostatic adjustment, are intertwined with the need to realize the International Terrestrial Reference Frame. However, this realization needs to take into account the geocenter motion, that is, the motion of the center of figure of the Earth surface, due to, for example, deformation of the surface by earthquakes or hydrological loading effects. Usually, there is also a discrepancy, known as the network effect, between the theoretically convenient center of figure and the physically accessible center of network frames, because of unavoidable factors such as uneven station distribution, lack of stations in the oceans, disparity in the coverage between the two hemispheres, and the existence of tectonically deforming zones. Here we develop a method to estimate the magnitude of the network effect, that is, the error introduced by the incomplete sampling of the Earth surface, in measuring the geocenter motion, for a network of space geodetic stations of a fixed size N. For this purpose, we use, as our proposed estimate, the standard deviations of the changes in Helmert parameters measured by a random network of the same size N. We show that our estimate scales as 1/√N and give an explicit formula for it in terms of the vector spherical harmonics expansion of the displacement field. In a complementary paper we apply this formalism to coseismic displacements and elastic deformations due to surface water movements.
["Karoshi" and causal relationships].
Hamajima, N
1992-08-01
This paper aims to introduce a measure for use by physicians for stating the degree of probable causal relationship for "Karoshi", ie, a sudden death from cerebrovascular diseases or ischemic heart diseases under occupational stresses, as well as to give a brief description for legal procedures associated with worker's compensation and civil trial in Japan. It is a well-used measure in epidemiology, "attributable risk percent (AR%)", which can be applied to describe the extent of contribution to "Karoshi" of the excess occupational burdens the deceased worker was forced to bear. Although several standards such as average occupational burdens for the worker, average occupational burdens for an ordinary worker, burdens in a nonoccupational life, and a complete rest, might be considered for the AR% estimation, the average occupational burdens for an ordinary worker should normally be utilized as a standard for worker's compensation. The adoption of AR% could be helpful for courts to make a consistent judgement whether "Karoshi" cases are compensatable or not.
Liu, Shao-Hsien; Ulbricht, Christine M; Chrysanthopoulou, Stavroula A; Lapane, Kate L
2016-07-20
Causal mediation analysis is often used to understand the impact of variables along the causal pathway of an occurrence relation. How well studies apply and report the elements of causal mediation analysis remains unknown. We systematically reviewed epidemiological studies published in 2015 that employed causal mediation analysis to estimate direct and indirect effects of observed associations between an exposure on an outcome. We identified potential epidemiological studies through conducting a citation search within Web of Science and a keyword search within PubMed. Two reviewers independently screened studies for eligibility. For eligible studies, one reviewer performed data extraction, and a senior epidemiologist confirmed the extracted information. Empirical application and methodological details of the technique were extracted and summarized. Thirteen studies were eligible for data extraction. While the majority of studies reported and identified the effects of measures, most studies lacked sufficient details on the extent to which identifiability assumptions were satisfied. Although most studies addressed issues of unmeasured confounders either from empirical approaches or sensitivity analyses, the majority did not examine the potential bias arising from the measurement error of the mediator. Some studies allowed for exposure-mediator interaction and only a few presented results from models both with and without interactions. Power calculations were scarce. Reporting of causal mediation analysis is varied and suboptimal. Given that the application of causal mediation analysis will likely continue to increase, developing standards of reporting of causal mediation analysis in epidemiological research would be prudent.
Saunders, Christina T; Blume, Jeffrey D
2017-10-26
Mediation analysis explores the degree to which an exposure's effect on an outcome is diverted through a mediating variable. We describe a classical regression framework for conducting mediation analyses in which estimates of causal mediation effects and their variance are obtained from the fit of a single regression model. The vector of changes in exposure pathway coefficients, which we named the essential mediation components (EMCs), is used to estimate standard causal mediation effects. Because these effects are often simple functions of the EMCs, an analytical expression for their model-based variance follows directly. Given this formula, it is instructive to revisit the performance of routinely used variance approximations (e.g., delta method and resampling methods). Requiring the fit of only one model reduces the computation time required for complex mediation analyses and permits the use of a rich suite of regression tools that are not easily implemented on a system of three equations, as would be required in the Baron-Kenny framework. Using data from the BRAIN-ICU study, we provide examples to illustrate the advantages of this framework and compare it with the existing approaches. © The Author 2017. Published by Oxford University Press.
D'Ariano, Giacomo Mauro
2018-07-13
Causality has never gained the status of a 'law' or 'principle' in physics. Some recent literature has even popularized the false idea that causality is a notion that should be banned from theory. Such misconception relies on an alleged universality of the reversibility of the laws of physics, based either on the determinism of classical theory, or on the multiverse interpretation of quantum theory, in both cases motivated by mere interpretational requirements for realism of the theory. Here, I will show that a properly defined unambiguous notion of causality is a theorem of quantum theory, which is also a falsifiable proposition of the theory. Such a notion of causality appeared in the literature within the framework of operational probabilistic theories. It is a genuinely theoretical notion, corresponding to establishing a definite partial order among events, in the same way as we do by using the future causal cone on Minkowski space. The notion of causality is logically completely independent of the misidentified concept of 'determinism', and, being a consequence of quantum theory, is ubiquitous in physics. In addition, as classical theory can be regarded as a restriction of quantum theory, causality holds also in the classical case, although the determinism of the theory trivializes it. I then conclude by arguing that causality naturally establishes an arrow of time. This implies that the scenario of the 'block Universe' and the connected 'past hypothesis' are incompatible with causality, and thus with quantum theory: they are both doomed to remain mere interpretations and, as such, are not falsifiable, similar to the hypothesis of 'super-determinism'.This article is part of a discussion meeting issue 'Foundations of quantum mechanics and their impact on contemporary society'. © 2018 The Author(s).
The causal effect of multitasking on work-related mental health: The more you do, the worse you feel
Pikos, Anna Katharina
2017-01-01
This paper analyses whether there is a causal relationship between work-related mental health problems and multitasking, the number of tasks performed at work. The data comes from two cross sectional surveys on the German working population. The empirical strategies uses technological change as an instrument for multitasking. In the first stage, the introduction of new production and information technologies is associated with increases in multitasking. Production technology adoption has larg...
Modelling the effect of religion on human empathy based on an adaptive temporal–causal network model
van Ments, Laila; Roelofsma, Peter; Treur, Jan
2018-01-01
Background Religion is a central aspect of many individuals’ lives around the world, and its influence on human behaviour has been extensively studied from many different perspectives. Methods The current study integrates a number of these perspectives into one adaptive temporal–causal network model describing the mental states involved, their mutual relations, and the adaptation of some of these relations over time due to learning. Results By first developing a conceptual representation of a...
Modeling the Effect of Religion on Human Empathy Based on an Adaptive Temporal-Causal Network Model
van Ments, L.I.; Roelofsma, P.H.M.P.; Treur, J.
2018-01-01
Religion is a central aspect of many individuals’ lives around the world, and its influence on human behaviour has been extensively studied from many different perspectives. The current study integrates a number of these perspectives into one adaptive temporal-causal network model describing the mental states involved, their mutual relations, and the adaptation of some of these relations over time due to learning. By first developing a conceptual representation of a network model based on lit...
Estimation of several political action effects of energy prices
Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)
Andrew B. Whitford
2016-01-01
Full Text Available One important effect of price shocks in the United States has been increased political attention paid to the structure and performance of oil and natural gas markets, along with some governmental support for energy conservation. This article describes how price changes helped lead to the emergence of a political agenda accompanied by several interventions, as revealed through Granger causality tests on change in the legislative agenda.
Bayesian estimation of dose rate effectiveness
International Nuclear Information System (INIS)
Arnish, J.J.; Groer, P.G.
2000-01-01
A Bayesian statistical method was used to quantify the effectiveness of high dose rate 137 Cs gamma radiation at inducing fatal mammary tumours and increasing the overall mortality rate in BALB/c female mice. The Bayesian approach considers both the temporal and dose dependence of radiation carcinogenesis and total mortality. This paper provides the first direct estimation of dose rate effectiveness using Bayesian statistics. This statistical approach provides a quantitative description of the uncertainty of the factor characterising the dose rate in terms of a probability density function. The results show that a fixed dose from 137 Cs gamma radiation delivered at a high dose rate is more effective at inducing fatal mammary tumours and increasing the overall mortality rate in BALB/c female mice than the same dose delivered at a low dose rate. (author)
International Nuclear Information System (INIS)
Maund, J.B.
1979-01-01
Although the existence of tachyons is not ruled out by special relativity, it appears that causal paradoxes will arise if there are tachyons. The usual solutions to these paradoxes employ some form of the reinterpretation principle. In this paper it is argued first that, the principle is incoherent, second, that even if it is not, some causal paradoxes remain, and third, the most plausible ''solution,'' which appeals to boundary conditions of the universe, will conflict with special relativity
Dynamics and causality constraints
International Nuclear Information System (INIS)
Sousa, Manoelito M. de
2001-04-01
The physical meaning and the geometrical interpretation of causality implementation in classical field theories are discussed. Causality in field theory are kinematical constraints dynamically implemented via solutions of the field equation, but in a limit of zero-distance from the field sources part of these constraints carries a dynamical content that explains old problems of classical electrodynamics away with deep implications to the nature of physicals interactions. (author)
Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)
Steinberg, Aephraim M. [Institute for Experimental Physics, University of Vienna, Vienna (Austria)
2003-12-01
Experiment confirms that information cannot be transmitted faster than the speed of light. Ever since Einstein stated that nothing can travel faster than light, physicists have delighted in finding exceptions. One after another, observations of such 'superluminal' propagation have been made. However, while some image or pattern- such as the motion of a spotlight projected on a distant wall - might have appeared to travel faster than light, it seemed that there was no way to use the superluminal effect to transmit energy or information. In recent years, the superluminal propagation of light pulses through certain media has led to renewed controversy. In 1995, for example, Guenther Nimtz of the University of Cologne encoded Mozart's 40th Symphony on a microwave beam, which he claimed to have transmitted at a speed faster than light. Others maintain that such a violation of Einstein's speed limit would wreak havoc on our most fundamental ideas about causality, allowing an effect to precede its cause. Relativity teaches us that sending a signal faster than light would be equivalent to sending it backwards in time. (U.K.)
G-computation demonstration in causal mediation analysis
International Nuclear Information System (INIS)
Wang, Aolin; Arah, Onyebuchi A.
2015-01-01
Recent work has considerably advanced the definition, identification and estimation of controlled direct, and natural direct and indirect effects in causal mediation analysis. Despite the various estimation methods and statistical routines being developed, a unified approach for effect estimation under different effect decomposition scenarios is still needed for epidemiologic research. G-computation offers such unification and has been used for total effect and joint controlled direct effect estimation settings, involving different types of exposure and outcome variables. In this study, we demonstrate the utility of parametric g-computation in estimating various components of the total effect, including (1) natural direct and indirect effects, (2) standard and stochastic controlled direct effects, and (3) reference and mediated interaction effects, using Monte Carlo simulations in standard statistical software. For each study subject, we estimated their nested potential outcomes corresponding to the (mediated) effects of an intervention on the exposure wherein the mediator was allowed to attain the value it would have under a possible counterfactual exposure intervention, under a pre-specified distribution of the mediator independent of any causes, or under a fixed controlled value. A final regression of the potential outcome on the exposure intervention variable was used to compute point estimates and bootstrap was used to obtain confidence intervals. Through contrasting different potential outcomes, this analytical framework provides an intuitive way of estimating effects under the recently introduced 3- and 4-way effect decomposition. This framework can be extended to complex multivariable and longitudinal mediation settings
Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)
OKKY SETYAWATI DHARMAPUTRA
1990-01-01
Full Text Available Four fungal isolates from soils obtained from three sites of the oil palm plantations in North Sumatra were found antagonistic to Ganoderma boninense, the causal agent of basal stem rot of oil palm. Penicillium citrinum inhibited the growth of the pathogen and formed a zone of inhibition on the agar media. Trichoderma harzianum BIO - 1 as well as BIO - 2 and T. viride not only repressed the growth of the pathogen but also caused lysis of the hyphae, and the colony was totally overgrown by the antagonists.
Causal gene identification using combinatorial V-structure search.
Cai, Ruichu; Zhang, Zhenjie; Hao, Zhifeng
2013-07-01
With the advances of biomedical techniques in the last decade, the costs of human genomic sequencing and genomic activity monitoring are coming down rapidly. To support the huge genome-based business in the near future, researchers are eager to find killer applications based on human genome information. Causal gene identification is one of the most promising applications, which may help the potential patients to estimate the risk of certain genetic diseases and locate the target gene for further genetic therapy. Unfortunately, existing pattern recognition techniques, such as Bayesian networks, cannot be directly applied to find the accurate causal relationship between genes and diseases. This is mainly due to the insufficient number of samples and the extremely high dimensionality of the gene space. In this paper, we present the first practical solution to causal gene identification, utilizing a new combinatorial formulation over V-Structures commonly used in conventional Bayesian networks, by exploring the combinations of significant V-Structures. We prove the NP-hardness of the combinatorial search problem under a general settings on the significance measure on the V-Structures, and present a greedy algorithm to find sub-optimal results. Extensive experiments show that our proposal is both scalable and effective, particularly with interesting findings on the causal genes over real human genome data. Copyright © 2013 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.
Causal knowledge and the development of inductive reasoning.
Bright, Aimée K; Feeney, Aidan
2014-06-01
We explored the development of sensitivity to causal relations in children's inductive reasoning. Children (5-, 8-, and 12-year-olds) and adults were given trials in which they decided whether a property known to be possessed by members of one category was also possessed by members of (a) a taxonomically related category or (b) a causally related category. The direction of the causal link was either predictive (prey→predator) or diagnostic (predator→prey), and the property that participants reasoned about established either a taxonomic or causal context. There was a causal asymmetry effect across all age groups, with more causal choices when the causal link was predictive than when it was diagnostic. Furthermore, context-sensitive causal reasoning showed a curvilinear development, with causal choices being most frequent for 8-year-olds regardless of context. Causal inductions decreased thereafter because 12-year-olds and adults made more taxonomic choices when reasoning in the taxonomic context. These findings suggest that simple causal relations may often be the default knowledge structure in young children's inductive reasoning, that sensitivity to causal direction is present early on, and that children over-generalize their causal knowledge when reasoning. Copyright © 2013 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.
Assessing students' beliefs, emotions and causal attribution ...
African Journals Online (AJOL)
Keywords: academic emotion; belief; causal attribution; statistical validation; students' conceptions of learning ... Sadi & Lee, 2015), through their effect on motivation and learning strategies .... to understand why they may or may not be doing.
Causal Inference in the Perception of Verticality.
de Winkel, Ksander N; Katliar, Mikhail; Diers, Daniel; Bülthoff, Heinrich H
2018-04-03
The perceptual upright is thought to be constructed by the central nervous system (CNS) as a vector sum; by combining estimates on the upright provided by the visual system and the body's inertial sensors with prior knowledge that upright is usually above the head. Recent findings furthermore show that the weighting of the respective sensory signals is proportional to their reliability, consistent with a Bayesian interpretation of a vector sum (Forced Fusion, FF). However, violations of FF have also been reported, suggesting that the CNS may rely on a single sensory system (Cue Capture, CC), or choose to process sensory signals based on inferred signal causality (Causal Inference, CI). We developed a novel alternative-reality system to manipulate visual and physical tilt independently. We tasked participants (n = 36) to indicate the perceived upright for various (in-)congruent combinations of visual-inertial stimuli, and compared models based on their agreement with the data. The results favor the CI model over FF, although this effect became unambiguous only for large discrepancies (±60°). We conclude that the notion of a vector sum does not provide a comprehensive explanation of the perception of the upright, and that CI offers a better alternative.
Salimi, Parisa; Hamedi, Mohsen; Jamshidi, Nima; Vismeh, Milad
2017-04-01
Diabetes and its associated complications are realized as one of the most challenging medical conditions threatening more than 29 million people only in the USA. The forecasts suggest a suffering of more than half a billion worldwide by 2030. Amid all diabetic complications, diabetic foot ulcer (DFU) has attracted much scientific investigations to lead to a better management of this disease. In this paper, a system thinking methodology is adopted to investigate the dynamic nature of the ulceration. The causal loop diagram as a tool is utilized to illustrate the well-researched relations and interrelations between causes of the DFU. The result of clustering causality evaluation suggests a vicious loop that relates external trauma to callus. Consequently a hypothesis is presented which localizes development of foot ulceration considering distribution of normal and shear stress. It specifies that normal and tangential forces, as the main representatives of external trauma, play the most important role in foot ulceration. The evaluation of this hypothesis suggests the significance of the information related to both normal and shear stress for managing DFU. The results also discusses how these two react on different locations on foot such as metatarsal head, heel and hallux. The findings of this study can facilitate tackling the complexity of DFU problem and looking for constructive mitigation measures. Moreover they lead to developing a more promising methodology for managing DFU including better prognosis, designing prosthesis and insoles for DFU and patient caring recommendations. Copyright © 2017 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.
Causality discovery technology
Chen, M.; Ertl, T.; Jirotka, M.; Trefethen, A.; Schmidt, A.; Coecke, B.; Bañares-Alcántara, R.
2012-11-01
Causality is the fabric of our dynamic world. We all make frequent attempts to reason causation relationships of everyday events (e.g., what was the cause of my headache, or what has upset Alice?). We attempt to manage causality all the time through planning and scheduling. The greatest scientific discoveries are usually about causality (e.g., Newton found the cause for an apple to fall, and Darwin discovered natural selection). Meanwhile, we continue to seek a comprehensive understanding about the causes of numerous complex phenomena, such as social divisions, economic crisis, global warming, home-grown terrorism, etc. Humans analyse and reason causality based on observation, experimentation and acquired a priori knowledge. Today's technologies enable us to make observations and carry out experiments in an unprecedented scale that has created data mountains everywhere. Whereas there are exciting opportunities to discover new causation relationships, there are also unparalleled challenges to benefit from such data mountains. In this article, we present a case for developing a new piece of ICT, called Causality Discovery Technology. We reason about the necessity, feasibility and potential impact of such a technology.
Burgess, Stephen; Scott, Robert A; Timpson, Nicholas J; Davey Smith, George; Thompson, Simon G
2015-07-01
Finding individual-level data for adequately-powered Mendelian randomization analyses may be problematic. As publicly-available summarized data on genetic associations with disease outcomes from large consortia are becoming more abundant, use of published data is an attractive analysis strategy for obtaining precise estimates of the causal effects of risk factors on outcomes. We detail the necessary steps for conducting Mendelian randomization investigations using published data, and present novel statistical methods for combining data on the associations of multiple (correlated or uncorrelated) genetic variants with the risk factor and outcome into a single causal effect estimate. A two-sample analysis strategy may be employed, in which evidence on the gene-risk factor and gene-outcome associations are taken from different data sources. These approaches allow the efficient identification of risk factors that are suitable targets for clinical intervention from published data, although the ability to assess the assumptions necessary for causal inference is diminished. Methods and guidance are illustrated using the example of the causal effect of serum calcium levels on fasting glucose concentrations. The estimated causal effect of a 1 standard deviation (0.13 mmol/L) increase in calcium levels on fasting glucose (mM) using a single lead variant from the CASR gene region is 0.044 (95 % credible interval -0.002, 0.100). In contrast, using our method to account for the correlation between variants, the corresponding estimate using 17 genetic variants is 0.022 (95 % credible interval 0.009, 0.035), a more clearly positive causal effect.
A quantum causal discovery algorithm
Giarmatzi, Christina; Costa, Fabio
2018-03-01
Finding a causal model for a set of classical variables is now a well-established task—but what about the quantum equivalent? Even the notion of a quantum causal model is controversial. Here, we present a causal discovery algorithm for quantum systems. The input to the algorithm is a process matrix describing correlations between quantum events. Its output consists of different levels of information about the underlying causal model. Our algorithm determines whether the process is causally ordered by grouping the events into causally ordered non-signaling sets. It detects if all relevant common causes are included in the process, which we label Markovian, or alternatively if some causal relations are mediated through some external memory. For a Markovian process, it outputs a causal model, namely the causal relations and the corresponding mechanisms, represented as quantum states and channels. Our algorithm opens the route to more general quantum causal discovery methods.
Olafsson, Gestur; Helgason, Sigurdur
1996-01-01
This book is intended to introduce researchers and graduate students to the concepts of causal symmetric spaces. To date, results of recent studies considered standard by specialists have not been widely published. This book seeks to bring this information to students and researchers in geometry and analysis on causal symmetric spaces.Includes the newest results in harmonic analysis including Spherical functions on ordered symmetric space and the holmorphic discrete series and Hardy spaces on compactly casual symmetric spacesDeals with the infinitesimal situation, coverings of symmetric spaces, classification of causal symmetric pairs and invariant cone fieldsPresents basic geometric properties of semi-simple symmetric spacesIncludes appendices on Lie algebras and Lie groups, Bounded symmetric domains (Cayley transforms), Antiholomorphic Involutions on Bounded Domains and Para-Hermitian Symmetric Spaces
Causal inference in econometrics
Kreinovich, Vladik; Sriboonchitta, Songsak
2016-01-01
This book is devoted to the analysis of causal inference which is one of the most difficult tasks in data analysis: when two phenomena are observed to be related, it is often difficult to decide whether one of them causally influences the other one, or whether these two phenomena have a common cause. This analysis is the main focus of this volume. To get a good understanding of the causal inference, it is important to have models of economic phenomena which are as accurate as possible. Because of this need, this volume also contains papers that use non-traditional economic models, such as fuzzy models and models obtained by using neural networks and data mining techniques. It also contains papers that apply different econometric models to analyze real-life economic dependencies.
Verweij, Karin J H; Treur, Jorien L; Vink, Jacqueline M
2018-07-01
Epidemiological studies consistently show co-occurrence of use of different addictive substances. Whether these associations are causal or due to overlapping underlying influences remains an important question in addiction research. Methodological advances have made it possible to use published genetic associations to infer causal relationships between phenotypes. In this exploratory study, we used Mendelian randomization (MR) to examine the causality of well-established associations between nicotine, alcohol, caffeine and cannabis use. Two-sample MR was employed to estimate bidirectional causal effects between four addictive substances: nicotine (smoking initiation and cigarettes smoked per day), caffeine (cups of coffee per day), alcohol (units per week) and cannabis (initiation). Based on existing genome-wide association results we selected genetic variants associated with the exposure measure as an instrument to estimate causal effects. Where possible we applied sensitivity analyses (MR-Egger and weighted median) more robust to horizontal pleiotropy. Most MR tests did not reveal causal associations. There was some weak evidence for a causal positive effect of genetically instrumented alcohol use on smoking initiation and of cigarettes per day on caffeine use, but these were not supported by the sensitivity analyses. There was also some suggestive evidence for a positive effect of alcohol use on caffeine use (only with MR-Egger) and smoking initiation on cannabis initiation (only with weighted median). None of the suggestive causal associations survived corrections for multiple testing. Two-sample Mendelian randomization analyses found little evidence for causal relationships between nicotine, alcohol, caffeine and cannabis use. © 2018 Society for the Study of Addiction.
A Bayesian Theory of Sequential Causal Learning and Abstract Transfer.
Lu, Hongjing; Rojas, Randall R; Beckers, Tom; Yuille, Alan L
2016-03-01
Two key research issues in the field of causal learning are how people acquire causal knowledge when observing data that are presented sequentially, and the level of abstraction at which learning takes place. Does sequential causal learning solely involve the acquisition of specific cause-effect links, or do learners also acquire knowledge about abstract causal constraints? Recent empirical studies have revealed that experience with one set of causal cues can dramatically alter subsequent learning and performance with entirely different cues, suggesting that learning involves abstract transfer, and such transfer effects involve sequential presentation of distinct sets of causal cues. It has been demonstrated that pre-training (or even post-training) can modulate classic causal learning phenomena such as forward and backward blocking. To account for these effects, we propose a Bayesian theory of sequential causal learning. The theory assumes that humans are able to consider and use several alternative causal generative models, each instantiating a different causal integration rule. Model selection is used to decide which integration rule to use in a given learning environment in order to infer causal knowledge from sequential data. Detailed computer simulations demonstrate that humans rely on the abstract characteristics of outcome variables (e.g., binary vs. continuous) to select a causal integration rule, which in turn alters causal learning in a variety of blocking and overshadowing paradigms. When the nature of the outcome variable is ambiguous, humans select the model that yields the best fit with the recent environment, and then apply it to subsequent learning tasks. Based on sequential patterns of cue-outcome co-occurrence, the theory can account for a range of phenomena in sequential causal learning, including various blocking effects, primacy effects in some experimental conditions, and apparently abstract transfer of causal knowledge. Copyright © 2015
Assessing the validity of road safety evaluation studies by analysing causal chains.
Elvik, Rune
2003-09-01
This paper discusses how the validity of road safety evaluation studies can be assessed by analysing causal chains. A causal chain denotes the path through which a road safety measure influences the number of accidents. Two cases are examined. One involves chemical de-icing of roads (salting). The intended causal chain of this measure is: spread of salt --> removal of snow and ice from the road surface --> improved friction --> shorter stopping distance --> fewer accidents. A Norwegian study that evaluated the effects of salting on accident rate provides information that describes this causal chain. This information indicates that the study overestimated the effect of salting on accident rate, and suggests that this estimate is influenced by confounding variables the study did not control for. The other case involves a traffic club for children. The intended causal chain in this study was: join the club --> improve knowledge --> improve behaviour --> reduce accident rate. In this case, results are rather messy, which suggests that the observed difference in accident rate between members and non-members of the traffic club is not primarily attributable to membership in the club. The two cases show that by analysing causal chains, one may uncover confounding factors that were not adequately controlled in a study. Lack of control for confounding factors remains the most serious threat to the validity of road safety evaluation studies.
Probabilistic causality and radiogenic cancers
International Nuclear Information System (INIS)
Groeer, P.G.
1986-01-01
A review and scrutiny of the literature on probability and probabilistic causality shows that it is possible under certain assumptions to estimate the probability that a certain type of cancer diagnosed in an individual exposed to radiation prior to diagnosis was caused by this exposure. Diagnosis of this causal relationship like diagnosis of any disease - malignant or not - requires always some subjective judgments by the diagnostician. It is, therefore, illusory to believe that tables based on actuarial data can provide objective estimates of the chance that a cancer diagnosed in an individual is radiogenic. It is argued that such tables can only provide a base from which the diagnostician(s) deviate in one direction or the other according to his (their) individual (consensual) judgment. Acceptance of a physician's diagnostic judgment by patients is commonplace. Similar widespread acceptance of expert judgment by claimants in radiation compensation cases does presently not exist. Judicious use of the present radioepidemiological tables prepared by the Working Group of the National Institutes of Health or of updated future versions of similar tables may improve the situation. 20 references
Estimation of effective dose during hysterosalpingography procedures
International Nuclear Information System (INIS)
Alzimamil, K.; Babikir, E.; Alkhorayef, M.; Sulieman, A.; Alsafi, K.; Omer, H.
2014-08-01
Hysterosalpingography (HSG) is the most frequently used diagnostic tool to evaluate the endometrial cavity and fallopian tube by using conventional x-ray or fluoroscopy. Determination of the patient radiation doses values from x-ray examinations provides useful guidance on where best to concentrate efforts on patient dose reduction in order to optimize the protection of the patients. The aims of this study were to measure the patients entrance surface air kerma doses (ESA K), effective doses and to compare practices between different hospitals in Sudan. ESA K were measured for patient using calibrated thermo luminance dosimeters (TLDs, Gr-200A). Effective doses were estimated using National Radiological Protection Board (NRPB) software. This study was conducted in five radiological departments: Two Teaching Hospitals (A and D), two private hospitals (B and C) and one University Hospital (E). The mean ESD was 20.1 mGy, 28.9 mGy, 13.6 mGy, 58.65 mGy, 35.7, 22.4 and 19.6 mGy for hospitals A,B,C,D, and E), respectively. The mean effective dose was 2.4 mSv, 3.5 mSv, 1.6 mSv, 7.1 mSv and 4.3 mSv in the same order. The study showed wide variations in the ESDs with three of the hospitals having values above the internationally reported values. Number of x-ray images, fluoroscopy time, operator skills x-ray machine type and clinical complexity of the procedures were shown to be major contributors to the variations reported. Results demonstrated the need for standardization of technique throughout the hospital. The results also suggest that there is a need to optimize the procedures. Local DRLs were proposed for the entire procedures. (author)
THE CAUSAL ANALYSIS / DIAGNOSIS DECISION ...
CADDIS is an on-line decision support system that helps investigators in the regions, states and tribes find, access, organize, use and share information to produce causal evaluations in aquatic systems. It is based on the US EPA's Stressor Identification process which is a formal method for identifying causes of impairments in aquatic systems. CADDIS 2007 increases access to relevant information useful for causal analysis and provides methods and tools that practitioners can use to analyze their own data. The new Candidate Cause section provides overviews of commonly encountered causes of impairments to aquatic systems: metals, sediments, nutrients, flow alteration, temperature, ionic strength, and low dissolved oxygen. CADDIS includes new Conceptual Models that illustrate the relationships from sources to stressors to biological effects. An Interactive Conceptual Model for phosphorus links the diagram with supporting literature citations. The new Analyzing Data section helps practitioners analyze their data sets and interpret and use those results as evidence within the USEPA causal assessment process. Downloadable tools include a graphical user interface statistical package (CADStat), and programs for use with the freeware R statistical package, and a Microsoft Excel template. These tools can be used to quantify associations between causes and biological impairments using innovative methods such as species-sensitivity distributions, biological inferenc
Causal structure of analogue spacetimes
International Nuclear Information System (INIS)
Barcelo, Carlos; Liberati, Stefano; Sonego, Sebastiano; Visser, Matt
2004-01-01
The so-called 'analogue models of general relativity' provide a number of specific physical systems, well outside the traditional realm of general relativity, that nevertheless are well-described by the differential geometry of curved spacetime. Specifically, the propagation of perturbations in these condensed matter systems is described by 'effective metrics' that carry with them notions of 'causal structure' as determined by an exchange of quasi-particles. These quasi-particle-induced causal structures serve as specific examples of what can be done in the presence of a Lorentzian metric without having recourse to the Einstein equations of general relativity. (After all, the underlying analogue model is governed by its own specific physics, not necessarily by the Einstein equations.) In this paper we take a careful look at what can be said about the causal structure of analogue spacetimes, focusing on those containing quasi-particle horizons, both with a view to seeing what is different from standard general relativity, and what the similarities might be. For definiteness, and because the physics is particularly simple to understand, we will phrase much of the discussion in terms of acoustic disturbances in moving fluids, where the underlying physics is ordinary fluid mechanics, governed by the equations of traditional hydrodynamics, and the relevant quasi-particles are the phonons. It must however be emphasized that this choice of example is only for the sake of pedagogical simplicity and that our considerations apply generically to wide classes of analogue spacetimes
Obesity and infection: reciprocal causality.
Hainer, V; Zamrazilová, H; Kunešová, M; Bendlová, B; Aldhoon-Hainerová, I
2015-01-01
Associations between different infectious agents and obesity have been reported in humans for over thirty years. In many cases, as in nosocomial infections, this relationship reflects the greater susceptibility of obese individuals to infection due to impaired immunity. In such cases, the infection is not related to obesity as a causal factor but represents a complication of obesity. In contrast, several infections have been suggested as potential causal factors in human obesity. However, evidence of a causal linkage to human obesity has only been provided for adenovirus 36 (Adv36). This virus activates lipogenic and proinflammatory pathways in adipose tissue, improves insulin sensitivity, lipid profile and hepatic steatosis. The E4orf1 gene of Adv36 exerts insulin senzitizing effects, but is devoid of its pro-inflammatory modalities. The development of a vaccine to prevent Adv36-induced obesity or the use of E4orf1 as a ligand for novel antidiabetic drugs could open new horizons in the prophylaxis and treatment of obesity and diabetes. More experimental and clinical studies are needed to elucidate the mutual relations between infection and obesity, identify additional infectious agents causing human obesity, as well as define the conditions that predispose obese individuals to specific infections.
Gow, David W; Olson, Bruna B
2015-07-01
Phonotactic frequency effects play a crucial role in a number of debates over language processing and representation. It is unclear however, whether these effects reflect prelexical sensitivity to phonotactic frequency, or lexical "gang effects" in speech perception. In this paper, we use Granger causality analysis of MR-constrained MEG/EEG data to understand how phonotactic frequency influences neural processing dynamics during auditory lexical decision. Effective connectivity analysis showed weaker feedforward influence from brain regions involved in acoustic-phonetic processing (superior temporal gyrus) to lexical areas (supramarginal gyrus) for high phonotactic frequency words, but stronger top-down lexical influence for the same items. Low entropy nonwords (nonwords judged to closely resemble real words) showed a similar pattern of interactions between brain regions involved in lexical and acoustic-phonetic processing. These results contradict the predictions of a feedforward model of phonotactic frequency facilitation, but support the predictions of a lexically mediated account.
Maximally causal quantum mechanics
International Nuclear Information System (INIS)
Roy, S.M.
1998-01-01
We present a new causal quantum mechanics in one and two dimensions developed recently at TIFR by this author and V. Singh. In this theory both position and momentum for a system point have Hamiltonian evolution in such a way that the ensemble of system points leads to position and momentum probability densities agreeing exactly with ordinary quantum mechanics. (author)
DEFF Research Database (Denmark)
Nielsen, Max; Jensen, Frank; Setälä, Jari
2011-01-01
to fish demand. On the German market for farmed trout and substitutes, it is found that supply sources, i.e. aquaculture and fishery, are not the only determinant of causality. Storing, tightness of management and aggregation level of integrated markets might also be important. The methodological...
Czech Academy of Sciences Publication Activity Database
Hvorecký, Juraj
2012-01-01
Roč. 19, Supp.2 (2012), s. 64-69 ISSN 1335-0668 R&D Projects: GA ČR(CZ) GAP401/12/0833 Institutional support: RVO:67985955 Keywords : conciousness * free will * determinism * causality Subject RIV: AA - Philosophy ; Religion
Causal Mediation Analysis of Survival Outcome with Multiple Mediators.
Huang, Yen-Tsung; Yang, Hwai-I
2017-05-01
Mediation analyses have been a popular approach to investigate the effect of an exposure on an outcome through a mediator. Mediation models with multiple mediators have been proposed for continuous and dichotomous outcomes. However, development of multimediator models for survival outcomes is still limited. We present methods for multimediator analyses using three survival models: Aalen additive hazard models, Cox proportional hazard models, and semiparametric probit models. Effects through mediators can be characterized by path-specific effects, for which definitions and identifiability assumptions are provided. We derive closed-form expressions for path-specific effects for the three models, which are intuitively interpreted using a causal diagram. Mediation analyses using Cox models under the rare-outcome assumption and Aalen additive hazard models consider effects on log hazard ratio and hazard difference, respectively; analyses using semiparametric probit models consider effects on difference in transformed survival time and survival probability. The three models were applied to a hepatitis study where we investigated effects of hepatitis C on liver cancer incidence mediated through baseline and/or follow-up hepatitis B viral load. The three methods show consistent results on respective effect scales, which suggest an adverse estimated effect of hepatitis C on liver cancer not mediated through hepatitis B, and a protective estimated effect mediated through the baseline (and possibly follow-up) of hepatitis B viral load. Causal mediation analyses of survival outcome with multiple mediators are developed for additive hazard and proportional hazard and probit models with utility demonstrated in a hepatitis study.
Diagnostic causal reasoning with verbal information.
Meder, Björn; Mayrhofer, Ralf
2017-08-01
In diagnostic causal reasoning, the goal is to infer the probability of causes from one or multiple observed effects. Typically, studies investigating such tasks provide subjects with precise quantitative information regarding the strength of the relations between causes and effects or sample data from which the relevant quantities can be learned. By contrast, we sought to examine people's inferences when causal information is communicated through qualitative, rather vague verbal expressions (e.g., "X occasionally causes A"). We conducted three experiments using a sequential diagnostic inference task, where multiple pieces of evidence were obtained one after the other. Quantitative predictions of different probabilistic models were derived using the numerical equivalents of the verbal terms, taken from an unrelated study with different subjects. We present a novel Bayesian model that allows for incorporating the temporal weighting of information in sequential diagnostic reasoning, which can be used to model both primacy and recency effects. On the basis of 19,848 judgments from 292 subjects, we found a remarkably close correspondence between the diagnostic inferences made by subjects who received only verbal information and those of a matched control group to whom information was presented numerically. Whether information was conveyed through verbal terms or numerical estimates, diagnostic judgments closely resembled the posterior probabilities entailed by the causes' prior probabilities and the effects' likelihoods. We observed interindividual differences regarding the temporal weighting of evidence in sequential diagnostic reasoning. Our work provides pathways for investigating judgment and decision making with verbal information within a computational modeling framework. Copyright © 2017 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.
Estimating the intensity of ward admission and its effect on emergency department access block.
Luo, Wei; Cao, Jiguo; Gallagher, Marcus; Wiles, Janet
2013-07-10
Emergency department access block is an urgent problem faced by many public hospitals today. When access block occurs, patients in need of acute care cannot access inpatient wards within an optimal time frame. A widely held belief is that access block is the end product of a long causal chain, which involves poor discharge planning, insufficient bed capacity, and inadequate admission intensity to the wards. This paper studies the last link of the causal chain-the effect of admission intensity on access block, using data from a metropolitan hospital in Australia. We applied several modern statistical methods to analyze the data. First, we modeled the admission events as a nonhomogeneous Poisson process and estimated time-varying admission intensity with penalized regression splines. Next, we established a functional linear model to investigate the effect of the time-varying admission intensity on emergency department access block. Finally, we used functional principal component analysis to explore the variation in the daily time-varying admission intensities. The analyses suggest that improving admission practice during off-peak hours may have most impact on reducing the number of ED access blocks. Copyright © 2012 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.
Causality violation, gravitational shockwaves and UV completion
Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)
Hollowood, Timothy J.; Shore, Graham M. [Department of Physics, Swansea University,Swansea, SA2 8PP (United Kingdom)
2016-03-18
The effective actions describing the low-energy dynamics of QFTs involving gravity generically exhibit causality violations. These may take the form of superluminal propagation or Shapiro time advances and allow the construction of “time machines”, i.e. spacetimes admitting closed non-spacelike curves. Here, we discuss critically whether such causality violations may be used as a criterion to identify unphysical effective actions or whether, and how, causality problems may be resolved by embedding the action in a fundamental, UV complete QFT. We study in detail the case of photon scattering in an Aichelburg-Sexl gravitational shockwave background and calculate the phase shifts in QED for all energies, demonstrating their smooth interpolation from the causality-violating effective action values at low-energy to their manifestly causal high-energy limits. At low energies, these phase shifts may be interpreted as backwards-in-time coordinate jumps as the photon encounters the shock wavefront, and we illustrate how the resulting causality problems emerge and are resolved in a two-shockwave time machine scenario. The implications of our results for ultra-high (Planck) energy scattering, in which graviton exchange is modelled by the shockwave background, are highlighted.
van Ments, Laila; Roelofsma, Peter; Treur, Jan
2018-01-01
Religion is a central aspect of many individuals' lives around the world, and its influence on human behaviour has been extensively studied from many different perspectives. The current study integrates a number of these perspectives into one adaptive temporal-causal network model describing the mental states involved, their mutual relations, and the adaptation of some of these relations over time due to learning. By first developing a conceptual representation of a network model based on the literature, and then formalizing this model into a numerical representation, simulations can be done for almost any kind of religion and person, showing different behaviours for persons with different religious backgrounds and characters. The focus was mainly on the influence of religion on human empathy and dis-empathy, a topic very relevant today. The developed model could be valuable for many uses, involving support for a better understanding, and even prediction, of the behaviour of religious individuals. It is illustrated for a number of different scenarios based on different characteristics of the persons and of the religion.
Generalized causal mediation and path analysis: Extensions and practical considerations.
Albert, Jeffrey M; Cho, Jang Ik; Liu, Yiying; Nelson, Suchitra
2018-01-01
Causal mediation analysis seeks to decompose the effect of a treatment or exposure among multiple possible paths and provide casually interpretable path-specific effect estimates. Recent advances have extended causal mediation analysis to situations with a sequence of mediators or multiple contemporaneous mediators. However, available methods still have limitations, and computational and other challenges remain. The present paper provides an extended causal mediation and path analysis methodology. The new method, implemented in the new R package, gmediation (described in a companion paper), accommodates both a sequence (two stages) of mediators and multiple mediators at each stage, and allows for multiple types of outcomes following generalized linear models. The methodology can also handle unsaturated models and clustered data. Addressing other practical issues, we provide new guidelines for the choice of a decomposition, and for the choice of a reference group multiplier for the reduction of Monte Carlo error in mediation formula computations. The new method is applied to data from a cohort study to illuminate the contribution of alternative biological and behavioral paths in the effect of socioeconomic status on dental caries in adolescence.
How multiple causes combine: independence constraints on causal inference.
Liljeholm, Mimi
2015-01-01
According to the causal power view, two core constraints-that causes occur independently (i.e., no confounding) and influence their effects independently-serve as boundary conditions for causal induction. This study investigated how violations of these constraints modulate uncertainty about the existence and strength of a causal relationship. Participants were presented with pairs of candidate causes that were either confounded or not, and that either interacted or exerted their influences independently. Consistent with the causal power view, uncertainty about the existence and strength of causal relationships was greater when causes were confounded or interacted than when unconfounded and acting independently. An elemental Bayesian causal model captured differences in uncertainty due to confounding but not those due to an interaction. Implications of distinct sources of uncertainty for the selection of contingency information and causal generalization are discussed.
Operator ordering and causality
Plimak, L. I.; Stenholm, S. T.
2011-01-01
It is shown that causality violations [M. de Haan, Physica 132A, 375, 397 (1985)], emerging when the conventional definition of the time-normal operator ordering [P.L.Kelley and W.H.Kleiner, Phys.Rev. 136, A316 (1964)] is taken outside the rotating wave approximation, disappear when the amended definition [L.P. and S.S., Annals of Physics, 323, 1989 (2008)] of this ordering is used.
International Nuclear Information System (INIS)
Lucas, J.R.
1984-01-01
Originating from lectures given to first year undergraduates reading physics and philosophy or mathematics and philosophy, formal logic is applied to issues and the elucidation of problems in space, time and causality. No special knowledge of relativity theory or quantum mechanics is needed. The text is interspersed with exercises and each chapter is preceded by a suggested 'preliminary reading' and followed by 'further reading' references. (U.K.)
Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)
Inken Rothkirch
Full Text Available Writer's cramp (WC is a focal task-specific dystonia characterized by sustained or intermittent muscle contractions while writing, particularly with the dominant hand. Since structural lesions rarely cause WC, it has been assumed that the disease might be caused by a functional maladaptation within the sensory-motor system. Therefore, our objective was to examine the differences between patients suffering from WC and a healthy control (HC group with regard to the effective connectivity that describes causal influences one brain region exerts over another within the motor network. The effective connectivity within a network including contralateral motor cortex (M1, supplementary motor area (SMA, globus pallidus (GP, putamen (PU and ipsilateral cerebellum (CB was investigated using dynamic causal modeling (DCM for fMRI. Eight connectivity models of functional motor systems were compared. Fifteen WC patients and 18 age-matched HC performed a sequential, five-element finger-tapping task with the non-dominant and non-affected left hand within a 3 T MRI-scanner as quickly and accurately as possible. The task was conducted in a fixed block design repeated 15 times and included 30 s of tapping followed by 30 s of rest. DCM identified the same model in WC and HC as superior for reflecting basal ganglia and cerebellar motor circuits of healthy subjects. The M1-PU, as well as M1-CB connectivity, was more strongly influenced by tapping in WC, but the intracortical M1-SMA connection was more facilitating in controls. Inhibiting influences originating from GP to M1 were stronger in controls compared to WC patients whereby facilitating influences the PU exerts over CB and CB exerts over M1 were not as strong. Although the same model structure explains the given data best, DCM confirms previous research demonstrating a malfunction in effective connectivity intracortically (M1-SMA and in the cortico-basal ganglia circuitry in WC. In addition, DCM analysis
Kant on causal laws and powers.
Henschen, Tobias
2014-12-01
The aim of the paper is threefold. Its first aim is to defend Eric Watkins's claim that for Kant, a cause is not an event but a causal power: a power that is borne by a substance, and that, when active, brings about its effect, i.e. a change of the states of another substance, by generating a continuous flow of intermediate states of that substance. The second aim of the paper is to argue against Watkins that the Kantian concept of causal power is not the pre-critical concept of real ground but the category of causality, and that Kant holds with Hume that causal laws cannot be inferred non-inductively (that he accordingly has no intention to show in the Second analogy or elsewhere that events fall under causal laws). The third aim of the paper is to compare the Kantian position on causality with central tenets of contemporary powers ontology: it argues that unlike the variants endorsed by contemporary powers theorists, the Kantian variants of these tenets are resistant to objections that neo-Humeans raise to these tenets.
Interactions of information transfer along separable causal paths
Jiang, Peishi; Kumar, Praveen
2018-04-01
Complex systems arise as a result of interdependences between multiple variables, whose causal interactions can be visualized in a time-series graph. Transfer entropy and information partitioning approaches have been used to characterize such dependences. However, these approaches capture net information transfer occurring through a multitude of pathways involved in the interaction and as a result mask our ability to discern the causal interaction within a subgraph of interest through specific pathways. We build on recent developments of momentary information transfer along causal paths proposed by Runge [Phys. Rev. E 92, 062829 (2015), 10.1103/PhysRevE.92.062829] to develop a framework for quantifying information partitioning along separable causal paths. Momentary information transfer along causal paths captures the amount of information transfer between any two variables lagged at two specific points in time. Our approach expands this concept to characterize the causal interaction in terms of synergistic, unique, and redundant information transfer through separable causal paths. Through a graphical model, we analyze the impact of the separable and nonseparable causal paths and the causality structure embedded in the graph as well as the noise effect on information partitioning by using synthetic data generated from two coupled logistic equation models. Our approach can provide a valuable reference for an autonomous information partitioning along separable causal paths which form a causal subgraph influencing a target.
Wang, Tao; Zhang, Rong; Ma, Xiaojing; Wang, Shiyun; He, Zhen; Huang, Yeping; Xu, Bo; Li, Yangyang; Zhang, Hong; Jiang, Feng; Bao, Yuqian; Hu, Cheng; Jia, Weiping
2018-05-01
This study aimed to compare the causal effect of overall obesity and abdominal obesity on type 2 diabetes among Chinese Han individuals. The causal relationship of BMI and waist-to-hip ratio (WHR) with the risk of glucose deterioration and glycemic traits was compared using two different genetic instruments based on 30 BMI loci and 6 WHR loci with Mendelian randomization (MR) in three prospective cohorts (n = 6,476). Each 1-SD genetically instrumented higher WHR was associated with a 65.7% higher risk of glucose deterioration (95% CI = 1.069-2.569, P = 0.024), whereas no significant association of BMI with glucose deterioration was observed. Furthermore, a causal relationship was found only between BMI and homeostatic model assessment β-cell function (HOMA-B) (β = 0.143, P = 0.001), and there was a nominal association with Stumvoll second-phase insulin secretion traits (β = 0.074, P = 0.022). The significance level did not persist in sensitivity analyses, except in the causal estimate of WHR on the Gutt index in MR-Egger (β = -0.379, P = 0.022) and the causal estimate of BMI on homeostatic model assessment β-cell function in weighted median MR (β = 0.128, P = 0.017). The data from this study support the potential causal relationship between abdominal obesity and hyperglycemia, which may be driven by aggravated insulin resistance, in contrast with the potential causal relationship between overall obesity and insulin secretion. © 2018 The Obesity Society.
Estimating Equilibrium Effects of Job Search Assistance
DEFF Research Database (Denmark)
Gautier, Pieter; Muller, Paul; van der Klaauw, Bas
that the nonparticipants in the experiment regions find jobs slower after the introduction of the activation program (relative to workers in other regions). We then estimate an equilibrium search model. This model shows that a large scale role out of the activation program decreases welfare, while a standard partial...... microeconometric cost-benefit analysis would conclude the opposite....
Estimating Effect Sizes and Expected Replication Probabilities from GWAS Summary Statistics
DEFF Research Database (Denmark)
Holland, Dominic; Wang, Yunpeng; Thompson, Wesley K
2016-01-01
Genome-wide Association Studies (GWAS) result in millions of summary statistics ("z-scores") for single nucleotide polymorphism (SNP) associations with phenotypes. These rich datasets afford deep insights into the nature and extent of genetic contributions to complex phenotypes such as psychiatric......-scores, as such knowledge would enhance causal SNP and gene discovery, help elucidate mechanistic pathways, and inform future study design. Here we present a parsimonious methodology for modeling effect sizes and replication probabilities, relying only on summary statistics from GWAS substudies, and a scheme allowing...... for estimating the degree of polygenicity of the phenotype and predicting the proportion of chip heritability explainable by genome-wide significant SNPs in future studies with larger sample sizes. We apply the model to recent GWAS of schizophrenia (N = 82,315) and putamen volume (N = 12,596), with approximately...
De Smet, Lina; De Koker, Dieter; Hawley, Alyse K; Foster, Leonard J; De Vos, Paul; de Graaf, Dirk C
2014-01-01
Paenibacillus larvae, the causal agent of American Foulbrood disease (AFB), affects honey bee health worldwide. The present study investigates the effect of bodily fluids from honey bee larvae on growth velocity and transcription for this Gram-positive, endospore-forming bacterium. It was observed that larval fluids accelerate the growth and lead to higher bacterial densities during stationary phase. The genome-wide transcriptional response of in vitro cultures of P. larvae to larval fluids was studied by microarray technology. Early responses of P. larvae to larval fluids are characterized by a general down-regulation of oligopeptide and sugar transporter genes, as well as by amino acid and carbohydrate metabolic genes, among others. Late responses are dominated by general down-regulation of sporulation genes and up-regulation of phage-related genes. A theoretical mechanism of carbon catabolite repression is discussed.
O'Malley, A James; Cotterill, Philip; Schermerhorn, Marc L; Landon, Bruce E
2011-12-01
When 2 treatment approaches are available, there are likely to be unmeasured confounders that influence choice of procedure, which complicates estimation of the causal effect of treatment on outcomes using observational data. To estimate the effect of endovascular (endo) versus open surgical (open) repair, including possible modification by institutional volume, on survival after treatment for abdominal aortic aneurysm, accounting for observed and unobserved confounding variables. Observational study of data from the Medicare program using a joint model of treatment selection and survival given treatment to estimate the effects of type of surgery and institutional volume on survival. We studied 61,414 eligible repairs of intact abdominal aortic aneurysms during 2001 to 2004. The outcome, perioperative death, is defined as in-hospital death or death within 30 days of operation. The key predictors are use of endo, transformed endo and open volume, and endo-volume interactions. There is strong evidence of nonrandom selection of treatment with potential confounding variables including institutional volume and procedure date, variables not typically adjusted for in clinical trials. The best fitting model included heterogeneous transformations of endo volume for endo cases and open volume for open cases as predictors. Consistent with our hypothesis, accounting for unmeasured selection reduced the mortality benefit of endo. The effect of endo versus open surgery varies nonlinearly with endo and open volume. Accounting for institutional experience and unmeasured selection enables better decision-making by physicians making treatment referrals, investigators evaluating treatments, and policy makers.
Wildfire smoke is a major contributor to ambient air pollution levels. In this talk, we develop a spatio-temporal model to estimate the contribution of fire smoke to overall air pollution in different regions of the country. We combine numerical model output with observational da...
Mixed Causal-Noncausal Autoregressions with Strictly Exogenous Regressors
Hecq, Alain; Issler, J.V.; Telg, Sean
2017-01-01
The mixed autoregressive causal-noncausal model (MAR) has been proposed to estimate economic relationships involving explosive roots in their autoregressive part, as they have stationary forward solutions. In previous work, possible exogenous variables in economic relationships are substituted into
Comparing fixed effects and covariance structure estimators for panel data
DEFF Research Database (Denmark)
Ejrnæs, Mette; Holm, Anders
2006-01-01
In this article, the authors compare the traditional econometric fixed effect estimator with the maximum likelihood estimator implied by covariance structure models for panel data. Their findings are that the maximum like lipoid estimator is remarkably robust to certain types of misspecifications...
Foundational perspectives on causality in large-scale brain networks
Mannino, Michael; Bressler, Steven L.
2015-12-01
A profusion of recent work in cognitive neuroscience has been concerned with the endeavor to uncover causal influences in large-scale brain networks. However, despite the fact that many papers give a nod to the important theoretical challenges posed by the concept of causality, this explosion of research has generally not been accompanied by a rigorous conceptual analysis of the nature of causality in the brain. This review provides both a descriptive and prescriptive account of the nature of causality as found within and between large-scale brain networks. In short, it seeks to clarify the concept of causality in large-scale brain networks both philosophically and scientifically. This is accomplished by briefly reviewing the rich philosophical history of work on causality, especially focusing on contributions by David Hume, Immanuel Kant, Bertrand Russell, and Christopher Hitchcock. We go on to discuss the impact that various interpretations of modern physics have had on our understanding of causality. Throughout all this, a central focus is the distinction between theories of deterministic causality (DC), whereby causes uniquely determine their effects, and probabilistic causality (PC), whereby causes change the probability of occurrence of their effects. We argue that, given the topological complexity of its large-scale connectivity, the brain should be considered as a complex system and its causal influences treated as probabilistic in nature. We conclude that PC is well suited for explaining causality in the brain for three reasons: (1) brain causality is often mutual; (2) connectional convergence dictates that only rarely is the activity of one neuronal population uniquely determined by another one; and (3) the causal influences exerted between neuronal populations may not have observable effects. A number of different techniques are currently available to characterize causal influence in the brain. Typically, these techniques quantify the statistical
Illness causal beliefs in Turkish immigrants
Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)
Klimidis Steven
2007-07-01
persists despite modernizing and acculturative influences. Different types of causal beliefs are held in relation to somatic or mental illness, and a variety of apparently logically incompatible beliefs may be concurrently held. Illness causal beliefs are dynamic and are related to demographic, modernizing, and acculturative factors, and to the current presence of illness. Any assumption of uniformity of illness causal beliefs within a community, even one that is relatively culturally homogeneous, is likely to be misleading. A better understanding of the diversity, and determinants, of illness causal beliefs can be of value in improving our understanding of illness experience, the clinical process, and in developing more effective health services and population health strategies.
Illness causal beliefs in Turkish immigrants.
Minas, Harry; Klimidis, Steven; Tuncer, Can
2007-07-24
types of causal beliefs are held in relation to somatic or mental illness, and a variety of apparently logically incompatible beliefs may be concurrently held. Illness causal beliefs are dynamic and are related to demographic, modernizing, and acculturative factors, and to the current presence of illness. Any assumption of uniformity of illness causal beliefs within a community, even one that is relatively culturally homogeneous, is likely to be misleading. A better understanding of the diversity, and determinants, of illness causal beliefs can be of value in improving our understanding of illness experience, the clinical process, and in developing more effective health services and population health strategies.
Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)
Margarita Shternshis
2016-01-01
Full Text Available In vitro and in vivo studies were conducted to estimate the efficacy of the two microbial formulations based on Bacillus subtilis Cohn. and Pseudomonas fluorescens Mig. on the fungus Didymella applanata (Niessl. Sacc., the causal agent of red raspberry (Rubus idaeus L. spur blight. In vitro, both bacteria reduced the growth of D. applanata. In inoculation experiments with raspberry canes in two cultivars with different susceptibility to D. applanata, these antagonistic bacteria suppressed fungal development by reducing the lesions area and the number of D. applanata fruiting bodies. Field trials of two biological formulations under natural conditions showed a significant suppression of the disease. B. subtilis and P. fluorescens included in the formulations revealed antagonistic activity towards D. applanata that depended on the red raspberry cultivar and weather conditions. In all cases, B. subtilis showed better results than P. fluorescens in biocontrol of the raspberry spur blight. This study demonstrated for the first time the ability of the biocontrol agents B. subtilis and P. fluorescens to suppress red raspberry cane spur blight, a serious worldwide disease.
Energy Consumption and Economic Growth in Algeria: Cointegration and Causality Analysis
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Cherfi Souhila
2012-01-01
Full Text Available This study investigates the energy consumption-growth nexus in Algeria. The causal relationship between the logarithm of per capita energy consumption (LPCEC and the logarithm of per capita GDP (LPCGDP during the 1965-2008 period is examined using the threshold cointegration and Granger causality tests. The estimation results indicate that the LPCEC and LPCGDP for Algeria are non cointegrated and that there is a uni-directional causality running from LPCGDP to LPCEC, but not vice versa. The research results strongly support the neoclassical perspective that energy consumption is not a limiting factor to economic growth in Algeria. Accordingly, an important policy implication resulting from this analysis is that government can pursue the conservation energy policies that aim at curtailing energy use for environmental friendly development purposes without creating severe effects on economic growth. The energy should be efficiently allocated into more productive sectors of the economy.
Schiefer, Jonathan; Niederbühl, Alexander; Pernice, Volker; Lennartz, Carolin; Hennig, Jürgen; LeVan, Pierre; Rotter, Stefan
2018-03-01
Knowing brain connectivity is of great importance both in basic research and for clinical applications. We are proposing a method to infer directed connectivity from zero-lag covariances of neuronal activity recorded at multiple sites. This allows us to identify causal relations that are reflected in neuronal population activity. To derive our strategy, we assume a generic linear model of interacting continuous variables, the components of which represent the activity of local neuronal populations. The suggested method for inferring connectivity from recorded signals exploits the fact that the covariance matrix derived from the observed activity contains information about the existence, the direction and the sign of connections. Assuming a sparsely coupled network, we disambiguate the underlying causal structure via L1-minimization, which is known to prefer sparse solutions. In general, this method is suited to infer effective connectivity from resting state data of various types. We show that our method is applicable over a broad range of structural parameters regarding network size and connection probability of the network. We also explored parameters affecting its activity dynamics, like the eigenvalue spectrum. Also, based on the simulation of suitable Ornstein-Uhlenbeck processes to model BOLD dynamics, we show that with our method it is possible to estimate directed connectivity from zero-lag covariances derived from such signals. In this study, we consider measurement noise and unobserved nodes as additional confounding factors. Furthermore, we investigate the amount of data required for a reliable estimate. Additionally, we apply the proposed method on full-brain resting-state fast fMRI datasets. The resulting network exhibits a tendency for close-by areas being connected as well as inter-hemispheric connections between corresponding areas. In addition, we found that a surprisingly large fraction of more than one third of all identified connections were of
The Relevance of Causal Social Construction
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Marques Teresa
2017-02-01
Full Text Available Social constructionist claims are surprising and interesting when they entail that presumably natural kinds are in fact socially constructed. The claims are interesting because of their theoretical and political importance. Authors like Díaz-León argue that constitutive social construction is more relevant for achieving social justice than causal social construction. This paper challenges this claim. Assuming there are socially salient groups that are discriminated against, the paper presents a dilemma: if there were no constitutively constructed social kinds, the causes of the discrimination of existing social groups would have to be addressed, and understanding causal social construction would be relevant to achieve social justice. On the other hand, not all possible constitutively socially constructed kinds are actual social kinds. If an existing social group is constitutively constructed as a social kind K, the fact that it actually exists as a K has social causes. Again, causal social construction is relevant. The paper argues that (i for any actual social kind X, if X is constitutively socially constructed as K, then it is also causally socially constructed; and (ii causal social construction is at least as relevant as constitutive social construction for concerns of social justice. For illustration, I draw upon two phenomena that are presumed to contribute towards the discrimination of women: (i the poor performance effects of stereotype threat, and (ii the silencing effects of gendered language use.
Causal events enter awareness faster than non-causal events
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Pieter Moors
2017-01-01
Full Text Available Philosophers have long argued that causality cannot be directly observed but requires a conscious inference (Hume, 1967. Albert Michotte however developed numerous visual phenomena in which people seemed to perceive causality akin to primary visual properties like colour or motion (Michotte, 1946. Michotte claimed that the perception of causality did not require a conscious, deliberate inference but, working over 70 years ago, he did not have access to the experimental methods to test this claim. Here we employ Continuous Flash Suppression (CFS—an interocular suppression technique to render stimuli invisible (Tsuchiya & Koch, 2005—to test whether causal events enter awareness faster than non-causal events. We presented observers with ‘causal’ and ‘non-causal’ events, and found consistent evidence that participants become aware of causal events more rapidly than non-causal events. Our results suggest that, whilst causality must be inferred from sensory evidence, this inference might be computed at low levels of perceptual processing, and does not depend on a deliberative conscious evaluation of the stimulus. This work therefore supports Michotte’s contention that, like colour or motion, causality is an immediate property of our perception of the world.
Cox, Louis Anthony Tony
2017-08-01
Concentration-response (C-R) functions relating concentrations of pollutants in ambient air to mortality risks or other adverse health effects provide the basis for many public health risk assessments, benefits estimates for clean air regulations, and recommendations for revisions to existing air quality standards. The assumption that C-R functions relating levels of exposure and levels of response estimated from historical data usefully predict how future changes in concentrations would change risks has seldom been carefully tested. This paper critically reviews literature on C-R functions for fine particulate matter (PM2.5) and mortality risks. We find that most of them describe historical associations rather than valid causal models for predicting effects of interventions that change concentrations. The few papers that explicitly attempt to model causality rely on unverified modeling assumptions, casting doubt on their predictions about effects of interventions. A large literature on modern causal inference algorithms for observational data has been little used in C-R modeling. Applying these methods to publicly available data from Boston and the South Coast Air Quality Management District around Los Angeles shows that C-R functions estimated for one do not hold for the other. Changes in month-specific PM2.5 concentrations from one year to the next do not help to predict corresponding changes in average elderly mortality rates in either location. Thus, the assumption that estimated C-R relations predict effects of pollution-reducing interventions may not be true. Better causal modeling methods are needed to better predict how reducing air pollution would affect public health.
In defense of causal-formative indicators: A minority report.
Bollen, Kenneth A; Diamantopoulos, Adamantios
2017-09-01
Causal-formative indicators directly affect their corresponding latent variable. They run counter to the predominant view that indicators depend on latent variables and are thus often controversial. If present, such indicators have serious implications for factor analysis, reliability theory, item response theory, structural equation models, and most measurement approaches that are based on reflective or effect indicators. Psychological Methods has published a number of influential articles on causal and formative indicators as well as launching the first major backlash against them. This article examines 7 common criticisms of these indicators distilled from the literature: (a) A construct measured with "formative" indicators does not exist independently of its indicators; (b) Such indicators are causes rather than measures; (c) They imply multiple dimensions to a construct and this is a liability; (d) They are assumed to be error-free, which is unrealistic; (e) They are inherently subject to interpretational confounding; (f) They fail proportionality constraints; and (g) Their coefficients should be set in advance and not estimated. We summarize each of these criticisms and point out the flaws in the logic and evidence marshaled in their support. The most common problems are not distinguishing between what we call causal-formative and composite-formative indicators, tautological fallacies, and highlighting issues that are common to all indicators, but presenting them as special problems of causal-formative indicators. We conclude that measurement theory needs (a) to incorporate these types of indicators, and (b) to better understand their similarities to and differences from traditional indicators. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2017 APA, all rights reserved).
Estimating and Testing Mediation Effects with Censored Data
Wang, Lijuan; Zhang, Zhiyong
2011-01-01
This study investigated influences of censored data on mediation analysis. Mediation effect estimates can be biased and inefficient with censoring on any one of the input, mediation, and output variables. A Bayesian Tobit approach was introduced to estimate and test mediation effects with censored data. Simulation results showed that the Bayesian…
ORIGINAL ARTICLE Estimation of annual occupational effective ...
African Journals Online (AJOL)
Nagasaki nuclear bomb survivors, who have demonstrated increased ... atomic numbers as soft tissue, and their energy responses to absorbed radiation show little ... suitable thermal treatment, making them cost-effective and viable in the long ...
The effect of selection on genetic parameter estimates
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The South African Journal of Animal Science is available online at ... A simulation study was carried out to investigate the effect of selection on the estimation of genetic ... The model contained a fixed effect, random genetic and random.
Does Causality Matter More Now? Increase in the Proportion of Causal Language in English Texts.
Iliev, Rumen; Axelrod, Robert
2016-05-01
The vast majority of the work on culture and cognition has focused on cross-cultural comparisons, largely ignoring the dynamic aspects of culture. In this article, we provide a diachronic analysis of causal cognition over time. We hypothesized that the increased role of education, science, and technology in Western societies should be accompanied by greater attention to causal connections. To test this hypothesis, we compared word frequencies in English texts from different time periods and found an increase in the use of causal language of about 40% over the past two centuries. The observed increase was not attributable to general language effects or to changing semantics of causal words. We also found that there was a consistent difference between the 19th and the 20th centuries, and that the increase happened mainly in the 20th century. © The Author(s) 2016.
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Marion Hoehn
Full Text Available The effective population size (N(e is proportional to the loss of genetic diversity and the rate of inbreeding, and its accurate estimation is crucial for the monitoring of small populations. Here, we integrate temporal studies of the gecko Oedura reticulata, to compare genetic and demographic estimators of N(e. Because geckos have overlapping generations, our goal was to demographically estimate N(bI, the inbreeding effective number of breeders and to calculate the N(bI/N(a ratio (N(a =number of adults for four populations. Demographically estimated N(bI ranged from 1 to 65 individuals. The mean reduction in the effective number of breeders relative to census size (N(bI/N(a was 0.1 to 1.1. We identified the variance in reproductive success as the most important variable contributing to reduction of this ratio. We used four methods to estimate the genetic based inbreeding effective number of breeders N(bI(gen and the variance effective populations size N(eV(gen estimates from the genotype data. Two of these methods - a temporal moment-based (MBT and a likelihood-based approach (TM3 require at least two samples in time, while the other two were single-sample estimators - the linkage disequilibrium method with bias correction LDNe and the program ONeSAMP. The genetic based estimates were fairly similar across methods and also similar to the demographic estimates excluding those estimates, in which upper confidence interval boundaries were uninformative. For example, LDNe and ONeSAMP estimates ranged from 14-55 and 24-48 individuals, respectively. However, temporal methods suffered from a large variation in confidence intervals and concerns about the prior information. We conclude that the single-sample estimators are an acceptable short-cut to estimate N(bI for species such as geckos and will be of great importance for the monitoring of species in fragmented landscapes.
Estimation of Biological Effects of Tritium.
Umata, Toshiyuki
2017-01-01
Nuclear fusion technology is expected to create new energy in the future. However, nuclear fusion requires a large amount of tritium as a fuel, leading to concern about the exposure of radiation workers to tritium beta radiation. Furthermore, countermeasures for tritium-polluted water produced in decommissioning of the reactor at Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power Station may potentially cause health problems in radiation workers. Although, internal exposure to tritium at a low dose/low dose rate can be assumed, biological effect of tritium exposure is not negligible, because tritiated water (HTO) intake to the body via the mouth/inhalation/skin would lead to homogeneous distribution throughout the whole body. Furthermore, organically-bound tritium (OBT) stays in the body as parts of the molecules that comprise living organisms resulting in long-term exposure, and the chemical form of tritium should be considered. To evaluate the biological effect of tritium, the effect should be compared with that of other radiation types. Many studies have examined the relative biological effectiveness (RBE) of tritium. Hence, we report the RBE, which was obtained with radiation carcinogenesis classified as a stochastic effect, and serves as a reference for cancer risk. We also introduce the outline of the tritium experiment and the principle of a recently developed animal experimental system using transgenic mouse to detect the biological influence of radiation exposure at a low dose/low dose rate.
A quantum probability model of causal reasoning
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Jennifer S Trueblood
2012-05-01
Full Text Available People can often outperform statistical methods and machine learning algorithms in situations that involve making inferences about the relationship between causes and effects. While people are remarkably good at causal reasoning in many situations, there are several instances where they deviate from expected responses. This paper examines three situations where judgments related to causal inference problems produce unexpected results and describes a quantum inference model based on the axiomatic principles of quantum probability theory that can explain these effects. Two of the three phenomena arise from the comparison of predictive judgments (i.e., the conditional probability of an effect given a cause with diagnostic judgments (i.e., the conditional probability of a cause given an effect. The third phenomenon is a new finding examining order effects in predictive causal judgments. The quantum inference model uses the notion of incompatibility among different causes to account for all three phenomena. Psychologically, the model assumes that individuals adopt different points of view when thinking about different causes. The model provides good fits to the data and offers a coherent account for all three causal reasoning effects thus proving to be a viable new candidate for modeling human judgment.
Measures of Coupling between Neural Populations Based on Granger Causality Principle.
Kaminski, Maciej; Brzezicka, Aneta; Kaminski, Jan; Blinowska, Katarzyna J
2016-01-01
This paper shortly reviews the measures used to estimate neural synchronization in experimental settings. Our focus is on multivariate measures of dependence based on the Granger causality (G-causality) principle, their applications and performance in respect of robustness to noise, volume conduction, common driving, and presence of a "weak node." Application of G-causality measures to EEG, intracranial signals and fMRI time series is addressed. G-causality based measures defined in the frequency domain allow the synchronization between neural populations and the directed propagation of their electrical activity to be determined. The time-varying G-causality based measure Short-time Directed Transfer Function (SDTF) supplies information on the dynamics of synchronization and the organization of neural networks. Inspection of effective connectivity patterns indicates a modular structure of neural networks, with a stronger coupling within modules than between them. The hypothetical plausible mechanism of information processing, suggested by the identified synchronization patterns, is communication between tightly coupled modules intermitted by sparser interactions providing synchronization of distant structures.
Measures of coupling between neural populations based on Granger causality principle
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Maciej Kaminski
2016-10-01
Full Text Available This paper shortly reviews the measures used to estimate neural synchronization in experimental settings. Our focus is on multivariate measures of dependence based on the Granger causality (G-causality principle, their applications and performance in respect of robustness to noise, volume conduction, common driving, and presence of a weak node. Application of G-causality measures to EEG, intracranial signals and fMRI time series is addressed. G-causality based measures defined in the frequency domain allow the synchronization between neural populations and the directed propagation of their electrical activity to be determined. The time-varying G-causality based measure Short-time Directed Transfer Function (SDTF supplies information on the dynamics of synchronization and the organization of neural networks. Inspection of effective connectivity patterns indicates a modular structure of neural networks, with a stronger coupling within modules than between them. The hypothetical plausible mechanism of information processing, suggested by the identified synchronization patterns, is communication between tightly coupled modules intermitted by sparser interactions providing synchronization of distant structures.
ESTIMATING THE EFFECTS OF EXCHANGE AND INTEREST ...
African Journals Online (AJOL)
School of Management Technology,. Federal University of Technology Owerri,. Imo State, Nigeria. Abstract. The study examined the effects of exchange rate and interest rate on the ... the basic values of the firm like interest margin, sales etc. ... the economy, so it provides an easy way to gauge the performance of the entire ...
Causality Statistical Perspectives and Applications
Berzuini, Carlo; Bernardinell, Luisa
2012-01-01
A state of the art volume on statistical causality Causality: Statistical Perspectives and Applications presents a wide-ranging collection of seminal contributions by renowned experts in the field, providing a thorough treatment of all aspects of statistical causality. It covers the various formalisms in current use, methods for applying them to specific problems, and the special requirements of a range of examples from medicine, biology and economics to political science. This book:Provides a clear account and comparison of formal languages, concepts and models for statistical causality. Addr
Causal electromagnetic interaction equations
International Nuclear Information System (INIS)
Zinoviev, Yury M.
2011-01-01
For the electromagnetic interaction of two particles the relativistic causal quantum mechanics equations are proposed. These equations are solved for the case when the second particle moves freely. The initial wave functions are supposed to be smooth and rapidly decreasing at the infinity. This condition is important for the convergence of the integrals similar to the integrals of quantum electrodynamics. We also consider the singular initial wave functions in the particular case when the second particle mass is equal to zero. The discrete energy spectrum of the first particle wave function is defined by the initial wave function of the free-moving second particle. Choosing the initial wave functions of the free-moving second particle it is possible to obtain a practically arbitrary discrete energy spectrum.
Explaining quantum correlations through evolution of causal models
Harper, Robin; Chapman, Robert J.; Ferrie, Christopher; Granade, Christopher; Kueng, Richard; Naoumenko, Daniel; Flammia, Steven T.; Peruzzo, Alberto
2017-04-01
We propose a framework for the systematic and quantitative generalization of Bell's theorem using causal networks. We first consider the multiobjective optimization problem of matching observed data while minimizing the causal effect of nonlocal variables and prove an inequality for the optimal region that both strengthens and generalizes Bell's theorem. To solve the optimization problem (rather than simply bound it), we develop a genetic algorithm treating as individuals causal networks. By applying our algorithm to a photonic Bell experiment, we demonstrate the trade-off between the quantitative relaxation of one or more local causality assumptions and the ability of data to match quantum correlations.
Dosimetry in Interventional Radiology - Effective Dose Estimation
International Nuclear Information System (INIS)
Miljanic, S.; Buls, N.; Clerinx, P.; Jarvinen, H.; Nikodemova, D.; Ranogajec-Komor, M; D'Errico, F.
2008-01-01
Interventional radiological procedures can lead to significant radiation doses to patients and to staff members. In order to evaluate the personal doses with respect to the regulatory dose limits, doses measured by dosimeters have to be converted to effective doses (E). Measurement of personal dose equivalent Hp(10) using a single unshielded dosimeter above the lead apron can lead to significant overestimation of the effective dose, while the measurement with dosimeter under the apron can lead to underestimation. To improve the accuracy, measurements with two dosimeters, one above and the other under the apron have been suggested ( d ouble dosimetry ) . The ICRP has recommended that interventional radiology departments develop a policy that staff should wear two dosimeters. The aim of this study was to review the double dosimetry algorithms for the calculation of effective dose in high dose interventional radiology procedures. The results will be used to develop general guidelines for personal dosimetry in interventional radiology procedures. This work has been carried out by Working Group 9 (Radiation protection dosimetry of medical staff) of the CONRAD project, which is a Coordination Action supported by the European Commission within its 6th Framework Program.(author)
Variational Bayesian Causal Connectivity Analysis for fMRI
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Martin eLuessi
2014-05-01
Full Text Available The ability to accurately estimate effective connectivity among brain regions from neuroimaging data could help answering many open questions in neuroscience. We propose a method which uses causality to obtain a measure of effective connectivity from fMRI data. The method uses a vector autoregressive model for the latent variables describing neuronal activity in combination with a linear observation model based on a convolution with a hemodynamic response function. Due to the employed modeling, it is possible to efficiently estimate all latent variables of the model using a variational Bayesian inference algorithm. The computational efficiency of the method enables us to apply it to large scale problems with high sampling rates and several hundred regions of interest. We use a comprehensive empirical evaluation with synthetic and real fMRI data to evaluate the performance of our method under various conditions.
Structural Equations and Causal Explanations: Some Challenges for Causal SEM
Markus, Keith A.
2010-01-01
One common application of structural equation modeling (SEM) involves expressing and empirically investigating causal explanations. Nonetheless, several aspects of causal explanation that have an impact on behavioral science methodology remain poorly understood. It remains unclear whether applications of SEM should attempt to provide complete…
Neural correlates of continuous causal word generation.
Wende, Kim C; Straube, Benjamin; Stratmann, Mirjam; Sommer, Jens; Kircher, Tilo; Nagels, Arne
2012-09-01
Causality provides a natural structure for organizing our experience and language. Causal reasoning during speech production is a distinct aspect of verbal communication, whose related brain processes are yet unknown. The aim of the current study was to investigate the neural mechanisms underlying the continuous generation of cause-and-effect coherences during overt word production. During fMRI data acquisition participants performed three verbal fluency tasks on identical cue words: A novel causal verbal fluency task (CVF), requiring the production of multiple reasons to a given cue word (e.g. reasons for heat are fire, sun etc.), a semantic (free association, FA, e.g. associations with heat are sweat, shower etc.) and a phonological control task (phonological verbal fluency, PVF, e.g. rhymes with heat are meat, wheat etc.). We found that, in contrast to PVF, both CVF and FA activated a left lateralized network encompassing inferior frontal, inferior parietal and angular regions, with further bilateral activation in middle and inferior as well as superior temporal gyri and the cerebellum. For CVF contrasted against FA, we found greater bold responses only in the left middle frontal cortex. Large overlaps in the neural activations during free association and causal verbal fluency indicate that the access to causal relationships between verbal concepts is at least partly based on the semantic neural network. The selective activation in the left middle frontal cortex for causal verbal fluency suggests that distinct neural processes related to cause-and-effect-relations are associated with the recruitment of middle frontal brain areas. Copyright © 2012 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.
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Rongfeng Qi
Full Text Available BACKGROUND: The basal ganglia often show abnormal metabolism and intracranial hemodynamics in cirrhotic patients with hepatic encephalopathy (HE. Little is known about how the basal ganglia affect other brain system and is affected by other brain regions in HE. The purpose of this study was to investigate whether the effective connectivity network associated with the basal ganglia is disturbed in HE patients by using resting-state functional magnetic resonance imaging (rs-fMRI. METHODOLOGY/PRINCIPAL FINDINGS: Thirty five low-grade HE patients and thirty five age- and gender- matched healthy controls participated in the rs-fMRI scans. The effective connectivity networks associated with the globus pallidus, the primarily affected region within basal ganglia in HE, were characterized by using the Granger causality analysis and compared between HE patients and healthy controls. Pearson correlation analysis was performed between the abnormal effective connectivity and venous blood ammonia levels and neuropsychological performances of all HE patients. Compared with the healthy controls, patients with low-grade HE demonstrated mutually decreased influence between the globus pallidus and the anterior cingulate cortex (ACC, cuneus, bi-directionally increased influence between the globus pallidus and the precuneus, and either decreased or increased influence from and to the globus pallidus in many other frontal, temporal, parietal gyri, and cerebellum. Pearson correlation analyses revealed that the blood ammonia levels in HE patients negatively correlated with effective connectivity from the globus pallidus to ACC, and positively correlated with that from the globus pallidus to precuneus; and the number connectivity test scores in patients negatively correlated with the effective connectivity from the globus pallidus to ACC, and from superior frontal gyrus to globus pallidus. CONCLUSIONS/SIGNIFICANCE: Low-grade HE patients had disrupted effective
Estimation of site effects in Beijing City
International Nuclear Information System (INIS)
Ding, Z.; Chen, Y.T.; Panza, G.F.
2002-01-01
For the realistic modeling of the seismic ground motion in lateral heterogeneous anelastic media, the database of 3-D geophysical structures for Beijing City has been built up to model the seismic ground motion in the City, caused by the 1976 Tangshan and the 1998 Zhangbei earthquakes. The hybrid method, that combines the modal summation and the finite difference algorithms, is used in the simulation. The modeling of the seismic ground motion for both the Tangshan and the Zhangbei earthquakes shows that the thick Quaternary sedimentary cover amplifies the peak values and increases the duration of the seismic ground motion in the northwest part of the City. Therefore the thickness of the Quaternary sediments in Beijing City is the key factor that controls the local ground effects, and four zones are defined on the base of the different thickness of the Quaternary sediments. The response spectra for each zone are computed, indicating that peak spectral values as high as 0.1g are compatible with past seismicity and can be well exceeded if an event similar to the 1697 Sanhe-Pinggu occurs. (author)
Estimation of Site Effects in Beijing City
Ding, Z.; Chen, Y. T.; Panza, G. F.
For the realistic modeling of the seismic ground motion in lateral heterogeneous anelastic media, the database of 3-D geophysical structures for Beijing City has been built up to model the seismic ground motion in the City, caused by the 1976 Tangshan and the 1998 Zhangbei earthquakes. The hybrid method, which combines the modal summation and the finite-difference algorithms, is used in the simulation. The modeling of the seismic ground motion, for both the Tangshan and the Zhangbei earthquakes, shows that the thick Quaternary sedimentary cover amplifies the peak values and increases the duration of the seismic ground motion in the northwestern part of the City. Therefore the thickness of the Quaternary sediments in Beijing City is the key factor controling the local ground effects. Four zones are defined on the base of the different thickness of the Quaternary sediments. The response spectra for each zone are computed, indicating that peak spectral values as high as 0.1 g are compatible with past seismicity and can be well exceeded if an event similar to the 1697 Sanhe-Pinggu occurs.
Functional Mixed Effects Model for Small Area Estimation.
Maiti, Tapabrata; Sinha, Samiran; Zhong, Ping-Shou
2016-09-01
Functional data analysis has become an important area of research due to its ability of handling high dimensional and complex data structures. However, the development is limited in the context of linear mixed effect models, and in particular, for small area estimation. The linear mixed effect models are the backbone of small area estimation. In this article, we consider area level data, and fit a varying coefficient linear mixed effect model where the varying coefficients are semi-parametrically modeled via B-splines. We propose a method of estimating the fixed effect parameters and consider prediction of random effects that can be implemented using a standard software. For measuring prediction uncertainties, we derive an analytical expression for the mean squared errors, and propose a method of estimating the mean squared errors. The procedure is illustrated via a real data example, and operating characteristics of the method are judged using finite sample simulation studies.
The problematic estimation of "imitation effects" in multilevel models
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2003-09-01
Full Text Available It seems plausible that a person's demographic behaviour may be influenced by that among other people in the community, for example because of an inclination to imitate. When estimating multilevel models from clustered individual data, some investigators might perhaps feel tempted to try to capture this effect by simply including on the right-hand side the average of the dependent variable, constructed by aggregation within the clusters. However, such modelling must be avoided. According to simulation experiments based on real fertility data from India, the estimated effect of this obviously endogenous variable can be very different from the true effect. Also the other community effect estimates can be strongly biased. An "imitation effect" can only be estimated under very special assumptions that in practice will be hard to defend.
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Yuanyuan Yu
2017-12-01
Full Text Available Abstract Background Confounders can produce spurious associations between exposure and outcome in observational studies. For majority of epidemiologists, adjusting for confounders using logistic regression model is their habitual method, though it has some problems in accuracy and precision. It is, therefore, important to highlight the problems of logistic regression and search the alternative method. Methods Four causal diagram models were defined to summarize confounding equivalence. Both theoretical proofs and simulation studies were performed to verify whether conditioning on different confounding equivalence sets had the same bias-reducing potential and then to select the optimum adjusting strategy, in which logistic regression model and inverse probability weighting based marginal structural model (IPW-based-MSM were compared. The “do-calculus” was used to calculate the true causal effect of exposure on outcome, then the bias and standard error were used to evaluate the performances of different strategies. Results Adjusting for different sets of confounding equivalence, as judged by identical Markov boundaries, produced different bias-reducing potential in the logistic regression model. For the sets satisfied G-admissibility, adjusting for the set including all the confounders reduced the equivalent bias to the one containing the parent nodes of the outcome, while the bias after adjusting for the parent nodes of exposure was not equivalent to them. In addition, all causal effect estimations through logistic regression were biased, although the estimation after adjusting for the parent nodes of exposure was nearest to the true causal effect. However, conditioning on different confounding equivalence sets had the same bias-reducing potential under IPW-based-MSM. Compared with logistic regression, the IPW-based-MSM could obtain unbiased causal effect estimation when the adjusted confounders satisfied G-admissibility and the optimal
Yu, Yuanyuan; Li, Hongkai; Sun, Xiaoru; Su, Ping; Wang, Tingting; Liu, Yi; Yuan, Zhongshang; Liu, Yanxun; Xue, Fuzhong
2017-12-28
Confounders can produce spurious associations between exposure and outcome in observational studies. For majority of epidemiologists, adjusting for confounders using logistic regression model is their habitual method, though it has some problems in accuracy and precision. It is, therefore, important to highlight the problems of logistic regression and search the alternative method. Four causal diagram models were defined to summarize confounding equivalence. Both theoretical proofs and simulation studies were performed to verify whether conditioning on different confounding equivalence sets had the same bias-reducing potential and then to select the optimum adjusting strategy, in which logistic regression model and inverse probability weighting based marginal structural model (IPW-based-MSM) were compared. The "do-calculus" was used to calculate the true causal effect of exposure on outcome, then the bias and standard error were used to evaluate the performances of different strategies. Adjusting for different sets of confounding equivalence, as judged by identical Markov boundaries, produced different bias-reducing potential in the logistic regression model. For the sets satisfied G-admissibility, adjusting for the set including all the confounders reduced the equivalent bias to the one containing the parent nodes of the outcome, while the bias after adjusting for the parent nodes of exposure was not equivalent to them. In addition, all causal effect estimations through logistic regression were biased, although the estimation after adjusting for the parent nodes of exposure was nearest to the true causal effect. However, conditioning on different confounding equivalence sets had the same bias-reducing potential under IPW-based-MSM. Compared with logistic regression, the IPW-based-MSM could obtain unbiased causal effect estimation when the adjusted confounders satisfied G-admissibility and the optimal strategy was to adjust for the parent nodes of outcome, which
Expert Causal Reasoning and Explanation.
Kuipers, Benjamin
The relationship between cognitive psychologists and researchers in artificial intelligence carries substantial benefits for both. An ongoing investigation in causal reasoning in medical problem solving systems illustrates this interaction. This paper traces a dialectic of sorts in which three different types of causal resaoning for medical…
Friederich, Simon
There is widespread belief in a tension between quantum theory and special relativity, motivated by the idea that quantum theory violates J. S. Bell's criterion of local causality, which is meant to implement the causal structure of relativistic space-time. This paper argues that if one takes the
Covariation in Natural Causal Induction.
Cheng, Patricia W.; Novick, Laura R.
1991-01-01
Biases and models usually offered by cognitive and social psychology and by philosophy to explain causal induction are evaluated with respect to focal sets (contextually determined sets of events over which covariation is computed). A probabilistic contrast model is proposed as underlying covariation computation in natural causal induction. (SLD)
Non-Gaussian Methods for Causal Structure Learning.
Shimizu, Shohei
2018-05-22
Causal structure learning is one of the most exciting new topics in the fields of machine learning and statistics. In many empirical sciences including prevention science, the causal mechanisms underlying various phenomena need to be studied. Nevertheless, in many cases, classical methods for causal structure learning are not capable of estimating the causal structure of variables. This is because it explicitly or implicitly assumes Gaussianity of data and typically utilizes only the covariance structure. In many applications, however, non-Gaussian data are often obtained, which means that more information may be contained in the data distribution than the covariance matrix is capable of containing. Thus, many new methods have recently been proposed for using the non-Gaussian structure of data and inferring the causal structure of variables. This paper introduces prevention scientists to such causal structure learning methods, particularly those based on the linear, non-Gaussian, acyclic model known as LiNGAM. These non-Gaussian data analysis tools can fully estimate the underlying causal structures of variables under assumptions even in the presence of unobserved common causes. This feature is in contrast to other approaches. A simulated example is also provided.
Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)
Fuselli, S. R.; Garcia de la Rosa, S. B.; Eguaras, M. J.; Fritz, R.
2010-07-01
Chemical composition and antimicrobial activity of exotic plants essential oils to potentially control Paenibacillus larvae, the causal agent of American foul brood disease (AFB) were determined. AFB represents one of the main plagues that affect the colonies of honeybees Apis mellifera L. with high negative impact on beekeepers worldwide. Essential oils tested were niaouli (Melaleuca viridiflora) and tea tree (Melaleuca alternifolia) from Myrtaceae, and citronella grass (Cymbopogon nardus) and palmarosa (Cymbopogon martinii) from Gramineae. The components of the essential oils were identified by SPME-GC/MS analysis. The antimicrobial activity of the oils against P. larvae was determined by the broth micro dilution method. In vitro assays of M. viridiflora and C. nardus oils showed the inhibition of the bacterial strains at the lowest concentrations tested, with minimal inhibitory concentration (MIC) mean value about 320 mg L{sup -}1 for both oils, respectively. This property could be attributed to the kind and percentage of the components of the oils. Terpinen-4-ol (29.09%), {alpha}-pinene (21.63%) and limonene (17.4%) were predominant in M. viridiflora, while limonene (24.74%), citronelal (24.61%) and geraniol (15.79%) were the bulk of C. nardus. The use of these essential oils contributes to the screening of alternative natural compounds to control AFB in the apiaries; toxicological risks and other undesirable effects would be avoided as resistance factors, developed by the indiscriminate use of antibiotics. (Author) 40 refs.
Paradoxical Behavior of Granger Causality
Witt, Annette; Battaglia, Demian; Gail, Alexander
2013-03-01
Granger causality is a standard tool for the description of directed interaction of network components and is popular in many scientific fields including econometrics, neuroscience and climate science. For time series that can be modeled as bivariate auto-regressive processes we analytically derive an expression for spectrally decomposed Granger Causality (SDGC) and show that this quantity depends only on two out of four groups of model parameters. Then we present examples of such processes whose SDGC expose paradoxical behavior in the sense that causality is high for frequency ranges with low spectral power. For avoiding misinterpretations of Granger causality analysis we propose to complement it by partial spectral analysis. Our findings are illustrated by an example from brain electrophysiology. Finally, we draw implications for the conventional definition of Granger causality. Bernstein Center for Computational Neuroscience Goettingen
On causality of extreme events
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Massimiliano Zanin
2016-06-01
Full Text Available Multiple metrics have been developed to detect causality relations between data describing the elements constituting complex systems, all of them considering their evolution through time. Here we propose a metric able to detect causality within static data sets, by analysing how extreme events in one element correspond to the appearance of extreme events in a second one. The metric is able to detect non-linear causalities; to analyse both cross-sectional and longitudinal data sets; and to discriminate between real causalities and correlations caused by confounding factors. We validate the metric through synthetic data, dynamical and chaotic systems, and data representing the human brain activity in a cognitive task. We further show how the proposed metric is able to outperform classical causality metrics, provided non-linear relationships are present and large enough data sets are available.
The relative performance of bivariate causality tests in small samples
Bult, J..R.; Leeflang, P.S.H.; Wittink, D.R.
1997-01-01
Causality tests have been applied to establish directional effects and to reduce the set of potential predictors, For the latter type of application only bivariate tests can be used, In this study we compare bivariate causality tests. Although the problem addressed is general and could benefit
Ends, Principles, and Causal Explanation in Educational Justice
Dum, Jenn
2017-01-01
Many principles characterize educational justice in terms of the relationship between educational inputs, outputs and distributive standards. Such principles depend upon the "causal pathway view" of education. It is implicit in this view that the causally effective aspects of education can be understood as separate from the normative…
Estimating population effects of vaccination using large, routinely collected data.
Halloran, M Elizabeth; Hudgens, Michael G
2018-01-30
Vaccination in populations can have several kinds of effects. Establishing that vaccination produces population-level effects beyond the direct effects in the vaccinated individuals can have important consequences for public health policy. Formal methods have been developed for study designs and analysis that can estimate the different effects of vaccination. However, implementing field studies to evaluate the different effects of vaccination can be expensive, of limited generalizability, or unethical. It would be advantageous to use routinely collected data to estimate the different effects of vaccination. We consider how different types of data are needed to estimate different effects of vaccination. The examples include rotavirus vaccination of young children, influenza vaccination of elderly adults, and a targeted influenza vaccination campaign in schools. Directions for future research are discussed. Copyright © 2017 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd. Copyright © 2017 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.
Analysis of fatty acids in Ghee and olive oil and their probable causal effect in lipoid pneumonia
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Zein Mirghani
2010-11-01
Full Text Available Aim: To analyze and identify the fatty acids found in homemade ghee and in olive oil and compare those to fatty acids found in bronchoalevolar lavage of children with lipoid pneumonia.Methods: The fatty acids found in homemade fat ”Ghee” and olive oil were analyzed by gas chromatography. Methyl ester derivatives suitable for GC analysis were prepared directly from olive oil or from Ghee using anhydrous methanolic-HCl. Bronchoscopy and bronchoalevolar lavage was performed in eight children aged between 2 and 4 years, all with history of using homemade ghee and/or olive oil in the recumbent position.Results: The analysis of fatty acids in Ghee and olive oil show similar gas chromatographic pattern as those of bronchoalevolar lavage.Conclusion: The three fatty acids responsible for the deleterious effects of lipoid pneumonia were identified. Lipoid pneumonia should be one of the differentials diagnosis in children presenting with respiratory distress. (Med J Indones 2010; 19:252-7Keywords: Bronchoalevolar lavage, gas chromatography, Ghee, methyl esters, lipoid pneumonia
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A. Jackson Stenner
2013-08-01
Full Text Available Rasch’s unidimensional models for measurement show how to connect object measures (e.g., reader abilities, measurement mechanisms (e.g., machine-generated cloze reading items, and observational outcomes (e.g., counts correct on reading instruments. Substantive theory shows what interventions or manipulations to the measurement mechanism can be traded off against a change to the object measure to hold the observed outcome constant. A Rasch model integrated with a substantive theory dictates the form and substance of permissible interventions. Rasch analysis, absent construct theory and an associated specification equation, is a black box in which understanding may be more illusory than not. Finally, the quantitative hypothesis can be tested by comparing theory-based trade-off relations with observed trade-off relations. Only quantitative variables (as measured support such trade-offs. Note that to test the quantitative hypothesis requires more than manipulation of the algebraic equivalencies in the Rasch model or descriptively fitting data to the model. A causal Rasch model involves experimental intervention/manipulation on either reader ability or text complexity or a conjoint intervention on both simultaneously to yield a successful prediction of the resultant observed outcome (count correct. We conjecture that when this type of manipulation is introduced for individual reader text encounters and model predictions are consistent with observations, the quantitative hypothesis is sustained.
Stenner, A Jackson; Fisher, William P; Stone, Mark H; Burdick, Donald S
2013-01-01
Rasch's unidimensional models for measurement show how to connect object measures (e.g., reader abilities), measurement mechanisms (e.g., machine-generated cloze reading items), and observational outcomes (e.g., counts correct on reading instruments). Substantive theory shows what interventions or manipulations to the measurement mechanism can be traded off against a change to the object measure to hold the observed outcome constant. A Rasch model integrated with a substantive theory dictates the form and substance of permissible interventions. Rasch analysis, absent construct theory and an associated specification equation, is a black box in which understanding may be more illusory than not. Finally, the quantitative hypothesis can be tested by comparing theory-based trade-off relations with observed trade-off relations. Only quantitative variables (as measured) support such trade-offs. Note that to test the quantitative hypothesis requires more than manipulation of the algebraic equivalencies in the Rasch model or descriptively fitting data to the model. A causal Rasch model involves experimental intervention/manipulation on either reader ability or text complexity or a conjoint intervention on both simultaneously to yield a successful prediction of the resultant observed outcome (count correct). We conjecture that when this type of manipulation is introduced for individual reader text encounters and model predictions are consistent with observations, the quantitative hypothesis is sustained.
Stenner, A. Jackson; Fisher, William P.; Stone, Mark H.; Burdick, Donald S.
2013-01-01
Rasch's unidimensional models for measurement show how to connect object measures (e.g., reader abilities), measurement mechanisms (e.g., machine-generated cloze reading items), and observational outcomes (e.g., counts correct on reading instruments). Substantive theory shows what interventions or manipulations to the measurement mechanism can be traded off against a change to the object measure to hold the observed outcome constant. A Rasch model integrated with a substantive theory dictates the form and substance of permissible interventions. Rasch analysis, absent construct theory and an associated specification equation, is a black box in which understanding may be more illusory than not. Finally, the quantitative hypothesis can be tested by comparing theory-based trade-off relations with observed trade-off relations. Only quantitative variables (as measured) support such trade-offs. Note that to test the quantitative hypothesis requires more than manipulation of the algebraic equivalencies in the Rasch model or descriptively fitting data to the model. A causal Rasch model involves experimental intervention/manipulation on either reader ability or text complexity or a conjoint intervention on both simultaneously to yield a successful prediction of the resultant observed outcome (count correct). We conjecture that when this type of manipulation is introduced for individual reader text encounters and model predictions are consistent with observations, the quantitative hypothesis is sustained. PMID:23986726
International Nuclear Information System (INIS)
Crawford, G.N.
1981-01-01
The analysis is directed at a causal description of photon diffraction, which is explained in terms of a wave exerting real forces and providing actual guidance to each quantum of energy. An undulatory PSI wave is associated with each photon, and this wave is assumed to imply more than an informative probability function, so that it actually carries real energy, in much the same way as does an electro-magnetic wave. Whether or not it may be in some way related to the electromagnetic wave is left as a matter of on-going concern. A novel application of the concept of a minimum energy configuration is utilized; that is, a system of energy quanta seeks out relative positions and orientations of least mutual energy, much as an electron seeks its Bohr radius as a position of least mutual energy. Thus the concept implies more a guiding interaction of the PSI waves than an interfering cancellation of these waves. Similar concepts have been suggested by L. de Broglie and D. Bohm
Bilirubin as a potential causal factor in type 2 diabetes risk: a Mendelian randomization study
Abbasi, Ali; Deetman, Petronella E.; Corpeleijn, Eva; Gansevoort, Ron T.; Gans, Rijk O.B.; Hillege, Hans L.; van der Harst, Pim; Stolk, Ronald P.; Navis, Gerjan; Alizadeh, Behrooz Z.; Bakker, Stephan J.L.
2014-01-01
Circulating bilirubin, a natural antioxidant, is associated with decreased risk of type 2 diabetes (T2D), but the nature of the relationship remains unknown. We performed Mendelian randomization in a prospective cohort of 3,381 participants free of diabetes at baseline (aged 28-75 years; women, 52.6%). We used rs6742078 located in UDP-glucuronosyltransferase (UGT1A1) locus as instrumental variable (IV) to study a potential causal effect of serum total bilirubin on T2D risk. T2D developed in a total of 210 (6.2%) participants during a median follow-up of 7.8 years. In adjusted analyses, rs6742078, which explained 19.5% of bilirubin variation, was strongly associated with total bilirubin (a 0.68-SD increase in bilirubin levels per T allele; Pbilirubin levels, we observed a 25% (OR 0.75 [95%CI, 0.62-0.92]; P=0.004) lower risk of T2D. In Mendelian randomization analysis, the causal risk reduction for T2D was estimated to be 42% (causal ORIVestimation per 1-SD increase in log-transformed bilirubin 0.58 [95%CI, 0.39-0.84]; P=0.005), which was comparable to the observational estimate (Durbin-Wu-Hausman chi-square test Pfor difference =0.19). These novel results provide evidence that elevated bilirubin is causally associated with risk of T2D and support its role as a protective determinant. PMID:25368098
The Effect of Childhood Family Size on Fertility in Adulthood: New Evidence From IV Estimation.
Cools, Sara; Kaldager Hart, Rannveig
2017-02-01
Although fertility is positively correlated across generations, the causal effect of children's experience with larger sibships on their own fertility in adulthood is poorly understood. With the sex composition of the two firstborn children as an instrumental variable, we estimate the effect of sibship size on adult fertility using high-quality data from Norwegian administrative registers. Our study sample is all firstborns or second-borns during the 1960s in Norwegian families with at least two children (approximately 110,000 men and 104,000 women). An additional sibling has a positive effect on male fertility, mainly causing them to have three children themselves, but has a negative effect on female fertility at the same margin. Investigation into mediators reveals that mothers of girls shift relatively less time from market to family work when an additional child is born. We speculate that this scarcity in parents' time makes girls aware of the strains of life in large families, leading them to limit their own number of children in adulthood.
How to Estimate and Interpret Various Effect Sizes
Vacha-Haase, Tammi; Thompson, Bruce
2004-01-01
The present article presents a tutorial on how to estimate and interpret various effect sizes. The 5th edition of the Publication Manual of the American Psychological Association (2001) described the failure to report effect sizes as a "defect" (p. 5), and 23 journals have published author guidelines requiring effect size reporting. Although…
Effect size estimates: current use, calculations, and interpretation.
Fritz, Catherine O; Morris, Peter E; Richler, Jennifer J
2012-02-01
The Publication Manual of the American Psychological Association (American Psychological Association, 2001, American Psychological Association, 2010) calls for the reporting of effect sizes and their confidence intervals. Estimates of effect size are useful for determining the practical or theoretical importance of an effect, the relative contributions of factors, and the power of an analysis. We surveyed articles published in 2009 and 2010 in the Journal of Experimental Psychology: General, noting the statistical analyses reported and the associated reporting of effect size estimates. Effect sizes were reported for fewer than half of the analyses; no article reported a confidence interval for an effect size. The most often reported analysis was analysis of variance, and almost half of these reports were not accompanied by effect sizes. Partial η2 was the most commonly reported effect size estimate for analysis of variance. For t tests, 2/3 of the articles did not report an associated effect size estimate; Cohen's d was the most often reported. We provide a straightforward guide to understanding, selecting, calculating, and interpreting effect sizes for many types of data and to methods for calculating effect size confidence intervals and power analysis.
Dynamics of Quantum Causal Structures
Castro-Ruiz, Esteban; Giacomini, Flaminia; Brukner, Časlav
2018-01-01
It was recently suggested that causal structures are both dynamical, because of general relativity, and indefinite, because of quantum theory. The process matrix formalism furnishes a framework for quantum mechanics on indefinite causal structures, where the order between operations of local laboratories is not definite (e.g., one cannot say whether operation in laboratory A occurs before or after operation in laboratory B ). Here, we develop a framework for "dynamics of causal structures," i.e., for transformations of process matrices into process matrices. We show that, under continuous and reversible transformations, the causal order between operations is always preserved. However, the causal order between a subset of operations can be changed under continuous yet nonreversible transformations. An explicit example is that of the quantum switch, where a party in the past affects the causal order of operations of future parties, leading to a transition from a channel from A to B , via superposition of causal orders, to a channel from B to A . We generalize our framework to construct a hierarchy of quantum maps based on transformations of process matrices and transformations thereof.
Dynamics of Quantum Causal Structures
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Esteban Castro-Ruiz
2018-03-01
Full Text Available It was recently suggested that causal structures are both dynamical, because of general relativity, and indefinite, because of quantum theory. The process matrix formalism furnishes a framework for quantum mechanics on indefinite causal structures, where the order between operations of local laboratories is not definite (e.g., one cannot say whether operation in laboratory A occurs before or after operation in laboratory B. Here, we develop a framework for “dynamics of causal structures,” i.e., for transformations of process matrices into process matrices. We show that, under continuous and reversible transformations, the causal order between operations is always preserved. However, the causal order between a subset of operations can be changed under continuous yet nonreversible transformations. An explicit example is that of the quantum switch, where a party in the past affects the causal order of operations of future parties, leading to a transition from a channel from A to B, via superposition of causal orders, to a channel from B to A. We generalize our framework to construct a hierarchy of quantum maps based on transformations of process matrices and transformations thereof.
Discrete causal theory emergent spacetime and the causal metric hypothesis
Dribus, Benjamin F
2017-01-01
This book evaluates and suggests potentially critical improvements to causal set theory, one of the best-motivated approaches to the outstanding problems of fundamental physics. Spacetime structure is of central importance to physics beyond general relativity and the standard model. The causal metric hypothesis treats causal relations as the basis of this structure. The book develops the consequences of this hypothesis under the assumption of a fundamental scale, with smooth spacetime geometry viewed as emergent. This approach resembles causal set theory, but differs in important ways; for example, the relative viewpoint, emphasizing relations between pairs of events, and relationships between pairs of histories, is central. The book culminates in a dynamical law for quantum spacetime, derived via generalized path summation.
Causal boundary for stably causal space-times
International Nuclear Information System (INIS)
Racz, I.
1987-12-01
The usual boundary constructions for space-times often yield an unsatisfactory boundary set. This problem is reviewed and a new solution is proposed. An explicit identification rule is given on the set of the ideal points of the space-time. This construction leads to a satisfactory boundary point set structure for stably causal space-times. The topological properties of the resulting causal boundary construction are examined. For the stably causal space-times each causal curve has a unique endpoint on the boundary set according to the extended Alexandrov topology. The extension of the space-time through the boundary is discussed. To describe the singularities the defined boundary sets have to be separated into two disjoint sets. (D.Gy.) 8 refs
Causality violations in Lovelock theories
Brustein, Ram; Sherf, Yotam
2018-04-01
Higher-derivative gravity theories, such as Lovelock theories, generalize Einstein's general relativity (GR). Modifications to GR are expected when curvatures are near Planckian and appear in string theory or supergravity. But can such theories describe gravity on length scales much larger than the Planck cutoff length scale? Here we find causality constraints on Lovelock theories that arise from the requirement that the equations of motion (EOM) of perturbations be hyperbolic. We find a general expression for the "effective metric" in field space when Lovelock theories are perturbed around some symmetric background solution. In particular, we calculate explicitly the effective metric for a general Lovelock theory perturbed around cosmological Friedman-Robertson-Walker backgrounds and for some specific cases when perturbed around Schwarzschild-like solutions. For the EOM to be hyperbolic, the effective metric needs to be Lorentzian. We find that, unlike for GR, the effective metric is generically not Lorentzian when the Lovelock modifications are significant. So, we conclude that Lovelock theories can only be considered as perturbative extensions of GR and not as truly modified theories of gravity. We compare our results to those in the literature and find that they agree with and reproduce the results of previous studies.
Estimating linear effects in ANOVA designs: the easy way.
Pinhas, Michal; Tzelgov, Joseph; Ganor-Stern, Dana
2012-09-01
Research in cognitive science has documented numerous phenomena that are approximated by linear relationships. In the domain of numerical cognition, the use of linear regression for estimating linear effects (e.g., distance and SNARC effects) became common following Fias, Brysbaert, Geypens, and d'Ydewalle's (1996) study on the SNARC effect. While their work has become the model for analyzing linear effects in the field, it requires statistical analysis of individual participants and does not provide measures of the proportions of variability accounted for (cf. Lorch & Myers, 1990). In the present methodological note, using both the distance and SNARC effects as examples, we demonstrate how linear effects can be estimated in a simple way within the framework of repeated measures analysis of variance. This method allows for estimating effect sizes in terms of both slope and proportions of variability accounted for. Finally, we show that our method can easily be extended to estimate linear interaction effects, not just linear effects calculated as main effects.
Causal boundary for strongly causal spacetimes: Pt. 1
International Nuclear Information System (INIS)
Szabados, L.B.
1989-01-01
In a previous paper an analysis of the general structure of the causal boundary constructions and a new explicit identification rule, built up from elementary TIP-TIF gluings, were presented. In the present paper we complete our identification by incorporating TIP-TIP and TIF-TIF gluings as well. An asymptotic causality condition is found which, for physically important cases, ensures the uniqueness of the endpoints of the non-spacelike curves in the completed spacetime. (author)
Classical planning and causal implicatures
DEFF Research Database (Denmark)
Blackburn, Patrick Rowan; Benotti, Luciana
In this paper we motivate and describe a dialogue manager (called Frolog) which uses classical planning to infer causal implicatures. A causal implicature is a type of Gricean relation implicature, a highly context dependent form of inference. As we shall see, causal implicatures are important...... to generate clarification requests"; as a result we can model task-oriented dialogue as an interactive process locally structured by negotiation of the underlying task. We give several examples of Frolog-human dialog, discuss the limitations imposed by the classical planning paradigm, and indicate...
Functional equations with causal operators
Corduneanu, C
2003-01-01
Functional equations encompass most of the equations used in applied science and engineering: ordinary differential equations, integral equations of the Volterra type, equations with delayed argument, and integro-differential equations of the Volterra type. The basic theory of functional equations includes functional differential equations with causal operators. Functional Equations with Causal Operators explains the connection between equations with causal operators and the classical types of functional equations encountered by mathematicians and engineers. It details the fundamentals of linear equations and stability theory and provides several applications and examples.
Adult head CT scans: the uncertainties of effective dose estimates
International Nuclear Information System (INIS)
Gregory, Kent J.; Bibbo, Giovanni; Pattison, John E.
2008-01-01
Full Text: CT scanning is a high dose imaging modality. Effective dose estimates from CT scans can provide important information to patients and medical professionals. For example, medical practitioners can use the dose to estimate the risk to the patient, and judge whether this risk is outweighed by the benefits of the CT examination, while radiographers can gauge the effect of different scanning protocols on the patient effective dose, and take this into consideration when establishing routine scan settings. Dose estimates also form an important part of epidemiological studies examining the health effects of medical radiation exposures on the wider population. Medical physicists have been devoting significant effort towards estimating patient radiation doses from diagnostic CT scans for some years. The question arises: How accurate are these effective dose estimates? The need for a greater understanding and improvement of the uncertainties in CT dose estimates is now gaining recognition as an important issue (BEIR VII 2006). This study is an attempt to analyse and quantify the uncertainty components relating to effective dose estimates from adult head CT examinations that are calculated with four commonly used methods. The dose estimation methods analysed are the Nagel method, the ImpaCT method, the Wellhoefer method and the Dose-Length Product (DLP) method. The analysis of the uncertainties was performed in accordance with the International Standards Organisation's Guide to the Expression of Uncertainty in Measurement as discussed in Gregory et al (Australas. Phys. Eng. Sci. Med., 28: 131-139, 2005). The uncertainty components vary, depending on the method used to derive the effective dose estimate. Uncertainty components in this study include the statistical and other errors from Monte Carlo simulations, uncertainties in the CT settings and positions of patients in the CT gantry, calibration errors from pencil ionization chambers, the variations in the organ
Estimation of Nonlinear Dynamic Panel Data Models with Individual Effects
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Yi Hu
2014-01-01
Full Text Available This paper suggests a generalized method of moments (GMM based estimation for dynamic panel data models with individual specific fixed effects and threshold effects simultaneously. We extend Hansen’s (Hansen, 1999 original setup to models including endogenous regressors, specifically, lagged dependent variables. To address the problem of endogeneity of these nonlinear dynamic panel data models, we prove that the orthogonality conditions proposed by Arellano and Bond (1991 are valid. The threshold and slope parameters are estimated by GMM, and asymptotic distribution of the slope parameters is derived. Finite sample performance of the estimation is investigated through Monte Carlo simulations. It shows that the threshold and slope parameter can be estimated accurately and also the finite sample distribution of slope parameters is well approximated by the asymptotic distribution.
Cortical hierarchies perform Bayesian causal inference in multisensory perception.
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Tim Rohe
2015-02-01
Full Text Available To form a veridical percept of the environment, the brain needs to integrate sensory signals from a common source but segregate those from independent sources. Thus, perception inherently relies on solving the "causal inference problem." Behaviorally, humans solve this problem optimally as predicted by Bayesian Causal Inference; yet, the underlying neural mechanisms are unexplored. Combining psychophysics, Bayesian modeling, functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI, and multivariate decoding in an audiovisual spatial localization task, we demonstrate that Bayesian Causal Inference is performed by a hierarchy of multisensory processes in the human brain. At the bottom of the hierarchy, in auditory and visual areas, location is represented on the basis that the two signals are generated by independent sources (= segregation. At the next stage, in posterior intraparietal sulcus, location is estimated under the assumption that the two signals are from a common source (= forced fusion. Only at the top of the hierarchy, in anterior intraparietal sulcus, the uncertainty about the causal structure of the world is taken into account and sensory signals are combined as predicted by Bayesian Causal Inference. Characterizing the computational operations of signal interactions reveals the hierarchical nature of multisensory perception in human neocortex. It unravels how the brain accomplishes Bayesian Causal Inference, a statistical computation fundamental for perception and cognition. Our results demonstrate how the brain combines information in the face of uncertainty about the underlying causal structure of the world.
Beyond Markov: Accounting for independence violations in causal reasoning.
Rehder, Bob
2018-06-01
Although many theories of causal cognition are based on causal graphical models, a key property of such models-the independence relations stipulated by the Markov condition-is routinely violated by human reasoners. This article presents three new accounts of those independence violations, accounts that share the assumption that people's understanding of the correlational structure of data generated from a causal graph differs from that stipulated by causal graphical model framework. To distinguish these models, experiments assessed how people reason with causal graphs that are larger than those tested in previous studies. A traditional common cause network (Y 1 ←X→Y 2 ) was extended so that the effects themselves had effects (Z 1 ←Y 1 ←X→Y 2 →Z 2 ). A traditional common effect network (Y 1 →X←Y 2 ) was extended so that the causes themselves had causes (Z 1 →Y 1 →X←Y 2 ←Z 2 ). Subjects' inferences were most consistent with the beta-Q model in which consistent states of the world-those in which variables are either mostly all present or mostly all absent-are viewed as more probable than stipulated by the causal graphical model framework. Substantial variability in subjects' inferences was also observed, with the result that substantial minorities of subjects were best fit by one of the other models (the dual prototype or a leaky gate models). The discrepancy between normative and human causal cognition stipulated by these models is foundational in the sense that they locate the error not in people's causal reasoning but rather in their causal representations. As a result, they are applicable to any cognitive theory grounded in causal graphical models, including theories of analogy, learning, explanation, categorization, decision-making, and counterfactual reasoning. Preliminary evidence that independence violations indeed generalize to other judgment types is presented. Copyright © 2018 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.
Rosenheim, Jay A; Higbee, Bradley S; Ackerman, Jonathan D; Meisner, Matthew H
2017-12-05
Capturing the complementary strengths of observational and experimental research methods usually requires the researcher to gather separate experimental and observational data sets. In some cases, however, commercial agricultural practices produce the spatial and temporal mixing of 'treatments' independently of other possibly covarying factors that is normally achieved only with formal experimentation. The resulting 'pseudoexperiments' can provide strong evidence for causal relationships. Here, we analyze a large observational data set that creates a series of such pseudoexperiments to assess the effect of different commercial varieties of almond, Prunus dulcis (Mill.) on the impact of two key lepidopteran pests, the navel orangeworm Amyelois transitella (Walker) (Lepidoptera: Pyralidae), and the peach twig borer Anarsia lineatella Zeller (Lepidoptera: Gelechiidae). Almonds are universally planted as polycultures of different varieties to obtain efficient cross-pollination. We find substantial differences across almond varieties in the rates of infestation of almond hulls and nutmeats by the two pests. We find no support for the hypothesis that earlier-maturing varieties sustain higher attack; for A. transitella, later-maturing varieties instead had more frequent infestation. On many almond varieties, A. lineatella reaches high infestation levels by feeding almost exclusively on the hulls, rather than nutmeats. Given the importance of these pests in directly destroying almond nuts and in promoting aflatoxin-producing Aspergillus sp. fungal infections of almonds, further work exploring the impact of these pests is warranted. Because many crops requiring cross-pollination are planted as mixtures of different varieties, commercial agricultural production data hold great potential for studying within-crop variation in susceptibility to insect attack. © The Author(s) 2017. Published by Oxford University Press on behalf of Entomological Society of America. All rights
Estimating the Effects of Exchange Rate Volatility on Export Volumes
Wang, Kai-Li; Barrett, Christopher B.
2007-01-01
This paper takes a new empirical look at the long-standing question of the effect of exchange rate volatility on international trade flows by studying the case of Taiwan's exports to the United States from 1989-1998. In particular, we employ sectoral-level, monthly data and an innovative multivariate GARCH-M estimator with corrections for leptokurtic errors. This estimator allows for the possibility that traders' forward-looking contracting behavior might condition the way in which exchange r...
Causal Modelling in Evaluation Research.
Winteler, Adolf
1983-01-01
A study applied path analysis methods, using new techniques of causal analysis, to the problem of predicting the achievement, dropout rate, and satisfaction of university students. Besides providing explanations, the technique indicates possible remedial measures. (MSE)
Instrumental variable estimation of treatment effects for duration outcomes
G.E. Bijwaard (Govert)
2007-01-01
textabstractIn this article we propose and implement an instrumental variable estimation procedure to obtain treatment effects on duration outcomes. The method can handle the typical complications that arise with duration data of time-varying treatment and censoring. The treatment effect we
Causal Inference and Model Selection in Complex Settings
Zhao, Shandong
Propensity score methods have become a part of the standard toolkit for applied researchers who wish to ascertain causal effects from observational data. While they were originally developed for binary treatments, several researchers have proposed generalizations of the propensity score methodology for non-binary treatment regimes. In this article, we firstly review three main methods that generalize propensity scores in this direction, namely, inverse propensity weighting (IPW), the propensity function (P-FUNCTION), and the generalized propensity score (GPS), along with recent extensions of the GPS that aim to improve its robustness. We compare the assumptions, theoretical properties, and empirical performance of these methods. We propose three new methods that provide robust causal estimation based on the P-FUNCTION and GPS. While our proposed P-FUNCTION-based estimator preforms well, we generally advise caution in that all available methods can be biased by model misspecification and extrapolation. In a related line of research, we consider adjustment for posttreatment covariates in causal inference. Even in a randomized experiment, observations might have different compliance performance under treatment and control assignment. This posttreatment covariate cannot be adjusted using standard statistical methods. We review the principal stratification framework which allows for modeling this effect as part of its Bayesian hierarchical models. We generalize the current model to add the possibility of adjusting for pretreatment covariates. We also propose a new estimator of the average treatment effect over the entire population. In a third line of research, we discuss the spectral line detection problem in high energy astrophysics. We carefully review how this problem can be statistically formulated as a precise hypothesis test with point null hypothesis, why a usual likelihood ratio test does not apply for problem of this nature, and a doable fix to correctly
Consciousness and the "Causal Paradox"
Velmans, Max
1996-01-01
Viewed from a first-person perspective consciousness appears to be necessary for complex, novel human activity - but viewed from a third-person perspective consciousness appears to play no role in the activity of brains, producing a "causal paradox". To resolve this paradox one needs to distinguish consciousness of processing from consciousness accompanying processing or causing processing. Accounts of consciousness/brain causal interactions switch between first- and third-person perspectives...
Lester L. Yuan,; Amina I. Pollard,; Carlisle, Daren M.
2009-01-01
Analyses of observational data can provide insights into relationships between environmental conditions and biological responses across a broader range of natural conditions than experimental studies, potentially complementing insights gained from experiments. However, observational data must be analyzed carefully to minimize the likelihood that confounding variables bias observed relationships. Propensity scores provide a robust approach for controlling for the effects of measured confounding variables when analyzing observational data. Here, we use propensity scores to estimate changes in mean invertebrate taxon richness in streams that have experienced insecticide concentrations that exceed aquatic life use benchmark concentrations. A simple comparison of richness in sites exposed to elevated insecticides with those that were not exposed suggests that exposed sites had on average 6.8 fewer taxa compared to unexposed sites. The presence of potential confounding variables makes it difficult to assert a causal relationship from this simple comparison. After controlling for confounding factors using propensity scores, the difference in richness between exposed and unexposed sites was reduced to 4.1 taxa, a difference that was still statistically significant. Because the propensity score analysis controlled for the effects of a wide variety of possible confounding variables, we infer that the change in richness observed in the propensity score analysis was likely caused by insecticide exposure.
Estimation of the Continuous and Discontinuous Leverage Effects.
Aït-Sahalia, Yacine; Fan, Jianqing; Laeven, Roger J A; Wang, Christina Dan; Yang, Xiye
2017-01-01
This paper examines the leverage effect, or the generally negative covariation between asset returns and their changes in volatility, under a general setup that allows the log-price and volatility processes to be Itô semimartingales. We decompose the leverage effect into continuous and discontinuous parts and develop statistical methods to estimate them. We establish the asymptotic properties of these estimators. We also extend our methods and results (for the continuous leverage) to the situation where there is market microstructure noise in the observed returns. We show in Monte Carlo simulations that our estimators have good finite sample performance. When applying our methods to real data, our empirical results provide convincing evidence of the presence of the two leverage effects, especially the discontinuous one.
Structure induction in diagnostic causal reasoning.
Meder, Björn; Mayrhofer, Ralf; Waldmann, Michael R
2014-07-01
Our research examines the normative and descriptive adequacy of alternative computational models of diagnostic reasoning from single effects to single causes. Many theories of diagnostic reasoning are based on the normative assumption that inferences from an effect to its cause should reflect solely the empirically observed conditional probability of cause given effect. We argue against this assumption, as it neglects alternative causal structures that may have generated the sample data. Our structure induction model of diagnostic reasoning takes into account the uncertainty regarding the underlying causal structure. A key prediction of the model is that diagnostic judgments should not only reflect the empirical probability of cause given effect but should also depend on the reasoner's beliefs about the existence and strength of the link between cause and effect. We confirmed this prediction in 2 studies and showed that our theory better accounts for human judgments than alternative theories of diagnostic reasoning. Overall, our findings support the view that in diagnostic reasoning people go "beyond the information given" and use the available data to make inferences on the (unobserved) causal rather than on the (observed) data level. (c) 2014 APA, all rights reserved.
Causal asymmetry across cultures: Assigning causal roles in symmetric physical settings
Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)
Andrea eBender
2011-09-01
Full Text Available In the cognitive sciences, causal cognition in the physical domain has featured as a core research topic, but the impact of culture has been rarely ever explored. One case in point for a topic on which this neglect is pronounced is the pervasive tendency of people to consider one of two (equally important entities as more important for bringing about an effect. In order to scrutinize how robust such tendencies are across cultures, we asked German and Tongan participants to assign prime causality in nine symmetric settings. For most settings, strong asymmetries in both cultures were found, but not always in the same direction, depending on the task content. This indicates that causal asymmetries, while indeed being a robust phenomenon across cultures, are also subject to culture-specific concepts. Moreover, the asymmetries were found to be modulated by figure-ground relations, but not by marking agency.
Methodology development for the radioecological monitoring effectiveness estimation
International Nuclear Information System (INIS)
Gusev, A.E.; Kozlov, A.A.; Lavrov, K.N.; Sobolev, I.A.; Tsyplyakova, T.P.
1997-01-01
A general model for estimation of the programs assuring radiation and ecological public protection is described. The complex of purposes and criteria characterizing and giving an opportunity to estimate the effectiveness of environment protection program composition is selected. An algorithm for selecting the optimal management decision from the view point of work cost connected with population protection improvement is considered. The position of radiation-ecological monitoring in general problem of environment pollution is determined. It is shown that the monitoring organizing effectiveness is closely connected with population radiation and ecological protection
Causal learning and inference as a rational process: the new synthesis.
Holyoak, Keith J; Cheng, Patricia W
2011-01-01
Over the past decade, an active line of research within the field of human causal learning and inference has converged on a general representational framework: causal models integrated with bayesian probabilistic inference. We describe this new synthesis, which views causal learning and inference as a fundamentally rational process, and review a sample of the empirical findings that support the causal framework over associative alternatives. Causal events, like all events in the distal world as opposed to our proximal perceptual input, are inherently unobservable. A central assumption of the causal approach is that humans (and potentially nonhuman animals) have been designed in such a way as to infer the most invariant causal relations for achieving their goals based on observed events. In contrast, the associative approach assumes that learners only acquire associations among important observed events, omitting the representation of the distal relations. By incorporating bayesian inference over distributions of causal strength and causal structures, along with noisy-logical (i.e., causal) functions for integrating the influences of multiple causes on a single effect, human judgments about causal strength and structure can be predicted accurately for relatively simple causal structures. Dynamic models of learning based on the causal framework can explain patterns of acquisition observed with serial presentation of contingency data and are consistent with available neuroimaging data. The approach has been extended to a diverse range of inductive tasks, including category-based and analogical inferences.
Risk estimates for the health effects of alpha radiation
International Nuclear Information System (INIS)
Thomas, D.C.; McNeill, K.G.
1981-09-01
This report provides risk estimates for various health effects of alpha radiation. Human and animal data have been used to characterize the shapes of dose-response relations and the effects of various modifying factors, but quantitative risk estimates are based solely on human data: for lung cancer, on miners in the Colorado plateau, Czechoslovakia, Sweden, Ontario and Newfoundland; for bone and head cancers, on radium dial painters and radium-injected patients. Slopes of dose-response relations for lung cancer show a tendency to decrease with increasing dose. Linear extrapolation is unlikely to underestimate the excess risk at low doses by more than a factor of l.5. Under the linear cell-killing model, our best estimate
Time improvement of photoelectric effect calculation for absorbed dose estimation
International Nuclear Information System (INIS)
Massa, J M; Wainschenker, R S; Doorn, J H; Caselli, E E
2007-01-01
Ionizing radiation therapy is a very useful tool in cancer treatment. It is very important to determine absorbed dose in human tissue to accomplish an effective treatment. A mathematical model based on affected areas is the most suitable tool to estimate the absorbed dose. Lately, Monte Carlo based techniques have become the most reliable, but they are time expensive. Absorbed dose calculating programs using different strategies have to choose between estimation quality and calculating time. This paper describes an optimized method for the photoelectron polar angle calculation in photoelectric effect, which is significant to estimate deposited energy in human tissue. In the case studies, time cost reduction nearly reached 86%, meaning that the time needed to do the calculation is approximately 1/7 th of the non optimized approach. This has been done keeping precision invariant
Putting a cap on causality violations in causal dynamical triangulations
International Nuclear Information System (INIS)
Ambjoern, Jan; Loll, Renate; Westra, Willem; Zohren, Stefan
2007-01-01
The formalism of causal dynamical triangulations (CDT) provides us with a non-perturbatively defined model of quantum gravity, where the sum over histories includes only causal space-time histories. Path integrals of CDT and their continuum limits have been studied in two, three and four dimensions. Here we investigate a generalization of the two-dimensional CDT model, where the causality constraint is partially lifted by introducing branching points with a weight g s , and demonstrate that the system can be solved analytically in the genus-zero sector. The solution is analytic in a neighborhood around weight g s = 0 and cannot be analytically continued to g s = ∞, where the branching is entirely geometric and where one would formally recover standard Euclidean two-dimensional quantum gravity defined via dynamical triangulations or Liouville theory
New Estimates of the Effect of Unemployment on Enlisted Retention
1985-07-01
S14cw’tity lafication) New Estimates of the Effect of Umemployment on Enlisted Retention 12. PERSONAL AUTHOR(S) Ile, TYPE OF REPORT 3b~. TIME COVERED...wider swings in the umemployment rate during recent years, relative military pay has played at least as important a role as the unemployment rate in
Sampling strategies for estimating brook trout effective population size
Andrew R. Whiteley; Jason A. Coombs; Mark Hudy; Zachary Robinson; Keith H. Nislow; Benjamin H. Letcher
2012-01-01
The influence of sampling strategy on estimates of effective population size (Ne) from single-sample genetic methods has not been rigorously examined, though these methods are increasingly used. For headwater salmonids, spatially close kin association among age-0 individuals suggests that sampling strategy (number of individuals and location from...
Error Estimates for the Approximation of the Effective Hamiltonian
International Nuclear Information System (INIS)
Camilli, Fabio; Capuzzo Dolcetta, Italo; Gomes, Diogo A.
2008-01-01
We study approximation schemes for the cell problem arising in homogenization of Hamilton-Jacobi equations. We prove several error estimates concerning the rate of convergence of the approximation scheme to the effective Hamiltonian, both in the optimal control setting and as well as in the calculus of variations setting
Bayesian networks improve causal environmental ...
Rule-based weight of evidence approaches to ecological risk assessment may not account for uncertainties and generally lack probabilistic integration of lines of evidence. Bayesian networks allow causal inferences to be made from evidence by including causal knowledge about the problem, using this knowledge with probabilistic calculus to combine multiple lines of evidence, and minimizing biases in predicting or diagnosing causal relationships. Too often, sources of uncertainty in conventional weight of evidence approaches are ignored that can be accounted for with Bayesian networks. Specifying and propagating uncertainties improve the ability of models to incorporate strength of the evidence in the risk management phase of an assessment. Probabilistic inference from a Bayesian network allows evaluation of changes in uncertainty for variables from the evidence. The network structure and probabilistic framework of a Bayesian approach provide advantages over qualitative approaches in weight of evidence for capturing the impacts of multiple sources of quantifiable uncertainty on predictions of ecological risk. Bayesian networks can facilitate the development of evidence-based policy under conditions of uncertainty by incorporating analytical inaccuracies or the implications of imperfect information, structuring and communicating causal issues through qualitative directed graph formulations, and quantitatively comparing the causal power of multiple stressors on value
Hierarchical organisation of causal graphs
International Nuclear Information System (INIS)
Dziopa, P.
1993-01-01
This paper deals with the design of a supervision system using a hierarchy of models formed by graphs, in which the variables are the nodes and the causal relations between the variables of the arcs. To obtain a representation of the variables evolutions which contains only the relevant features of their real evolutions, the causal relations are completed with qualitative transfer functions (QTFs) which produce roughly the behaviour of the classical transfer functions. Major improvements have been made in the building of the hierarchical organization. First, the basic variables of the uppermost level and the causal relations between them are chosen. The next graph is built by adding intermediary variables to the upper graph. When the undermost graph has been built, the transfer functions parameters corresponding to its causal relations are identified. The second task consists in the upwelling of the information from the undermost graph to the uppermost one. A fusion procedure of the causal relations has been designed to compute the QFTs relevant for each level. This procedure aims to reduce the number of parameters needed to represent an evolution at a high level of abstraction. These techniques have been applied to the hierarchical modelling of nuclear process. (authors). 8 refs., 12 figs
Efficient estimation of feedback effects with application to climate models
International Nuclear Information System (INIS)
Cacugi, D.G.; Hall, M.C.G.
1984-01-01
This work presents an efficient method for calculating the sensitivity of a mathematical model's result to feedback. Feedback is defined in terms of an operator acting on the model's dependent variables. The sensitivity to feedback is defined as a functional derivative, and a method is presented to evaluate this derivative using adjoint functions. Typically, this method allows the individual effect of many different feedbacks to be estimated with a total additional computing time comparable to only one recalculation. The effects on a CO 2 -doubling experiment of actually incorporating surface albedo and water vapor feedbacks in radiative-convective model are compared with sensivities calculated using adjoint functions. These sensitivities predict the actual effects of feedback with at least the correct sign and order of magnitude. It is anticipated that this method of estimation the effect of feedback will be useful for more complex models where extensive recalculations for each of a variety of different feedbacks is impractical
Entropy for theories with indefinite causal structure
International Nuclear Information System (INIS)
Markes, Sonia; Hardy, Lucien
2011-01-01
Any theory with definite causal structure has a defined past and future, be it defined by light cones or an absolute time scale. Entropy is a concept that has traditionally been reliant on a definite notion of causality. However, without a definite notion of causality, the concept of entropy is not all lost. Indefinite causal structure results from combining probabilistic predictions and dynamical space-time. The causaloid framework lays the mathematical groundwork to be able to treat indefinite causal structure. In this paper, we build on the causaloid mathematics and define a causally-unbiased entropy for an indefinite causal structure. In defining a causally-unbiased entropy, there comes about an emergent idea of causality in the form of a measure of causal connectedness, termed the Q factor.
Estimated effects of interfacial vaporization on fission product scrubbing
International Nuclear Information System (INIS)
Moody, F.J.; Nagy, S.G.
1983-01-01
When bubbles containing non-condensible gas rise through a water pool, interfacial evaporation causes a flow of vapor into the bubbles. The inflow reduces the outward particle motion toward the bubble wall, diminishing the effectiveness of fission product particle removal. This analysis provides an estimate of evaporation on pool scrubbing effectiveness. It is shown that hot gas, which boils water at the bubble wall, reduces the effective scrubbing height by less than five centimeters. Although the evaporative humidification in a rising bubble containing non-condensible gas has a diminishing effect on scrubbing mechanisms, substantial decontamination is still expected even for the limiting case of a saturated pool
Estimation of effective thermal conductivity tensor from composite microstructure images
International Nuclear Information System (INIS)
Thomas, M; Boyard, N; Jarny, Y; Delaunay, D
2008-01-01
The determination of the effective thermal properties of inhomogeneous materials is a long-standing problem of continuously interest. The impressive number of methods developed to measure or estimate the thermal properties of composite materials clearly exhibits the importance given to their knowledge. Homogenization models are a cheap way to determine or predict them. Many different approaches of homogenization were developed, but the last advances are credited to numerical methods. In this study, a new computational model is developed to estimate the 2D thermal conductivity tensor and the thermal main directions of a pure carbon/epoxy unidirectional composite. This tool is based on real composite microstructure.
Cosmological perturbation effects on gravitational-wave luminosity distance estimates
Bertacca, Daniele; Raccanelli, Alvise; Bartolo, Nicola; Matarrese, Sabino
2018-06-01
Waveforms of gravitational waves provide information about a variety of parameters for the binary system merging. However, standard calculations have been performed assuming a FLRW universe with no perturbations. In reality this assumption should be dropped: we show that the inclusion of cosmological perturbations translates into corrections to the estimate of astrophysical parameters derived for the merging binary systems. We compute corrections to the estimate of the luminosity distance due to velocity, volume, lensing and gravitational potential effects. Our results show that the amplitude of the corrections will be negligible for current instruments, mildly important for experiments like the planned DECIGO, and very important for future ones such as the Big Bang Observer.
Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)
José Tomás Alvarado
2009-08-01
Full Text Available This work presents a causal conception of metaphysical modality in which a state of affairs is metaphysically possible if and only if it can be caused (in the past, the present or the future by current entities. The conception is contrasted with what is called the “combinatorial” conception of modality, in which everything can co-exist with anything else. This work explains how the notion of ‘causality’ should be construed in the causal theory, what difference exists between modalities thus defined from nomological modality, how accessibility relations between possible worlds should be interpreted, and what is the relation between the causal conception and the necessity of origin.
Causal reasoning with mental models
Khemlani, Sangeet S.; Barbey, Aron K.; Johnson-Laird, Philip N.
2014-01-01
This paper outlines the model-based theory of causal reasoning. It postulates that the core meanings of causal assertions are deterministic and refer to temporally-ordered sets of possibilities: A causes B to occur means that given A, B occurs, whereas A enables B to occur means that given A, it is possible for B to occur. The paper shows how mental models represent such assertions, and how these models underlie deductive, inductive, and abductive reasoning yielding explanations. It reviews evidence both to corroborate the theory and to account for phenomena sometimes taken to be incompatible with it. Finally, it reviews neuroscience evidence indicating that mental models for causal inference are implemented within lateral prefrontal cortex. PMID:25389398
Causal reasoning with mental models.
Khemlani, Sangeet S; Barbey, Aron K; Johnson-Laird, Philip N
2014-01-01
This paper outlines the model-based theory of causal reasoning. It postulates that the core meanings of causal assertions are deterministic and refer to temporally-ordered sets of possibilities: A causes B to occur means that given A, B occurs, whereas A enables B to occur means that given A, it is possible for B to occur. The paper shows how mental models represent such assertions, and how these models underlie deductive, inductive, and abductive reasoning yielding explanations. It reviews evidence both to corroborate the theory and to account for phenomena sometimes taken to be incompatible with it. Finally, it reviews neuroscience evidence indicating that mental models for causal inference are implemented within lateral prefrontal cortex.
Causal reasoning with mental models
Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)
Sangeet eKhemlani
2014-10-01
Full Text Available This paper outlines the model-based theory of causal reasoning. It postulates that the core meanings of causal assertions are deterministic and refer to temporally-ordered sets of possibilities: A causes B to occur means that given A, B occurs, whereas A enables B to occur means that given A, it is possible for B to occur. The paper shows how mental models represent such assertions, and how these models underlie deductive, inductive, and abductive reasoning yielding explanations. It reviews evidence both to corroborate the theory and to account for phenomena sometimes taken to be incompatible with it. Finally, it reviews neuroscience evidence indicating that mental models for causal inference are implemented within lateral prefrontal cortex.
Ma, Sisi; Kemmeren, Patrick; Aliferis, Constantin F.; Statnikov, Alexander
2016-01-01
Reverse-engineering of causal pathways that implicate diseases and vital cellular functions is a fundamental problem in biomedicine. Discovery of the local causal pathway of a target variable (that consists of its direct causes and direct effects) is essential for effective intervention and can facilitate accurate diagnosis and prognosis. Recent research has provided several active learning methods that can leverage passively observed high-throughput data to draft causal pathways and then refine the inferred relations with a limited number of experiments. The current study provides a comprehensive evaluation of the performance of active learning methods for local causal pathway discovery in real biological data. Specifically, 54 active learning methods/variants from 3 families of algorithms were applied for local causal pathways reconstruction of gene regulation for 5 transcription factors in S. cerevisiae. Four aspects of the methods’ performance were assessed, including adjacency discovery quality, edge orientation accuracy, complete pathway discovery quality, and experimental cost. The results of this study show that some methods provide significant performance benefits over others and therefore should be routinely used for local causal pathway discovery tasks. This study also demonstrates the feasibility of local causal pathway reconstruction in real biological systems with significant quality and low experimental cost. PMID:26939894
Nonparametric Estimation of Distributions in Random Effects Models
Hart, Jeffrey D.
2011-01-01
We propose using minimum distance to obtain nonparametric estimates of the distributions of components in random effects models. A main setting considered is equivalent to having a large number of small datasets whose locations, and perhaps scales, vary randomly, but which otherwise have a common distribution. Interest focuses on estimating the distribution that is common to all datasets, knowledge of which is crucial in multiple testing problems where a location/scale invariant test is applied to every small dataset. A detailed algorithm for computing minimum distance estimates is proposed, and the usefulness of our methodology is illustrated by a simulation study and an analysis of microarray data. Supplemental materials for the article, including R-code and a dataset, are available online. © 2011 American Statistical Association.
Effect of stress on turbine fish passage mortality estimates
International Nuclear Information System (INIS)
Ruggles, C.P.
1993-01-01
Tests were conducted with juvenile alewife to determine the effects of four experimental protocols upon turbine fish passage mortality estimates. Three protocols determined the effect of cumulative stresses upon fish, while the fourth determined the effect of long range truck transportation prior to release into the penstock or tailrace. The wide range in results were attributed to the presence or absence of additional stress factors associated with the experiments. For instance, fish may survive passage through a turbine, or non-turbine related stresses imposed by the investigator; however, when both are imposed, the cumulative stresses may be lethal. The impact of protocol stress on turbine mortality estimates becomes almost exponential after control mortality exceeds 10%. Valid turbine related mortalities may be determined only after stresses associated with experimental protocol are adequately reduced. This is usually indicated by a control mortality of less than 10%. 14 refs., 5 figs., 6 tabs
Gang membership and substance use: guilt as a gendered causal pathway.
Coffman, Donna L; Melde, Chris; Esbensen, Finn-Aage
2015-03-01
We examine whether anticipated guilt for substance use is a gendered mechanism underlying the noted enhancement effect of gang membership on illegal drug use. We also demonstrate a method for making stronger causal inferences when assessing mediation in the presence of moderation and time-varying confounding. We estimate a series of inverse propensity weighted models to obtain unbiased estimates of mediation in the presence of confounding of the exposure (i.e., gang membership) and mediator (i.e., anticipated guilt) using three waves of data from a multi-site panel study of a law-related education program for youth ( N =1,113). The onset of gang membership significantly decreased anticipated substance use guilt among both male and female respondents. This reduction was significantly associated with increased frequency of substance use only for female respondents, however, suggesting that gender moderates the mechanism through which gang membership influences substance use. Criminologists are often concerned with identifying causal pathways for antisocial and/or delinquent behavior, but confounders of the exposure, mediator, and outcome often interfere with efforts to assess mediation. Many new approaches have been proposed for strengthening causal inference for mediation effects. After controlling for confounding using inverse propensity weighting, our results suggest that interventions aimed at reducing substance use by current and former female gang members should focus on the normative aspects of these behaviors.
Granger Causality and Unit Roots
DEFF Research Database (Denmark)
Rodríguez-Caballero, Carlos Vladimir; Ventosa-Santaulària, Daniel
2014-01-01
The asymptotic behavior of the Granger-causality test under stochastic nonstationarity is studied. Our results confirm that the inference drawn from the test is not reliable when the series are integrated to the first order. In the presence of deterministic components, the test statistic diverges......, eventually rejecting the null hypothesis, even when the series are independent of each other. Moreover, controlling for these deterministic elements (in the auxiliary regressions of the test) does not preclude the possibility of drawing erroneous inferences. Granger-causality tests should not be used under...
Quantum theory and local causality
Hofer-Szabó, Gábor
2018-01-01
This book summarizes the results of research the authors have pursued in the past years on the problem of implementing Bell's notion of local causality in local physical theories and relating it to other important concepts and principles in the foundations of physics such as the Common Cause Principle, Bell's inequalities, the EPR (Einstein-Podolsky-Rosen) scenario, and various other locality and causality concepts. The book is intended for philosophers of science with an interest in the formal background of sciences, philosophers of physics and physicists working in foundation of physics.
Causal Learning in Gambling Disorder: Beyond the Illusion of Control.
Perales, José C; Navas, Juan F; Ruiz de Lara, Cristian M; Maldonado, Antonio; Catena, Andrés
2017-06-01
Causal learning is the ability to progressively incorporate raw information about dependencies between events, or between one's behavior and its outcomes, into beliefs of the causal structure of the world. In spite of the fact that some cognitive biases in gambling disorder can be described as alterations of causal learning involving gambling-relevant cues, behaviors, and outcomes, general causal learning mechanisms in gamblers have not been systematically investigated. In the present study, we compared gambling disorder patients against controls in an instrumental causal learning task. Evidence of illusion of control, namely, overestimation of the relationship between one's behavior and an uncorrelated outcome, showed up only in gamblers with strong current symptoms. Interestingly, this effect was part of a more complex pattern, in which gambling disorder patients manifested a poorer ability to discriminate between null and positive contingencies. Additionally, anomalies were related to gambling severity and current gambling disorder symptoms. Gambling-related biases, as measured by a standard psychometric tool, correlated with performance in the causal learning task, but not in the expected direction. Indeed, performance of gamblers with stronger biases tended to resemble the one of controls, which could imply that anomalies of causal learning processes play a role in gambling disorder, but do not seem to underlie gambling-specific biases, at least in a simple, direct way.
Causal Analysis for Performance Modeling of Computer Programs
Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)
Jan Lemeire
2007-01-01
Full Text Available Causal modeling and the accompanying learning algorithms provide useful extensions for in-depth statistical investigation and automation of performance modeling. We enlarged the scope of existing causal structure learning algorithms by using the form-free information-theoretic concept of mutual information and by introducing the complexity criterion for selecting direct relations among equivalent relations. The underlying probability distribution of experimental data is estimated by kernel density estimation. We then reported on the benefits of a dependency analysis and the decompositional capacities of causal models. Useful qualitative models, providing insight into the role of every performance factor, were inferred from experimental data. This paper reports on the results for a LU decomposition algorithm and on the study of the parameter sensitivity of the Kakadu implementation of the JPEG-2000 standard. Next, the analysis was used to search for generic performance characteristics of the applications.
Maxwell, Lauren; Devries, Karen; Zionts, Danielle; Alhusen, Jeanne L; Campbell, Jacquelyn
2015-01-01
Intimate partner violence (IPV) is an important global public health problem. While there is a growing literature on the association between IPV and women's reproductive health (RH) outcomes, most studies are cross-sectional-which weakens inference about the causal effect of IPV on women's RH. This systematic review synthesizes existing evidence from the strongest study designs to estimate the impact of IPV on women's use of contraception. We searched 11 electronic databases from January of 1980 to 3 December 2013 and reviewed reference lists from systematic reviews for studies examining IPV and contraceptive use. To be able to infer causality, we limited our review to studies that had longitudinal measures of either IPV or women's use of contraception. Of the 1,574 articles identified by the search, we included 179 articles in the full text review and extracted data from 12 studies that met our inclusion criteria. We limited the meta-analysis to seven studies that could be classified as subject to low or moderate levels of bias. Women's experience of IPV was associated with a significant reduction in the odds of using contraception (n = 14,866; OR: 0.47; 95% CI: 0.25, 0.85; I2 = 92%; 95% CII2: 87%, 96%). Restricting to studies that measured the effect of IPV on women's use of partner dependent contraceptive methods was associated with a reduction in the heterogeneity of the overall estimate. In the three studies that examined women's likelihood of using male condoms with their partners, experience of IPV was associated with a significant decrease in condom use (OR: 0.48; 95% CIOR: 0.32, 0.72; I2 = 51%; 95% CII2: 0%, 86%). IPV is associated with a reduction in women's use of contraception; women who experience IPV are less likely to report using condoms with their male partners. Family planning and HIV prevention programs should consider women's experiences of IPV.
Estimating the rebound effect in US manufacturing energy consumption
International Nuclear Information System (INIS)
Bentzen, Jan
2004-01-01
The energy price shocks of the 1970s are usually assumed to have increased the search for new energy saving technologies where eventual gains in energy efficiencies will reduce the real per unit price of energy services and hence, the consumption of energy will rise and partially offset the initial reduction in the usage of energy sources. This is the 'rebound effect', which is estimated for the US manufacturing sector using time series data applying the dynamic OLS method (DOLS). When allowing for asymmetric price effects the rebound effect is found to be approximately 24% for the US manufacturing sector
Moriarty, John; McVicar, Duncan; Higgins, Kathryn
2016-08-01
Peer effects in adolescent cannabis are difficult to estimate, due in part to the lack of appropriate data on behaviour and social ties. This paper exploits survey data that have many desirable properties and have not previously been used for this purpose. The data set, collected from teenagers in three annual waves from 2002 to 2004 contains longitudinal information about friendship networks within schools (N = 5020). We exploit these data on network structure to estimate peer effects on adolescents from their nominated friends within school using two alternative approaches to identification. First, we present a cross-sectional instrumental variable (IV) estimate of peer effects that exploits network structure at the second degree, i.e. using information on friends of friends who are not themselves ego's friends to instrument for the cannabis use of friends. Second, we present an individual fixed effects estimate of peer effects using the full longitudinal structure of the data. Both innovations allow a greater degree of control for correlated effects than is commonly the case in the substance-use peer effects literature, improving our chances of obtaining estimates of peer effects than can be plausibly interpreted as causal. Both estimates suggest positive peer effects of non-trivial magnitude, although the IV estimate is imprecise. Furthermore, when we specify identical models with behaviour and characteristics of randomly selected school peers in place of friends', we find effectively zero effect from these 'placebo' peers, lending credence to our main estimates. We conclude that cross-sectional data can be used to estimate plausible positive peer effects on cannabis use where network structure information is available and appropriately exploited. Copyright © 2016 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.
Causal uncertainty, claimed and behavioural self-handicapping.
Thompson, Ted; Hepburn, Jonathan
2003-06-01
Causal uncertainty beliefs involve doubts about the causes of events, and arise as a consequence of non-contingent evaluative feedback: feedback that leaves the individual uncertain about the causes of his or her achievement outcomes. Individuals high in causal uncertainty are frequently unable to confidently attribute their achievement outcomes, experience anxiety in achievement situations and as a consequence are likely to engage in self-handicapping behaviour. Accordingly, we sought to establish links between trait causal uncertainty, claimed and behavioural self-handicapping. Participants were N=72 undergraduate students divided equally between high and low causally uncertain groups. We used a 2 (causal uncertainty status: high, low) x 3 (performance feedback condition: success, non-contingent success, non-contingent failure) between-subjects factorial design to examine the effects of causal uncertainty on achievement behaviour. Following performance feedback, participants completed 20 single-solution anagrams and 12 remote associate tasks serving as performance measures, and 16 unicursal tasks to assess practice effort. Participants also completed measures of claimed handicaps, state anxiety and attributions. Relative to low causally uncertain participants, high causally uncertain participants claimed more handicaps prior to performance on the anagrams and remote associates, reported higher anxiety, attributed their failure to internal, stable factors, and reduced practice effort on the unicursal tasks, evident in fewer unicursal tasks solved. These findings confirm links between trait causal uncertainty and claimed and behavioural self-handicapping, highlighting the need for educators to facilitate means by which students can achieve surety in the manner in which they attribute the causes of their achievement outcomes.
Measures to reduce car-fleet consumption - Estimation of effects
International Nuclear Information System (INIS)
Iten, R.; Hammer, S.; Keller, M.; Schmidt, N.; Sammer, K.; Wuestenhagen, R.
2005-09-01
This comprehensive report for the Swiss Federal Office of Energy (SFOE) takes a look at the results of a study that estimated the effects of measures that were to be taken in order to reduce the fuel consumption of fleets of vehicles as part of the SwissEnergy programme. The research reported on aimed to estimate the effects of the Energy Label on energy consumption and research concerning the results to be expected from the introduction of a bonus-malus system. Questions reviewed include the effect of fuel consumption data on making decisions concerning which vehicle to purchase, the effects of the Energy Label on consumption, the awareness of other appropriate information sources, the possible effects of a bonus-malus system and how the effectiveness of the Energy Label could be improved. The answers and results obtained are reviewed and commented on. Finally, an overall appraisal of the situation is presented and recommendations for increasing the effectiveness of the Energy Label are made
ESTIMATION OF AGING EFFECTS OF PILES IN MALAYSIAN OFFSHORE LOCATIONS
Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)
JERIN M. GEORGE
2017-04-01
Full Text Available An increasing demand for extending life and subsequently higher loading requirements of offshore jacket platforms are among the key problems faced by the offshore industry. The Aging effect has been proved to increase the axial capacity of piles, but proper methods to estimate and quantify these effects have not been developed. Borehole data from ten different Malaysian offshore locations have been analysed and they were employed to estimate the setup factor for different locations using AAU method. The setup factors found were used in the Skov and Denver equation to calculate capacity ratios of the offshore piles. The study showed that there will be an average improvement in the axial capacity of offshore piles by 42.2% and 34.9% for clayey and mixed soils respectively after a time equal to the normal design life (25 years of a jacket platform.
Causal Reasoning with Mental Models
2014-08-08
The initial rubric is equivalent to an exclusive disjunction between the two causal assertions. It 488 yields the following two mental models: 489...are 575 important, whereas the functions of artifacts are important (Ahn, 1998). A genetic code is 576 accordingly more critical to being a goat than
Identity, causality, and pronoun ambiguity.
Sagi, Eyal; Rips, Lance J
2014-10-01
This article looks at the way people determine the antecedent of a pronoun in sentence pairs, such as: Albert invited Ron to dinner. He spent hours cleaning the house. The experiment reported here is motivated by the idea that such judgments depend on reasoning about identity (e.g., the identity of the he who cleaned the house). Because the identity of an individual over time depends on the causal-historical path connecting the stages of the individual, the correct antecedent will also depend on causal connections. The experiment varied how likely it is that the event of the first sentence (e.g., the invitation) would cause the event of the second (the house cleaning) for each of the two individuals (the likelihood that if Albert invited Ron to dinner, this would cause Albert to clean the house, versus cause Ron to clean the house). Decisions about the antecedent followed causal likelihood. A mathematical model of causal identity accounted for most of the key aspects of the data from the individual sentence pairs. Copyright © 2014 Cognitive Science Society, Inc.
Charged singularities: the causality violation
Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)
De Felice, F; Nobili, L [Padua Univ. (Italy). Ist. di Fisica; Calvani, M [Padua Univ. (Italy). Ist. di Astronomia
1980-12-01
A search is made for examples of particle trajectories which, approaching a naked singularity from infinity, make up for lost time before going back to infinity. In the Kerr-Newman metric a whole family of such trajectories is found showing that the causality violation is indeed a non-avoidable pathology.
Estimating the herd immunity effect of rotavirus vaccine.
Pollard, Suzanne L; Malpica-Llanos, Tanya; Friberg, Ingrid K; Fischer-Walker, Christa; Ashraf, Sania; Walker, Neff
2015-07-31
Diarrhea is one of the leading causes of death in children under 5, and an estimated 39% of these deaths are attributable to rotavirus. Currently two live, oral rotavirus vaccines have been introduced on the market; however, the herd immunity effect associated with rotavirus vaccine has not yet been quantified. The purpose of this meta-analysis was to estimate the herd immunity effects associated with rotavirus vaccines. We performed a systematic literature review of articles published between 2008 and 2014 that measured the impact of rotavirus vaccine on severe gastroenteritis (GE) morbidity or mortality. We assessed the quality of published studies using a standard protocol and conducted meta-analyses to estimate the herd immunity effect in children less than one year of age across all years presented in the studies. We conducted these analyses separately for studies reporting a rotavirus-specific GE outcome and those reporting an all-cause GE outcome. In studies reporting a rotavirus-specific GE outcome, four of five of which were conducted in the United States, the median herd effect across all study years was 22% [19-25%]. In studies reporting an all-cause GE outcome, all of which were conducted in Latin America, the median herd effect was 24.9% [11-30%]. There is evidence that rotavirus vaccination confers a herd immunity effect in children under one year of age in the United States and Latin American countries. Given the high variability in vaccine efficacy across regions, more studies are needed to better examine herd immunity effects in high mortality regions. Copyright © 2015 The Authors. Published by Elsevier Ltd.. All rights reserved.
Estimation and Inference for Very Large Linear Mixed Effects Models
Gao, K.; Owen, A. B.
2016-01-01
Linear mixed models with large imbalanced crossed random effects structures pose severe computational problems for maximum likelihood estimation and for Bayesian analysis. The costs can grow as fast as $N^{3/2}$ when there are N observations. Such problems arise in any setting where the underlying factors satisfy a many to many relationship (instead of a nested one) and in electronic commerce applications, the N can be quite large. Methods that do not account for the correlation structure can...
Estimating Effective Subsidy Rates of Student Aid Programs
Stacey H. CHEN
2008-01-01
Every year millions of high school students and their parents in the US are asked to fill out complicated financial aid application forms. However, few studies have estimated the responsiveness of government financial aid schemes to changes in financial needs of the students. This paper identifies the effective subsidy rate (ESR) of student aid, as defined by the coefficient of financial needs in the regression of financial aid. The ESR measures the proportion of subsidy of student aid under ...
Evaluation of Rock Stress Estimation by the Kaiser effect
International Nuclear Information System (INIS)
Lehtonen, A.
2005-11-01
The knowledge of in situ stress is the key input parameter in many rock mechanics analyses. Information on stress allows the definition of boundary conditions for various modelling and engineering tasks. Presently, the estimation of stresses in bedrock is one of the most difficult, time-consuming and high-priced rock mechanical investigations. In addition, the methods used today have not evolved significantly in many years. This brings out a demand for novel, more economical and practical methods for stress estimation. In this study, one such method, Kaiser effect based on acoustic emission of core samples, has been evaluated. It can be described as a 'memory' in rock that is indicated by a change in acoustic emission emitted during uniaxial loading test. The most tempting feature of this method is the ability to estimate the in situ stress state from core specimens in laboratory conditions. This yields considerable cost savings compared to laborious borehole measurements. Kaiser effect has been studied in order to determine in situ stresses for decades without any major success. However, recent studies in Australia and China have been promising and made the estimation of stress tensor possible from differently oriented core samples. The aim of this work has been to develop a similar estimation method in Finland (including both equipment and data reduction), and to test it on samples obtained from Olkiluoto, Eurajoki. The developed measuring system proved to work well. The quality of obtained data varied, but they were still interpretable. The results obtained from these tests were compared with results of previous overcoring measurements, and they showed quite good correlation. Thus, the results were promising, but the method still needs further development and more testing before the final decision on its feasibility can be made. (orig.)
Hyperactivity: is candy causal?
Krummel, D A; Seligson, F H; Guthrie, H A
1996-01-01
Adverse behavioral responses to ingestion of any kind of candy have been reported repeatedly in the lay press. Parents and teachers alike attribute excessive motor activity and other disruptive behaviors to candy consumption. However, anecdotal observations of this kind need to be tested scientifically before conclusions can be drawn, and criteria for interpreting diet behavior studies must be rigorous. Ingredients in nonchocolate candy (sugar, artificial food colors), components in chocolate candy (sugar, artificial food colors in coatings, caffeine), and chocolate itself have been investigated for any adverse effects on behavior. Feingold theorized that food additives (artificial colors and flavors) and natural salicylates caused hyperactivity in children and elimination of these components would result in dramatic improvement in behavior. Numerous double-blind studies of the Feingold hypothesis have led to the rejection of the idea that this elimination diet has any benefit beyond the normal placebo effect. Although sugar is widely believed by the public to cause hyperactive behavior, this has not been scientifically substantiated. Twelve double-blind, placebo-controlled studies of sugar challenges failed to provide any evidence that sugar ingestion leads to untoward behavior in children with Attention-Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder or in normal children. Likewise, none of the studies testing candy or chocolate found any negative effect of these foods on behavior. For children with behavioral problems, diet-oriented treatment does not appear to be appropriate. Rather, clinicians treating these children recommend a multidisciplinary approach. The goal of diet treatment is to ensure a balanced diet with adequate energy and nutrients for optimal growth.
Entanglement, holography and causal diamonds
de Boer, Jan; Haehl, Felix M.; Heller, Michal P.; Myers, Robert C.
2016-08-01
We argue that the degrees of freedom in a d-dimensional CFT can be reorganized in an insightful way by studying observables on the moduli space of causal diamonds (or equivalently, the space of pairs of timelike separated points). This 2 d-dimensional space naturally captures some of the fundamental nonlocality and causal structure inherent in the entanglement of CFT states. For any primary CFT operator, we construct an observable on this space, which is defined by smearing the associated one-point function over causal diamonds. Known examples of such quantities are the entanglement entropy of vacuum excitations and its higher spin generalizations. We show that in holographic CFTs, these observables are given by suitably defined integrals of dual bulk fields over the corresponding Ryu-Takayanagi minimal surfaces. Furthermore, we explain connections to the operator product expansion and the first law of entanglemententropy from this unifying point of view. We demonstrate that for small perturbations of the vacuum, our observables obey linear two-derivative equations of motion on the space of causal diamonds. In two dimensions, the latter is given by a product of two copies of a two-dimensional de Sitter space. For a class of universal states, we show that the entanglement entropy and its spin-three generalization obey nonlinear equations of motion with local interactions on this moduli space, which can be identified with Liouville and Toda equations, respectively. This suggests the possibility of extending the definition of our new observables beyond the linear level more generally and in such a way that they give rise to new dynamically interacting theories on the moduli space of causal diamonds. Various challenges one has to face in order to implement this idea are discussed.
Entanglement, holography and causal diamonds
Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)
Boer, Jan de [Institute of Physics, Universiteit van Amsterdam,Science Park 904, 1090 GL Amsterdam (Netherlands); Haehl, Felix M. [Centre for Particle Theory & Department of Mathematical Sciences, Durham University,South Road, Durham DH1 3LE (United Kingdom); Heller, Michal P.; Myers, Robert C. [Perimeter Institute for Theoretical Physics,31 Caroline Street North, Waterloo, Ontario N2L 2Y5 (Canada)
2016-08-29
We argue that the degrees of freedom in a d-dimensional CFT can be re-organized in an insightful way by studying observables on the moduli space of causal diamonds (or equivalently, the space of pairs of timelike separated points). This 2d-dimensional space naturally captures some of the fundamental nonlocality and causal structure inherent in the entanglement of CFT states. For any primary CFT operator, we construct an observable on this space, which is defined by smearing the associated one-point function over causal diamonds. Known examples of such quantities are the entanglement entropy of vacuum excitations and its higher spin generalizations. We show that in holographic CFTs, these observables are given by suitably defined integrals of dual bulk fields over the corresponding Ryu-Takayanagi minimal surfaces. Furthermore, we explain connections to the operator product expansion and the first law of entanglement entropy from this unifying point of view. We demonstrate that for small perturbations of the vacuum, our observables obey linear two-derivative equations of motion on the space of causal diamonds. In two dimensions, the latter is given by a product of two copies of a two-dimensional de Sitter space. For a class of universal states, we show that the entanglement entropy and its spin-three generalization obey nonlinear equations of motion with local interactions on this moduli space, which can be identified with Liouville and Toda equations, respectively. This suggests the possibility of extending the definition of our new observables beyond the linear level more generally and in such a way that they give rise to new dynamically interacting theories on the moduli space of causal diamonds. Various challenges one has to face in order to implement this idea are discussed.
Jobbagy, Zoltán
2009-01-01
The author addresses a recent force employment concept called effects-based operations, which first appeared during the 1991 war against Iraq. The attributes of effects-based operations can be grouped around three common, but interrelated elements such as effects focus, advanced technology, and
Data error effects on net radiation and evapotranspiration estimation
International Nuclear Information System (INIS)
Llasat, M.C.; Snyder, R.L.
1998-01-01
The objective of this paper is to evaluate the potential error in estimating the net radiation and reference evapotranspiration resulting from errors in the measurement or estimation of weather parameters. A methodology for estimating the net radiation using hourly weather variables measured at a typical agrometeorological station (e.g., solar radiation, temperature and relative humidity) is presented. Then the error propagation analysis is made for net radiation and for reference evapotranspiration. Data from the Raimat weather station, which is located in the Catalonia region of Spain, are used to illustrate the error relationships. The results show that temperature, relative humidity and cloud cover errors have little effect on the net radiation or reference evapotranspiration. A 5°C error in estimating surface temperature leads to errors as big as 30 W m −2 at high temperature. A 4% solar radiation (R s ) error can cause a net radiation error as big as 26 W m −2 when R s ≈ 1000 W m −2 . However, the error is less when cloud cover is calculated as a function of the solar radiation. The absolute error in reference evapotranspiration (ET o ) equals the product of the net radiation error and the radiation term weighting factor [W = Δ(Δ1+γ)] in the ET o equation. Therefore, the ET o error varies between 65 and 85% of the R n error as air temperature increases from about 20° to 40°C. (author)
The argumentative impact of causal relations
DEFF Research Database (Denmark)
Nielsen, Anne Ellerup
1996-01-01
such as causality, explanation and justification. In certain types of discourse, causal relations also imply an intentional element. This paper describes the way in which the semantic and pragmatic functions of causal markers can be accounted for in terms of linguistic and rhetorical theories of argumentation.......The semantic relations between and within utterances are marked by the use of connectors and adverbials. One type of semantic relations is causal relations expressed by causal markers such as because, therefore, so, for, etc. Some of these markers cover different types of causal relations...
Mishra-Kalyani, Pallavi S.; Johnson, Brent A.; Glass, Jonathan D.; Long, Qi
2016-09-01
Clinical disease registries offer a rich collection of valuable patient information but also pose challenges that require special care and attention in statistical analyses. The goal of this paper is to propose a statistical framework that allows for estimating the effect of surgical insertion of a percutaneous endogastrostomy (PEG) tube for patients living with amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) using data from a clinical registry. Although all ALS patients are informed about PEG, only some patients agree to the procedure which, leads to the potential for selection bias. Assessing the effect of PEG is further complicated by the aggressively fatal disease, such that time to death competes directly with both the opportunity to receive PEG and clinical outcome measurements. Our proposed methodology handles the “censoring by death” phenomenon through principal stratification and selection bias for PEG treatment through generalized propensity scores. We develop a fully Bayesian modeling approach to estimate the survivor average causal effect (SACE) of PEG on BMI, a surrogate outcome measure of nutrition and quality of life. The use of propensity score methods within the principal stratification framework demonstrates a significant and positive effect of PEG treatment, particularly when time of treatment is included in the treatment definition.
A comparison of estimated and calculated effective porosity
Stephens, Daniel B.; Hsu, Kuo-Chin; Prieksat, Mark A.; Ankeny, Mark D.; Blandford, Neil; Roth, Tracy L.; Kelsey, James A.; Whitworth, Julia R.
Effective porosity in solute-transport analyses is usually estimated rather than calculated from tracer tests in the field or laboratory. Calculated values of effective porosity in the laboratory on three different textured samples were compared to estimates derived from particle-size distributions and soil-water characteristic curves. The agreement was poor and it seems that no clear relationships exist between effective porosity calculated from laboratory tracer tests and effective porosity estimated from particle-size distributions and soil-water characteristic curves. A field tracer test in a sand-and-gravel aquifer produced a calculated effective porosity of approximately 0.17. By comparison, estimates of effective porosity from textural data, moisture retention, and published values were approximately 50-90% greater than the field calibrated value. Thus, estimation of effective porosity for chemical transport is highly dependent on the chosen transport model and is best obtained by laboratory or field tracer tests. Résumé La porosité effective dans les analyses de transport de soluté est habituellement estimée, plutôt que calculée à partir d'expériences de traçage sur le terrain ou au laboratoire. Les valeurs calculées de la porosité effective au laboratoire sur trois échantillons de textures différentes ont été comparées aux estimations provenant de distributions de taille de particules et de courbes caractéristiques sol-eau. La concordance était plutôt faible et il semble qu'il n'existe aucune relation claire entre la porosité effective calculée à partir des expériences de traçage au laboratoire et la porosité effective estimée à partir des distributions de taille de particules et de courbes caractéristiques sol-eau. Une expérience de traçage de terrain dans un aquifère de sables et de graviers a fourni une porosité effective calculée d'environ 0,17. En comparaison, les estimations de porosité effective de données de
On the causal structure between CO2 and global temperature
Stips, Adolf; Macias, Diego; Coughlan, Clare; Garcia-Gorriz, Elisa; Liang, X. San
2016-01-01
We use a newly developed technique that is based on the information flow concept to investigate the causal structure between the global radiative forcing and the annual global mean surface temperature anomalies (GMTA) since 1850. Our study unambiguously shows one-way causality between the total Greenhouse Gases and GMTA. Specifically, it is confirmed that the former, especially CO2, are the main causal drivers of the recent warming. A significant but smaller information flow comes from aerosol direct and indirect forcing, and on short time periods, volcanic forcings. In contrast the causality contribution from natural forcings (solar irradiance and volcanic forcing) to the long term trend is not significant. The spatial explicit analysis reveals that the anthropogenic forcing fingerprint is significantly regionally varying in both hemispheres. On paleoclimate time scales, however, the cause-effect direction is reversed: temperature changes cause subsequent CO2/CH4 changes. PMID:26900086
Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)
Hopin Lee
2015-07-01
Discussion and significance: Mediation analysis of clinical trials can estimate how much the total effect of the treatment on the outcome is carried through an indirect path. Using mediation analysis to understand these mechanisms can generate evidence that can be used to tailor treatments and optimise treatment effects. In this study, the causal mediation effects of a pain education intervention for acute non-specific low back pain will be estimated. This knowledge is critical for further development and refinement of interventions for conditions such as low back pain.
Health effects estimation code development for accident consequence analysis
International Nuclear Information System (INIS)
Togawa, O.; Homma, T.
1992-01-01
As part of a computer code system for nuclear reactor accident consequence analysis, two computer codes have been developed for estimating health effects expected to occur following an accident. Health effects models used in the codes are based on the models of NUREG/CR-4214 and are revised for the Japanese population on the basis of the data from the reassessment of the radiation dosimetry and information derived from epidemiological studies on atomic bomb survivors of Hiroshima and Nagasaki. The health effects models include early and continuing effects, late somatic effects and genetic effects. The values of some model parameters are revised for early mortality. The models are modified for predicting late somatic effects such as leukemia and various kinds of cancers. The models for genetic effects are the same as those of NUREG. In order to test the performance of one of these codes, it is applied to the U.S. and Japanese populations. This paper provides descriptions of health effects models used in the two codes and gives comparisons of the mortality risks from each type of cancer for the two populations. (author)
Investigating the reversed causality of engagement and burnout in job demands-resources theory
Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)
Leon T. de Beer
2013-03-01
Full Text Available Orientation: Reversed causality is an area that has not commanded major attention within the South African context, specifically pertaining to engagement, burnout and job demands resources. Therefore, this necessitated an investigation to elucidate the potential effects. Research purpose: To investigate the reversed causal hypotheses of burnout and engagement in job demands-resources theory over time. Motivation for the study: Organisations and researchers should be made aware of the effects that burnout and engagement could have over time on resources and demands. Research design, approach and method: A longitudinal design was employed. The availability sample (n = 593 included participants from different demographic backgrounds. A survey was used to measure all constructs at both points in time. Structural equation modelling techniques were implemented with a categorical estimator to investigate the proposed hypotheses. Main findings: Burnout was found to have a significant negative longitudinal relationship with colleague support and supervisor support, whilst the negative relationship with supervisor support over time was more prominent. Engagement showed only one significant but small, negative relationship with supervisor support over time. All other relationships were statistically non-significant. Practical/managerial implications: This study makes organisations aware of the relationship between burnout and relationships at work over time. Proactive measures to promote relationships at work, specifically supervisor support, should be considered in addition to combatting burnout itself and promoting engagement. Contribution/value-add: This study provides insights and information on reversed causality, namely, the effects that engagement and burnout can have over time.
On estimating the effective diffusive properties of hardened cement pastes
International Nuclear Information System (INIS)
Stora, E.; Bary, B.; Stora, E.; He, Qi-Chang
2008-01-01
The effective diffusion coefficients of hardened cement pastes can vary between a few orders of magnitude. The paper aims at building a homogenization model to estimate these macroscopic diffusivities and capture such strong variations. For this purpose, a three-scale description of the paste is proposed, relying mainly on the fact that the initial cement grains hydrate forming a complex microstructure with a multi-scale pore structure. In particular, porosity is found to be well connected at a fine scale. However, only a few homogenization schemes are shown to be adequate to account for such connectivity. Among them, the mixed composite spheres assemblage estimate (Stora, E., He, Q.-C., Bary, B.: J. Appl. Phys. 100(8), 084910, 2006a) seems to be the only one that always complies with rigorous bounds and is consequently employed to predict the effects of this fine porosity on the material effective diffusivities. The model proposed provides predictions in good agreement with experimental results and is consistent with the numerous measurements of critical pore diameters issued from mercury intrusion porosimetry tests. The evolution of the effective diffusivities of cement pastes subjected to leaching is also assessed by adopting a simplified scenario of the decalcification process. (authors)
McCormick, Joshua L.; Quist, Michael C.; Schill, Daniel J.
2012-01-01
Roving–roving and roving–access creel surveys are the primary techniques used to obtain information on harvest of Chinook salmon Oncorhynchus tshawytscha in Idaho sport fisheries. Once interviews are conducted using roving–roving or roving–access survey designs, mean catch rate can be estimated with the ratio-of-means (ROM) estimator, the mean-of-ratios (MOR) estimator, or the MOR estimator with exclusion of short-duration (≤0.5 h) trips. Our objective was to examine the relative bias and precision of total catch estimates obtained from use of the two survey designs and three catch rate estimators for Idaho Chinook salmon fisheries. Information on angling populations was obtained by direct visual observation of portions of Chinook salmon fisheries in three Idaho river systems over an 18-d period. Based on data from the angling populations, Monte Carlo simulations were performed to evaluate the properties of the catch rate estimators and survey designs. Among the three estimators, the ROM estimator provided the most accurate and precise estimates of mean catch rate and total catch for both roving–roving and roving–access surveys. On average, the root mean square error of simulated total catch estimates was 1.42 times greater and relative bias was 160.13 times greater for roving–roving surveys than for roving–access surveys. Length-of-stay bias and nonstationary catch rates in roving–roving surveys both appeared to affect catch rate and total catch estimates. Our results suggest that use of the ROM estimator in combination with an estimate of angler effort provided the least biased and most precise estimates of total catch for both survey designs. However, roving–access surveys were more accurate than roving–roving surveys for Chinook salmon fisheries in Idaho.
Bayesian Estimation of Small Effects in Exercise and Sports Science.
Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)
Kerrie L Mengersen
Full Text Available The aim of this paper is to provide a Bayesian formulation of the so-called magnitude-based inference approach to quantifying and interpreting effects, and in a case study example provide accurate probabilistic statements that correspond to the intended magnitude-based inferences. The model is described in the context of a published small-scale athlete study which employed a magnitude-based inference approach to compare the effect of two altitude training regimens (live high-train low (LHTL, and intermittent hypoxic exposure (IHE on running performance and blood measurements of elite triathletes. The posterior distributions, and corresponding point and interval estimates, for the parameters and associated effects and comparisons of interest, were estimated using Markov chain Monte Carlo simulations. The Bayesian analysis was shown to provide more direct probabilistic comparisons of treatments and able to identify small effects of interest. The approach avoided asymptotic assumptions and overcame issues such as multiple testing. Bayesian analysis of unscaled effects showed a probability of 0.96 that LHTL yields a substantially greater increase in hemoglobin mass than IHE, a 0.93 probability of a substantially greater improvement in running economy and a greater than 0.96 probability that both IHE and LHTL yield a substantially greater improvement in maximum blood lactate concentration compared to a Placebo. The conclusions are consistent with those obtained using a 'magnitude-based inference' approach that has been promoted in the field. The paper demonstrates that a fully Bayesian analysis is a simple and effective way of analysing small effects, providing a rich set of results that are straightforward to interpret in terms of probabilistic statements.
Bayesian Estimation of Small Effects in Exercise and Sports Science.
Mengersen, Kerrie L; Drovandi, Christopher C; Robert, Christian P; Pyne, David B; Gore, Christopher J
2016-01-01
The aim of this paper is to provide a Bayesian formulation of the so-called magnitude-based inference approach to quantifying and interpreting effects, and in a case study example provide accurate probabilistic statements that correspond to the intended magnitude-based inferences. The model is described in the context of a published small-scale athlete study which employed a magnitude-based inference approach to compare the effect of two altitude training regimens (live high-train low (LHTL), and intermittent hypoxic exposure (IHE)) on running performance and blood measurements of elite triathletes. The posterior distributions, and corresponding point and interval estimates, for the parameters and associated effects and comparisons of interest, were estimated using Markov chain Monte Carlo simulations. The Bayesian analysis was shown to provide more direct probabilistic comparisons of treatments and able to identify small effects of interest. The approach avoided asymptotic assumptions and overcame issues such as multiple testing. Bayesian analysis of unscaled effects showed a probability of 0.96 that LHTL yields a substantially greater increase in hemoglobin mass than IHE, a 0.93 probability of a substantially greater improvement in running economy and a greater than 0.96 probability that both IHE and LHTL yield a substantially greater improvement in maximum blood lactate concentration compared to a Placebo. The conclusions are consistent with those obtained using a 'magnitude-based inference' approach that has been promoted in the field. The paper demonstrates that a fully Bayesian analysis is a simple and effective way of analysing small effects, providing a rich set of results that are straightforward to interpret in terms of probabilistic statements.
On causal nonrelativistic classical electrodynamics
International Nuclear Information System (INIS)
Goedecke, G.H.
1984-01-01
The differential-difference (DD) motion equations of the causal nonrelativistic classical electrodynamics developed by the author in 1975 are shown to possess only nonrunaway, causal solutions with no discontinuities in particle velocity or position. As an example, the DD equation solution for the problem of an electromagnetic shock incident on an initially stationary charged particle is contrasted with the standard Abraham-Lorentz equation solution. The general Cauchy problem for these DD motion equations is discussed. In general, in order to uniquely determine a solution, the initial data must be more detailed than the standard Cauchy data of initial position and velocity. Conditions are given under which the standard Cauchy data will determine the DD equation solutions to sufficient practical accuracy
Quantum mechanics, relativity and causality
International Nuclear Information System (INIS)
Tati, Takao.
1975-07-01
In quantum mechanics, the state is prepared by a measurement on a space-like surface sigma. What is that determines the surface sigma on which the measurement prepares the state It is considered either a mechanism proper to the measuring process (apparatus) or a universal property of space-time. In the former case, problems arise, concerning causality or conservation of probability due to that the velocity of reduction of wave-packet is considered to exceed the light velocity. The theory of finite degree of freedom proposed previously belongs to the latter case. In this theory, the surface sigma is restricted to the hyper-plane perpendicular to a universal time-like vector governing causal relations. We propose an experiment to discriminate between the above-mentioned two cases and to test the existence of the universal time-like vector. (auth.)
Causal Set Generator and Action Computer
Cunningham, William; Krioukov, Dmitri
2017-01-01
The causal set approach to quantum gravity has gained traction over the past three decades, but numerical experiments involving causal sets have been limited to relatively small scales. The software suite presented here provides a new framework for the generation and study of causal sets. Its efficiency surpasses previous implementations by several orders of magnitude. We highlight several important features of the code, including the compact data structures, the $O(N^2)$ causal set generatio...
Chest X ray effective doses estimation in computed radiography
International Nuclear Information System (INIS)
Abdalla, Esra Abdalrhman Dfaalla
2013-06-01
Conventional chest radiography is technically difficult because of wide in tissue attenuations in the chest and limitations of screen-film systems. Computed radiography (CR) offers a different approach utilizing a photostimulable phosphor. photostimulable phosphors overcome some image quality limitations of chest imaging. The objective of this study was to estimate the effective dose in computed radiography at three hospitals in Khartoum. This study has been conducted in radiography departments in three centres Advanced Diagnostic Center, Nilain Diagnostic Center, Modern Diagnostic Center. The entrance surface dose (ESD) measurement was conducted for quality control of x-ray machines and survey of operators experimental techniques. The ESDs were measured by UNFORS dosimeter and mathematical equations to estimate patient doses during chest X rays. A total of 120 patients were examined in three centres, among them 62 were males and 58 were females. The overall mean and range of patient dosed was 0.073±0.037 (0.014-0.16) mGy per procedure while the effective dose was 3.4±01.7 (0.6-7.0) mSv per procedure. This study compared radiation doses to patients radiographic examinations of chest using computed radiology. The radiation dose was measured in three centres in Khartoum- Sudan. The results of the measured effective dose showed that the dose in chest radiography was lower in computed radiography compared to previous studies.(Author)
Estimating effective doses to children from CT examinations
International Nuclear Information System (INIS)
Heron, J.C.L.
2000-01-01
Full text: Assessing doses to patients in diagnostic radiology is an integral part of implementing optimisation of radiation protection. Sources of normalised data are available for estimating doses to adults undergoing CT examinations, but for children this is not the case. This paper describes a simple method for estimating effective doses arising from paediatric CT examinations. First the effective dose to an adult is calculated, having anatomically matched the scanned regions of the child and the adult and also matched the irradiation conditions. A conversion factor is then applied to the adult effective dose, based on the region of the body being scanned - head, upper or lower trunk. This conversion factor is the child-to-adult ratio of the ratios of effective dose per entrance air kerma (in the absence of the patient) at the FAD. The values of these conversion factors were calculated by deriving effective dose per entrance air kerma at the FAD for new-born, 1, 5, 10, 15 and adult phantoms using four projections (AP, PA, left and right laterals) over a range of beam qualities and FADs.The program PCXMC was used for this purpose. Results to date suggest that the conversion factors to give effective doses for children undergoing CT examinations of the upper trunk are approximately 1.3, 1.2, 1.15, 1.1 and 1.05 for ages 0, 1, 5, 10 and 15 years respectively; CT of the lower trunk - 1.4, 1.3, 1.2, 1.2, 1.1; and CT of the head - 2.3, 2.0, 1.5, 1.3, 1.1. The dependence of these factors on beam quality (HVL from 4 to 10 mm Al) is less than 10%, with harder beams resulting in slightly smaller conversion factors. Dependence on FAD is also less than 10%. Major sources of uncertainties in the conversion factors include matching anatomical regions across the phantoms, and the presence of beam divergence in the z-direction when deriving the factors. The method described provides a simple means of estimating effective doses arising from paediatric CT examinations with
Estimation of effective elastic constants for grid plate
International Nuclear Information System (INIS)
Shibanuma, Kiyoshi; Kuriyama, Masaaki; Okumura, Yoshikazu
1980-07-01
This article contains a method of estimation for the effective elastic constants of a grid plate, which is a flat perforated plate with pipes for cooling. The elastic constants of the grid plate are formulated for two symmetric axes. In the case of using OFCu(E 0 = 12500 kg/mm 2 , ν 0 = 0.34) as the material of the grid, the results are given as follows. E sub(L) = 3180 kg/mm 2 , E sub(T) = 3860 kg/mm 2 upsilon sub(LT) = 0.12, upsilon sub(TL) = 0.15 (author)
Modeling of causality with metamaterials
International Nuclear Information System (INIS)
Smolyaninov, Igor I
2013-01-01
Hyperbolic metamaterials may be used to model a 2 + 1-dimensional Minkowski space–time in which the role of time is played by one of the spatial coordinates. When a metamaterial is built and illuminated with a coherent extraordinary laser beam, the stationary pattern of light propagation inside the metamaterial may be treated as a collection of particle world lines, which represents a complete ‘history’ of this 2 + 1-dimensional space–time. While this model may be used to build interesting space–time analogs, such as metamaterial ‘black holes’ and a metamaterial ‘big bang’, it lacks causality: since light inside the metamaterial may propagate back and forth along the ‘timelike’ spatial coordinate, events in the ‘future’ may affect events in the ‘past’. Here we demonstrate that a more sophisticated metamaterial model may fix this deficiency via breaking the mirror and temporal (PT) symmetries of the original model and producing one-way propagation along the ‘timelike’ spatial coordinate. The resulting 2 + 1-dimensional Minkowski space–time appears to be causal. This scenario may be considered as a metamaterial model of the Wheeler–Feynman absorber theory of causality. (paper)
The test-negative design for estimating influenza vaccine effectiveness.
Jackson, Michael L; Nelson, Jennifer C
2013-04-19
The test-negative design has emerged in recent years as the preferred method for estimating influenza vaccine effectiveness (VE) in observational studies. However, the methodologic basis of this design has not been formally developed. In this paper we develop the rationale and underlying assumptions of the test-negative study. Under the test-negative design for influenza VE, study subjects are all persons who seek care for an acute respiratory illness (ARI). All subjects are tested for influenza infection. Influenza VE is estimated from the ratio of the odds of vaccination among subjects testing positive for influenza to the odds of vaccination among subjects testing negative. With the assumptions that (a) the distribution of non-influenza causes of ARI does not vary by influenza vaccination status, and (b) VE does not vary by health care-seeking behavior, the VE estimate from the sample can generalized to the full source population that gave rise to the study sample. Based on our derivation of this design, we show that test-negative studies of influenza VE can produce biased VE estimates if they include persons seeking care for ARI when influenza is not circulating or do not adjust for calendar time. The test-negative design is less susceptible to bias due to misclassification of infection and to confounding by health care-seeking behavior, relative to traditional case-control or cohort studies. The cost of the test-negative design is the additional, difficult-to-test assumptions that incidence of non-influenza respiratory infections is similar between vaccinated and unvaccinated groups within any stratum of care-seeking behavior, and that influenza VE does not vary across care-seeking strata. Copyright © 2013 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.
Behavioural Pattern of Causality Parameter of Autoregressive ...
African Journals Online (AJOL)
In this paper, a causal form of Autoregressive Moving Average process, ARMA (p, q) of various orders and behaviour of the causality parameter of ARMA model is investigated. It is deduced that the behaviour of causality parameter ψi depends on positive and negative values of autoregressive parameter φ and moving ...
Exploring Individual Differences in Preschoolers' Causal Stance
Alvarez, Aubry; Booth, Amy E.
2016-01-01
Preschoolers, as a group, are highly attuned to causality, and this attunement is known to facilitate memory, learning, and problem solving. However, recent work reveals substantial individual variability in the strength of children's "causal stance," as demonstrated by their curiosity about and preference for new causal information. In…
Representing Personal Determinants in Causal Structures.
Bandura, Albert
1984-01-01
Responds to Staddon's critique of the author's earlier article and addresses issues raised by Staddon's (1984) alternative models of causality. The author argues that it is not the formalizability of causal processes that is the issue but whether cognitive determinants of behavior are reducible to past stimulus inputs in causal structures.…
Causal knowledge and reasoning in decision making
Hagmayer, Y.; Witteman, C.L.M.
2017-01-01
Normative causal decision theories argue that people should use their causal knowledge in decision making. Based on these ideas, we argue that causal knowledge and reasoning may support and thereby potentially improve decision making based on expected outcomes, narratives, and even cues. We will
Adolescent Drug Use and the Deterrent Effect of School-Imposed Penalties
Waddell, G. R.
2012-01-01
Estimates of the effect of school-imposed penalties for drug use on a student's consumption of marijuana are biased if both are determined by unobservable school or individual attributes. Reverse causality is also a potential challenge to retrieving estimates of the causal relationship, as the severity of school sanctions may simply reflect the…
In Sickness and in Health--Till Education Do Us Part: Education Effects on Hospitalization
Arendt, Jacob Nielsen
2008-01-01
This study provides the first estimates of the causal impact of education on hospitalization. It improves upon existing studies on health and education by using a larger data set and more efficient estimation methods. Using a Danish school reform to identify a causal effect of education on hospitalization, we find that education has a substantial…
Causality analysis of diesel consumption and economic growth in Cameroon
International Nuclear Information System (INIS)
Tamba, Jean Gaston; Njomo, Donatien; Limanond, Thirayoot; Ntsafack, Borel
2012-01-01
This study examines the causal relationship between diesel consumption and economic growth in Cameroon by using a three-step modern time-series technique. Tests for unit roots, cointegration, and Granger-causality based on error correction model are employed on annual data covering the period 1975–2008. Empirical results of the study confirm the presence of a long-run equilibrium relationship between diesel consumption and economic growth. The error correction model shows that an estimated 1% increase in economic growth causes a rise in diesel consumption of 1.30% in the long-run. The overall results show that there exists bidirectional causality in the long-run relationship and no causality in the short-run relationship between diesel consumption and economic growth at the 5% level of significance. Thus, the energy policies in Cameroon should place priority on the discovery of new oil field and building capacity additions of the refinery to increase production of petroleum products, as this would propel the economic growth of the country. - Highlights: ► We examine the causal relationship between diesel consumption and GDP in Cameroon. ► we analyze the petroleum products sector in Cameroon. ► 1% increase in economic growth causes a rise in diesel consumption of 1.30%. ► The policy aimed at improving diesel supply have a positive impact on economics.
Corporate Governance and Financial Performance Nexus: Any Bidirectional Causality?
Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)
Alley Ibrahim S.
2016-06-01
Full Text Available Most studies on corporate governance recognize endogeneity in the nexus between corporate governance and financial performance. Little attention has, however, been paid to the direction of causality between the two phenomena, and hence the Vector Error Correction (VEC model, which allows for endogenous determination of the direction of causality, has not been widely employed. This study fills that gap by estimating the nexus and the direction of causality using the VEC model to analyze panel data on selected listed firms in Nigeria. The results agree with the findings of most previous studies that corporate governance significantly affects financial performance. Board skills, board composition and management skills enhanced financial performance indicators – return on equity (ROE, return on asset (ROA and net profit margin (NPM; in many occasions, significantly. Board size and audit committee size did not, and can actually undermine financial performance. More importantly, financial performance did not significantly affect corporate governance. On the basis of the lag structure of the VEC model, this study affirms unidirectional causality in the nexus, running from corporate governance to financial performance, nullifying the hypothesis of bidirectional causality in the nexus.
Energy Consumption and Economic Growth in Vietnam: Threshold Cointegration and Causality Analysis
Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)
BINH Thanh PHUNG
2011-01-01
Full Text Available This study investigates the energy consumption-growth nexus in Vietnam. The causal relationship between the logarithm of per capita energy consumption (LPCEC and the logarithm of per capita GDP (LPCGDP during the 1976-2010 period is examined using the threshold cointegration and vector error correction models for Granger causality tests. The estimation results indicate that the LPCEC and LPCGDP for Vietnam are cointegrated and that there is a strong uni-directional causality running from LPCGDP to LPCEC, but not vice versa. It is also found that the effect of LPCGDP on LPCEC in Vietnam is time-varying (i.e. significantly different between before and after the structural breakpoint, 1992. The research results strongly support the neoclassical perspective that energy consumption is not a limiting factor to economic growth in Vietnam. Accordingly, an important policy implication resulting from this analysis is that government can pursue the conservation energy policies that aim at curtailing energy use for environmental friendly development purposes without creating severe effects on economic growth. In future, the energy should be efficiently allocated into more productive sectors of the economy.
Estimating Effects of Species Interactions on Populations of Endangered Species.
Roth, Tobias; Bühler, Christoph; Amrhein, Valentin
2016-04-01
Global change causes community composition to change considerably through time, with ever-new combinations of interacting species. To study the consequences of newly established species interactions, one available source of data could be observational surveys from biodiversity monitoring. However, approaches using observational data would need to account for niche differences between species and for imperfect detection of individuals. To estimate population sizes of interacting species, we extended N-mixture models that were developed to estimate true population sizes in single species. Simulations revealed that our model is able to disentangle direct effects of dominant on subordinate species from indirect effects of dominant species on detection probability of subordinate species. For illustration, we applied our model to data from a Swiss amphibian monitoring program and showed that sizes of expanding water frog populations were negatively related to population sizes of endangered yellow-bellied toads and common midwife toads and partly of natterjack toads. Unlike other studies that analyzed presence and absence of species, our model suggests that the spread of water frogs in Central Europe is one of the reasons for the decline of endangered toad species. Thus, studying population impacts of dominant species on population sizes of endangered species using data from biodiversity monitoring programs should help to inform conservation policy and to decide whether competing species should be subject to population management.
Causal mediation analysis with multiple mediators in the presence of treatment noncompliance.
Park, Soojin; Kürüm, Esra
2018-05-20
Randomized experiments are often complicated because of treatment noncompliance. This challenge prevents researchers from identifying the mediated portion of the intention-to-treated (ITT) effect, which is the effect of the assigned treatment that is attributed to a mediator. One solution suggests identifying the mediated ITT effect on the basis of the average causal mediation effect among compliers when there is a single mediator. However, considering the complex nature of the mediating mechanisms, it is natural to assume that there are multiple variables that mediate through the causal path. Motivated by an empirical analysis of a data set collected in a randomized interventional study, we develop a method to estimate the mediated portion of the ITT effect when both multiple dependent mediators and treatment noncompliance exist. This enables researchers to make an informed decision on how to strengthen the intervention effect by identifying relevant mediators despite treatment noncompliance. We propose a nonparametric estimation procedure and provide a sensitivity analysis for key assumptions. We conduct a Monte Carlo simulation study to assess the finite sample performance of the proposed approach. The proposed method is illustrated by an empirical analysis of JOBS II data, in which a job training intervention was used to prevent mental health deterioration among unemployed individuals. Copyright © 2018 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.
Estimation of effective dose equivalente from external irradiations
International Nuclear Information System (INIS)
Wakabayashi, T.
1985-07-01
A methodology for computing effective dose equivalent, derived from the computer code ALGAM: Monte Carlo Estimation of Internal Dose from Gamma-ray Sources in a Phantom Man, developed at Oak Ridge National Laboratory, is presented. The modified code was run for 12 different photon energy levels, from 0,010 Mev to 4.0 Mev, which provides computing the absorved dose, for these energy levels, in each one of the 97 organs of the original code. The code also was run for the principal energy levels used in the calibration of the dosimetric films. The results of the absorved doses per photon obtained for these levels of energy have been transformed in effective dose equivalents. (M.A.C.) [pt
Estimation of the effective distribution coefficient from the solubility constant
International Nuclear Information System (INIS)
Wang, Yug-Yea; Yu, C.
1994-01-01
An updated version of RESRAD has been developed by Argonne National Laboratory for the US Department of Energy to derive site-specific soil guidelines for residual radioactive material. In this updated version, many new features have been added to the, RESRAD code. One of the options is that a user can input a solubility constant to limit the leaching of contaminants. The leaching model used in the code requires the input of an empirical distribution coefficient, K d , which represents the ratio of the solute concentration in soil to that in solution under equilibrium conditions. This paper describes the methodology developed to estimate an effective distribution coefficient, Kd, from the user-input solubility constant and the use of the effective K d for predicting the leaching of contaminants
A theory of causal learning in children: causal maps and Bayes nets.
Gopnik, Alison; Glymour, Clark; Sobel, David M; Schulz, Laura E; Kushnir, Tamar; Danks, David
2004-01-01
The authors outline a cognitive and computational account of causal learning in children. They propose that children use specialized cognitive systems that allow them to recover an accurate "causal map" of the world: an abstract, coherent, learned representation of the causal relations among events. This kind of knowledge can be perspicuously understood in terms of the formalism of directed graphical causal models, or Bayes nets. Children's causal learning and inference may involve computations similar to those for learning causal Bayes nets and for predicting with them. Experimental results suggest that 2- to 4-year-old children construct new causal maps and that their learning is consistent with the Bayes net formalism.
Belfield, Clive; Bailey, Thomas
2017-01-01
Recently, studies have adopted fixed effects modeling to identify the returns to college. This method has the advantage over ordinary least squares estimates in that unobservable, individual-level characteristics that may bias the estimated returns are differenced out. But the method requires extensive longitudinal data and involves complex…
Norms and customs: causally important or causally impotent?
Jones, Todd
2010-01-01
In this article, I argue that norms and customs, despite frequently being described as being causes of behavior in the social sciences and ordinary conversation, cannot really cause behavior. Terms like "norms" and the like seem to refer to philosophically disreputable disjunctive properties. More problematically, even if they do not, or even if there can be disjunctive properties after all, I argue that norms and customs still cannot cause behavior. The social sciences would be better off without referring to properties like norms and customs as if they could be causal.
Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)
Adriana AnaMaria DAVIDESCU
2015-12-01
Full Text Available The paper aims to investigate the nature of the relationship between the shadow economy (SE and unemployment rates (both registered and ILO for the case of Romania using Pesaran et al.(2001 bounds tests approach for cointegration. The study uses quarterly data covering the period 2000-2010. The size of Romanian shadow economy is estimated using the currency demand approach based on VECM models, stating that its size is decreasing over the analyzed period, from 36.5% at the end of 2000 to about 31.5% of real GDP at the middle of 2010. To investigate the long-run causal linkages and short-run dynamics between shadow economy and unemployment rate, ARDL cointegration approach is applied. Cointegration test results shows that in short-run both ILO and registered unemployment rate has a negative and statistically significant effect on the size of the shadow economy, while in the long-run the unemployment rates have a positive effect on shadow economy. The ARDL causality results revealed the existence of a long-run unidirectional causality that runs from unemployment rates (registered or ILO to shadow economy. In addition, the CUSUM and CUSUMSQ tests confirm the stability of the both causal relationships.
Three Cs in Measurement Models: Causal Indicators, Composite Indicators, and Covariates
Bollen, Kenneth A.; Bauldry, Shawn
2011-01-01
In the last two decades attention to causal (and formative) indicators has grown. Accompanying this growth has been the belief that we can classify indicators into two categories, effect (reflective) indicators and causal (formative) indicators. This paper argues that the dichotomous view is too simple. Instead, there are effect indicators and three types of variables on which a latent variable depends: causal indicators, composite (formative) indicators, and covariates (the “three Cs”). Caus...
A theory of causal learning in children: Causal maps and Bayes nets
Gopnik, A; Glymour, C; Sobel, D M; Schulz, L E; Kushnir, T; Danks, D
2004-01-01
The authors outline a cognitive and computational account of causal learning in children. They propose that children use specialized cognitive systems that allow them to recover an accurate "causal map" of the world: an abstract, coherent, learned representation of the causal relations among events. This kind of knowledge can be perspicuously understood in terms of the formalism of directed graphical causal models, or Bayes nets. Children's causal learning and inference may involve computatio...
Evaluating lidar point densities for effective estimation of aboveground biomass
Wu, Zhuoting; Dye, Dennis G.; Stoker, Jason M.; Vogel, John M.; Velasco, Miguel G.; Middleton, Barry R.
2016-01-01
The U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) 3D Elevation Program (3DEP) was recently established to provide airborne lidar data coverage on a national scale. As part of a broader research effort of the USGS to develop an effective remote sensing-based methodology for the creation of an operational biomass Essential Climate Variable (Biomass ECV) data product, we evaluated the performance of airborne lidar data at various pulse densities against Landsat 8 satellite imagery in estimating above ground biomass for forests and woodlands in a study area in east-central Arizona, U.S. High point density airborne lidar data, were randomly sampled to produce five lidar datasets with reduced densities ranging from 0.5 to 8 point(s)/m2, corresponding to the point density range of 3DEP to provide national lidar coverage over time. Lidar-derived aboveground biomass estimate errors showed an overall decreasing trend as lidar point density increased from 0.5 to 8 points/m2. Landsat 8-based aboveground biomass estimates produced errors larger than the lowest lidar point density of 0.5 point/m2, and therefore Landsat 8 observations alone were ineffective relative to airborne lidar for generating a Biomass ECV product, at least for the forest and woodland vegetation types of the Southwestern U.S. While a national Biomass ECV product with optimal accuracy could potentially be achieved with 3DEP data at 8 points/m2, our results indicate that even lower density lidar data could be sufficient to provide a national Biomass ECV product with accuracies significantly higher than that from Landsat observations alone.
Impact of relativistic effects on cosmological parameter estimation
Lorenz, Christiane S.; Alonso, David; Ferreira, Pedro G.
2018-01-01
Future surveys will access large volumes of space and hence very long wavelength fluctuations of the matter density and gravitational field. It has been argued that the set of secondary effects that affect the galaxy distribution, relativistic in nature, will bring new, complementary cosmological constraints. We study this claim in detail by focusing on a subset of wide-area future surveys: Stage-4 cosmic microwave background experiments and photometric redshift surveys. In particular, we look at the magnification lensing contribution to galaxy clustering and general-relativistic corrections to all observables. We quantify the amount of information encoded in these effects in terms of the tightening of the final cosmological constraints as well as the potential bias in inferred parameters associated with neglecting them. We do so for a wide range of cosmological parameters, covering neutrino masses, standard dark-energy parametrizations and scalar-tensor gravity theories. Our results show that, while the effect of lensing magnification to number counts does not contain a significant amount of information when galaxy clustering is combined with cosmic shear measurements, this contribution does play a significant role in biasing estimates on a host of parameter families if unaccounted for. Since the amplitude of the magnification term is controlled by the slope of the source number counts with apparent magnitude, s (z ), we also estimate the accuracy to which this quantity must be known to avoid systematic parameter biases, finding that future surveys will need to determine s (z ) to the ˜5 %- 10 % level. On the contrary, large-scale general-relativistic corrections are irrelevant both in terms of information content and parameter bias for most cosmological parameters but significant for the level of primordial non-Gaussianity.
Estimation of Aging Effects on LOHS for CANDU-6
Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)
Yoon, Yong Ki; Moon, Bok Ja; Kim, Seoung Rae [Nuclear Engineering Service and Solution Co. Ltd., Daejeon (Korea, Republic of)
2014-05-15
To evaluate the Wolsong Unit 1's capacity to respond to large-scale natural disaster exceeding design, the loss of heat sink(LOHS) accident accompanied by loss of all electric power is simulated as a beyond design basis accident. This analysis is considered the aging effects of plant as the consequences of LOHS accident. Various components of primary heat transport system(PHTS) get aged and some of the important aging effects of CANDU reactor are pressure tube(PT) diametral creep, steam generator(SG) U-tube fouling, increased feeder roughness, and feeder orifice degradation. These effects result in higher inlet header temperatures, reduced flows in some fuel channels, and higher void fraction in fuel channel outlets. Fresh and aged models are established for the analysis where fresh model is the circuit model simulating the conditions at retubing and aged model corresponds to the model reflecting the aged condition at 11 EFPY after retubing. CATHENA computer code[1] is used for the analysis of the system behavior under LOHS condition. The LOHS accident is analyzed for fresh and aged models using CATHENA thermal hydraulic computer code. The decay heat removal is one of the most important factors for mitigation of this accident. The major aging effect on decay heat removal is the reduction of heat transfer efficiency by steam generator. Thus, the channel failure time cannot be conservatively estimated if aged model is applied for the analysis of this accident.
Estimation of effective dose for children in interventional cardiology
Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)
S. S. Sarycheva
2017-01-01
Full Text Available This study is devoted to the estimation of effective dose for children undergoing interventional cardiology examinations. The conversion coefficients (CC from directly measured dose area product (DAP value to effective dose (ED were calculated within the approved effective dose assessment methodology (Guidelines 2.6.1. 2944-11. The CC, Ed K , [mSv / (Gy • cm2] for newborn infants and children of 1, 5, 10 and 15 years old (main(range were calculated as 2.5 (1.8-3.2; 1.1 (0.8-1.3; 0.6 (0.4-0.7; 0.4 (0.3-0.5; and 0,22 (0,18-0,30 respectively. A special Finnish computer program PCXMC 2.0 was used for calculating the dose CC. The series of calculations were made for different values of the physical and geometrical parameters based on their real-existing range of values. The value of CC from DAP to ED were calculated for all pediatric age groups. This work included 153 pediatric interventional studies carried out in two hospitals of the city of St. Petersburg for the period of one year from the summer of 2015. The dose CC dependency from the patient’s age and parameters of the examinations were under the study. The dependence from the beam quality (filtration and tube voltage and age of the patient were found. The younger is the patient, stronger is the filtration and higher is the voltage, the higher is the CC value. The CC in the younger (newborn and older (15 years age groups are different by the factor of 10. It was shown that the changes of the geometric parameters (in the scope of their real existing range have small effect on the value of the effective dose, not exceed 30-50% allowable for radiation protection purpose. The real values of effective doses of children undergoing cardiac interventions were estimated. In severe cases, the values of ED can reach several tens of mSv.
Estimates of effective dose in adult CT examinations
International Nuclear Information System (INIS)
Mohamed, Mustafa Awad Elhaj.
2015-12-01
The goal of study was to estimate effective dose (E) in adult CT examinations for Toshiba X64 slice using CT. Exp version 2.5 software in Sudan. Using of CT in medical diagnosis delivers radiation doses to patients that are higher than those from other radiological procedures. lack of optimized protocols could be an additional source of increased dose in developing countries. In order to achieve these objectives, data of CT-scanner has been collected from three hospitals ( ANH, ZSH and MMH). Data collected included equipment information and scan parameters for individual patients, who were used to asses. 300 adult patients underwent head, chest, abdomen-pelvis and peivis CT examinations. The CT1_w , CTD1_vol, DLP, patient effective dos and organ doses were estimated, using CT exposure parameters and CT Exp version 2.5 software. A large variation of mean effective dose and organ doses among hospitals was observed for similar CT examinations. These variations largely originated from different CT scanning protocols used in different hospitals and scan length. The mean effective dose in this study in the Brain, PNS, Chest, pulmonary, Abdomen-pelvis, Pelvis, KUB and CTU were 3.2 mSv, 2.6 mSv, 18.9 mSv 17.6 mSv 27.1 mSv, 11.2 mSv, 9.6 mSv and 23.7 mSv respectively, and organ equivalent, doses presented in this study in this study for the eye lens (for head), lungs and thymus ( for chest) , liver, kidney and small intest ( for abdomen t-pelvis), bladder, uterus and gonads ( for pelvis), were 62.9 mSv, 39.5 mSv, 34.1 mSv, 53.9 mSv, 52.6 mSv, 58.1 mSv, 37 mSv, and 34.6 mSv, respectively. These values were mostly comparable to and slightly higher than the values of effective doses reported from similar studies the United Kingdom, Tanzania, Australia, Canada and Sudan. It was concluded that patient effective dose and organ doses could be substantially minimized through careful selection of scanning parameters based on clinical indications of study, patient size, and body
Apollo Video Photogrammetry Estimation Of Plume Impingement Effects
Immer, Christopher; Lane, John; Metzger, Philip T.; Clements, Sandra
2008-01-01
The Constellation Project's planned return to the moon requires numerous landings at the same site. Since the top few centimeters are loosely packed regolith, plume impingement from the Lander ejects the granular material at high velocities. Much work is needed to understand the physics of plume impingement during landing in order to protect hardware surrounding the landing sites. While mostly qualitative in nature, the Apollo Lunar Module landing videos can provide a wealth of quantitative information using modem photogrammetry techniques. The authors have used the digitized videos to quantify plume impingement effects of the landing exhaust on the lunar surface. The dust ejection angle from the plume is estimated at 1-3 degrees. The lofted particle density is estimated at 10(exp 8)- 10(exp 13) particles per cubic meter. Additionally, evidence for ejection of large 10-15 cm sized objects and a dependence of ejection angle on thrust are presented. Further work is ongoing to continue quantitative analysis of the landing videos.
Attiaoui, Imed; Toumi, Hassen; Ammouri, Bilel; Gargouri, Ilhem
2017-05-01
This research examines the causality (For the remainder of the paper, the notion of causality refers to Granger causality.) links among renewable energy consumption (REC), CO 2 emissions (CE), non-renewable energy consumption (NREC), and economic growth (GDP) using an autoregressive distributed lag model based on the pooled mean group estimation (ARDL-PMG) and applying Granger causality tests for a panel consisting of 22 African countries for the period between 1990 and 2011. There is unidirectional and irreversible short-run causality from CE to GDP. The causal direction between CE and REC is unobservable over the short-term. Moreover, we find unidirectional, short-run causality from REC to GDP. When testing per pair of variables, there are short-run bidirectional causalities among REC, CE, and GDP. However, if we add CE to the variables REC and NREC, the causality to GDP is observable, and causality from the pair REC and NREC to economic growth is neutral. Likewise, if we add NREC to the variables GDP and REC, there is causality. There are bidirectional long-run causalities among REC, CE, and GDP, which supports the feedback assumption. Causality from GDP to REC is not strong for the panel. If we test per pair of variables, the strong causality from GDP and CE to REC is neutral. The long-run PMG estimates show that NREC and gross domestic product increase CE, whereas REC decreases CE.
Are bruxism and the bite causally related?
Lobbezoo, F; Ahlberg, J; Manfredini, D; Winocur, E
2012-07-01
In the dental profession, the belief that bruxism and dental (mal-)occlusion ('the bite') are causally related is widespread. The aim of this review was to critically assess the available literature on this topic. A PubMed search of the English-language literature, using the query 'Bruxism [Majr] AND (Dental Occlusion [Majr] OR Malocclusion [Majr])', yielded 93 articles, of which 46 papers were finally included in the present review*. Part of the included publications dealt with the possible associations between bruxism and aspects of occlusion, from which it was concluded that neither for occlusal interferences nor for factors related to the anatomy of the oro-facial skeleton, there is any evidence available that they are involved in the aetiology of bruxism. Instead, there is a growing awareness of other factors (viz. psychosocial and behavioural ones) being important in the aetiology of bruxism. Another part of the included papers assessed the possible mediating role of occlusion between bruxism and its purported consequences (e.g. tooth wear, loss of periodontal tissues, and temporomandibular pain and dysfunction). Even though most dentists agree that bruxism may have several adverse effects on the masticatory system, for none of these purported adverse effects, evidence for a mediating role of occlusion and articulation has been found to date. Hence, based on this review, it should be concluded that to date, there is no evidence whatsoever for a causal relationship between bruxism and the bite. © 2012 Blackwell Publishing Ltd.
Dimension reduction of frequency-based direct Granger causality measures on short time series.
Siggiridou, Elsa; Kimiskidis, Vasilios K; Kugiumtzis, Dimitris
2017-09-01
The mainstream in the estimation of effective brain connectivity relies on Granger causality measures in the frequency domain. If the measure is meant to capture direct causal effects accounting for the presence of other observed variables, as in multi-channel electroencephalograms (EEG), typically the fit of a vector autoregressive (VAR) model on the multivariate time series is required. For short time series of many variables, the estimation of VAR may not be stable requiring dimension reduction resulting in restricted or sparse VAR models. The restricted VAR obtained by the modified backward-in-time selection method (mBTS) is adapted to the generalized partial directed coherence (GPDC), termed restricted GPDC (RGPDC). Dimension reduction on other frequency based measures, such the direct directed transfer function (dDTF), is straightforward. First, a simulation study using linear stochastic multivariate systems is conducted and RGPDC is favorably compared to GPDC on short time series in terms of sensitivity and specificity. Then the two measures are tested for their ability to detect changes in brain connectivity during an epileptiform discharge (ED) from multi-channel scalp EEG. It is shown that RGPDC identifies better than GPDC the connectivity structure of the simulated systems, as well as changes in the brain connectivity, and is less dependent on the free parameter of VAR order. The proposed dimension reduction in frequency measures based on VAR constitutes an appropriate strategy to estimate reliably brain networks within short-time windows. Copyright © 2017 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.
Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)
Moura LMVR
2016-12-01
Full Text Available Lidia MVR Moura,1,2 M Brandon Westover,1,2 David Kwasnik,1 Andrew J Cole,1,2 John Hsu3–5 1Massachusetts General Hospital, Department of Neurology, Epilepsy Service, Boston, MA, USA; 2Harvard Medical School, Boston, MA, USA; 3Massachusetts General Hospital, Mongan Institute, Boston, MA, USA; 4Harvard Medical School, Department of Medicine, Boston, MA, USA; 5Harvard Medical School, Department of Health Care Policy, Boston, MA, USA Abstract: The elderly population faces an increasing number of cases of chronic neurological conditions, such as epilepsy and Alzheimer’s disease. Because the elderly with epilepsy are commonly excluded from randomized controlled clinical trials, there are few rigorous studies to guide clinical practice. When the elderly are eligible for trials, they either rarely participate or frequently have poor adherence to therapy, thus limiting both generalizability and validity. In contrast, large observational data sets are increasingly available, but are susceptible to bias when using common analytic approaches. Recent developments in causal inference-analytic approaches also introduce the possibility of emulating randomized controlled trials to yield valid estimates. We provide a practical example of the application of the principles of causal inference to a large observational data set of patients with epilepsy. This review also provides a framework for comparative-effectiveness research in chronic neurological conditions. Keywords: epilepsy, epidemiology, neurostatistics, causal inference
Estimating effects of improved drinking water and sanitation on cholera.
Leidner, Andrew J; Adusumilli, Naveen C
2013-12-01
Demand for adequate provision of drinking-water and sanitation facilities to promote public health and economic growth is increasing in the rapidly urbanizing countries of the developing world. With a panel of data on Asia and Africa from 1990 to 2008, associations are estimated between the occurrence of cholera outbreaks, the case rates in given outbreaks, the mortality rates associated with cholera and two disease control mechanisms, drinking-water and sanitation services. A statistically significant and negative effect is found between drinking-water services and both cholera case rates as well as cholera-related mortality rates. A relatively weak statistical relationship is found between the occurrence of cholera outbreaks and sanitation services.
Detectability of Granger causality for subsampled continuous-time neurophysiological processes.
Barnett, Lionel; Seth, Anil K
2017-01-01
Granger causality is well established within the neurosciences for inference of directed functional connectivity from neurophysiological data. These data usually consist of time series which subsample a continuous-time biophysiological process. While it is well known that subsampling can lead to imputation of spurious causal connections where none exist, less is known about the effects of subsampling on the ability to reliably detect causal connections which do exist. We present a theoretical analysis of the effects of subsampling on Granger-causal inference. Neurophysiological processes typically feature signal propagation delays on multiple time scales; accordingly, we base our analysis on a distributed-lag, continuous-time stochastic model, and consider Granger causality in continuous time at finite prediction horizons. Via exact analytical solutions, we identify relationships among sampling frequency, underlying causal time scales and detectability of causalities. We reveal complex interactions between the time scale(s) of neural signal propagation and sampling frequency. We demonstrate that detectability decays exponentially as the sample time interval increases beyond causal delay times, identify detectability "black spots" and "sweet spots", and show that downsampling may potentially improve detectability. We also demonstrate that the invariance of Granger causality under causal, invertible filtering fails at finite prediction horizons, with particular implications for inference of Granger causality from fMRI data. Our analysis emphasises that sampling rates for causal analysis of neurophysiological time series should be informed by domain-specific time scales, and that state-space modelling should be preferred to purely autoregressive modelling. On the basis of a very general model that captures the structure of neurophysiological processes, we are able to help identify confounds, and offer practical insights, for successful detection of causal connectivity
The effects of global warming on fisheries: Simulation estimates
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Carlos A. Medel
2016-04-01
Full Text Available This paper develops two fisheries models in order to estimate the effect of global warming (GW on firm value. GW is defined as an increase in the average temperature of the Earth’s surface as a result of emissions. It is assumed that (i GW exists, and (ii higher temperatures negatively affect biomass. CO2 The literature on biology and GW supporting these two crucial assumptions is reviewed. The main argument presented is that temperature increase has two effects on biomass, both of which have an impact on firm value. First, higher temperatures cause biomass to oscillate. To measure the effect of biomass oscillation on firm value the model in [1] is modified to include water temperature as a variable. The results indicate that a 1 to 20% variation in biomass causes firm value to fall from 6 to 44%, respectively. Second, higher temperatures reduce biomass, and a modification of the model in [2] reveals that an increase in temperature anomaly between +1 and +8°C causes fishing firm value to decrease by 8 to 10%.
Markovits, Henry
2014-12-01
Understanding the development of conditional (if-then) reasoning is critical for theoretical and educational reasons. Here we examined the hypothesis that there is a developmental transition between reasoning with true and contrary-to-fact (CF) causal conditionals. A total of 535 students between 11 and 14 years of age received priming conditions designed to encourage use of either a true or CF alternatives generation strategy and reasoning problems with true causal and CF causal premises (with counterbalanced order). Results show that priming had no effect on reasoning with true causal premises. By contrast, priming with CF alternatives significantly improved logical reasoning with CF premises. Analysis of the effect of order showed that reasoning with CF premises reduced logical responding among younger students but had no effect among older students. Results support the idea that there is a transition in the reasoning processes in this age range associated with the nature of the alternatives generation process required for logical reasoning with true and CF causal conditionals. Copyright © 2014 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.
An Algorithmic Information Calculus for Causal Discovery and Reprogramming Systems
Zenil, Hector
2017-09-08
We introduce a conceptual framework and an interventional calculus to steer and manipulate systems based on their intrinsic algorithmic probability using the universal principles of the theory of computability and algorithmic information. By applying sequences of controlled interventions to systems and networks, we estimate how changes in their algorithmic information content are reflected in positive/negative shifts towards and away from randomness. The strong connection between approximations to algorithmic complexity (the size of the shortest generating mechanism) and causality induces a sequence of perturbations ranking the network elements by the steering capabilities that each of them is capable of. This new dimension unmasks a separation between causal and non-causal components providing a suite of powerful parameter-free algorithms of wide applicability ranging from optimal dimension reduction, maximal randomness analysis and system control. We introduce methods for reprogramming systems that do not require the full knowledge or access to the system\\'s actual kinetic equations or any probability distributions. A causal interventional analysis of synthetic and regulatory biological networks reveals how the algorithmic reprogramming qualitatively reshapes the system\\'s dynamic landscape. For example, during cellular differentiation we find a decrease in the number of elements corresponding to a transition away from randomness and a combination of the system\\'s intrinsic properties and its intrinsic capabilities to be algorithmically reprogrammed can reconstruct an epigenetic landscape. The interventional calculus is broadly applicable to predictive causal inference of systems such as networks and of relevance to a variety of machine and causal learning techniques driving model-based approaches to better understanding and manipulate complex systems.
Causal Scale of Rotors in a Cardiac System
Ashikaga, Hiroshi; Prieto-Castrillo, Francisco; Kawakatsu, Mari; Dehghani, Nima
2018-04-01
Rotors of spiral waves are thought to be one of the potential mechanisms that maintain atrial fibrillation (AF). However, disappointing clinical outcomes of rotor mapping and ablation to eliminate AF raise a serious doubt on rotors as a macro-scale mechanism that causes the micro-scale behavior of individual cardiomyocytes to maintain spiral waves. In this study, we aimed to elucidate the causal relationship between rotors and spiral waves in a numerical model of cardiac excitation. To accomplish the aim, we described the system in a series of spatiotemporal scales by generating a renormalization group, and evaluated the causal architecture of the system by quantifying causal emergence. Causal emergence is an information-theoretic metric that quantifies emergence or reduction between micro- and macro-scale behaviors of a system by evaluating effective information at each scale. We found that the cardiac system with rotors has a spatiotemporal scale at which effective information peaks. A positive correlation between the number of rotors and causal emergence was observed only up to the scale of peak causation. We conclude that rotors are not the universal mechanism to maintain spiral waves at all spatiotemporal scales. This finding may account for the conflicting benefit of rotor ablation in clinical studies.
Causality between public policies and exports of renewable energy technologies
International Nuclear Information System (INIS)
Sung, Bongsuk; Song, Woo-Yong
2013-01-01
This article investigates the causal relationship between public policies and exports of renewable energy technologies using panel data from 18 countries for the period 1991–2007. A number of panel unit root and cointegration tests are applied. Time series data on public policies and exports are integrated and cointegrated. The dynamic OLS results indicate that in the long run, a 1% increase in government R and D expenditures (RAD) increases exports (EX) by 0.819%. EX and RAD variables respond to deviations from the long-run equilibrium in the previous period. Additionally, the Blundell–Bond system generalized methods of moments (GMM) is employed to conduct a panel causality test in a vector error-correction mechanism (VECM) setting. Evidence of a bidirectional and short-run, and strong causal relationship between EX and the contribution of renewable energy to the total energy supply (CRES) is uncovered. CRES has a negative effect on EX, whereas EX has a positive effect on CRES. We suggest some policy implications based on the results of this study. - Highlights: ► We model VECM to test the Granger causality between the policies and the export. ► Technology-push policy has a positive impact on export in the long-run. ► There are the short-run causal relationships between market-pull policy and export
The Functions of Danish Causal Conjunctions
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Rita Therkelsen
2004-01-01
Full Text Available In the article I propose an analysis of the Danish causal conjunctions fordi, siden and for based on the framework of Danish Functional Grammar. As conjunctions they relate two clauses, and their semantics have in common that it indicates a causal relationship between the clauses. The causal conjunctions are different as far as their distribution is concerned; siden conjoins a subordinate clause and a main clause, for conjoins two main clauses, and fordi is able to do both. Methodologically I have based my analysis on these distributional properties comparing siden and fordi conjoining a subordinate and a main clause, and comparing for and fordi conjoining two main clauses, following the thesis that they would establish a causal relationship between different kinds of content. My main findings are that fordi establishes a causal relationship between the events referred to by the two clauses, and the whole utterance functions as a statement of this causal relationship. Siden presupposes such a general causal relationship between the two events and puts forward the causing event as a reason for assuming or wishing or ordering the caused event, siden thus establishes a causal relationship between an event and a speech act. For equally presupposes a general causal relationship between two events and it establishes a causal relationship between speech acts, and fordi conjoining two main clauses is able to do this too, but in this position it also maintains its event-relating ability, the interpretation depending on contextual factors.
Space and time in perceptual causality
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Benjamin Straube
2010-04-01
Full Text Available Inferring causality is a fundamental feature of human cognition that allows us to theorize about and predict future states of the world. Michotte suggested that humans automatically perceive causality based on certain perceptual features of events. However, individual differences in judgments of perceptual causality cast doubt on Michotte’s view. To gain insights in the neural basis of individual difference in the perception of causality, our participants judged causal relationships in animations of a blue ball colliding with a red ball (a launching event while fMRI-data were acquired. Spatial continuity and temporal contiguity were varied parametrically in these stimuli. We did not find consistent brain activation differences between trials judged as caused and those judged as non-caused, making it unlikely that humans have universal instantiation of perceptual causality in the brain. However, participants were slower to respond to and showed greater neural activity for violations of causality, suggesting that humans are biased to expect causal relationships when moving objects appear to interact. Our participants demonstrated considerable individual differences in their sensitivity to spatial and temporal characteristics in perceiving causality. These qualitative differences in sensitivity to time or space in perceiving causality were instantiated in individual differences in activation of the left basal ganglia or right parietal lobe, respectively. Thus, the perception that the movement of one object causes the movement of another is triggered by elemental spatial and temporal sensitivities, which themselves are instantiated in specific distinct neural networks.
Causal diagrams in systems epidemiology
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Joffe Michael
2012-03-01
Full Text Available Abstract Methods of diagrammatic modelling have been greatly developed in the past two decades. Outside the context of infectious diseases, systematic use of diagrams in epidemiology has been mainly confined to the analysis of a single link: that between a disease outcome and its proximal determinant(s. Transmitted causes ("causes of causes" tend not to be systematically analysed. The infectious disease epidemiology modelling tradition models the human population in its environment, typically with the exposure-health relationship and the determinants of exposure being considered at individual and group/ecological levels, respectively. Some properties of the resulting systems are quite general, and are seen in unrelated contexts such as biochemical pathways. Confining analysis to a single link misses the opportunity to discover such properties. The structure of a causal diagram is derived from knowledge about how the world works, as well as from statistical evidence. A single diagram can be used to characterise a whole research area, not just a single analysis - although this depends on the degree of consistency of the causal relationships between different populations - and can therefore be used to integrate multiple datasets. Additional advantages of system-wide models include: the use of instrumental variables - now emerging as an important technique in epidemiology in the context of mendelian randomisation, but under-used in the exploitation of "natural experiments"; the explicit use of change models, which have advantages with respect to inferring causation; and in the detection and elucidation of feedback.
Causal diagrams in systems epidemiology.
Joffe, Michael; Gambhir, Manoj; Chadeau-Hyam, Marc; Vineis, Paolo
2012-03-19
Methods of diagrammatic modelling have been greatly developed in the past two decades. Outside the context of infectious diseases, systematic use of diagrams in epidemiology has been mainly confined to the analysis of a single link: that between a disease outcome and its proximal determinant(s). Transmitted causes ("causes of causes") tend not to be systematically analysed.The infectious disease epidemiology modelling tradition models the human population in its environment, typically with the exposure-health relationship and the determinants of exposure being considered at individual and group/ecological levels, respectively. Some properties of the resulting systems are quite general, and are seen in unrelated contexts such as biochemical pathways. Confining analysis to a single link misses the opportunity to discover such properties.The structure of a causal diagram is derived from knowledge about how the world works, as well as from statistical evidence. A single diagram can be used to characterise a whole research area, not just a single analysis - although this depends on the degree of consistency of the causal relationships between different populations - and can therefore be used to integrate multiple datasets.Additional advantages of system-wide models include: the use of instrumental variables - now emerging as an important technique in epidemiology in the context of mendelian randomisation, but under-used in the exploitation of "natural experiments"; the explicit use of change models, which have advantages with respect to inferring causation; and in the detection and elucidation of feedback.
Causal Analysis of Databases Concerning Electromagnetism and Health
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Kristian Alonso-Stenberg
2016-12-01
Full Text Available In this article, we conducted a causal analysis of a system extracted from a database of current data in the telecommunications domain, namely the Eurobarometer 73.3 database arose from a survey of 26,602 citizens EU on the potential health effects that electromagnetic fields can produce. To determine the cause-effect relationships between variables, we represented these data by a directed graph that can be applied to a qualitative version of the theory of discrete chaos to highlight causal circuits and attractors, as these are basic elements of system behavior.
[Antibibiotic resistance by nosocomial infections' causal agents].
Salazar-Holguín, Héctor Daniel; Cisneros-Robledo, María Elena
2016-01-01
The antibibiotic resistance by nosocomial infections (NI) causal agents constitutes a seriously global problematic that involves the Mexican Institute of Social Security's Regional General Hospital 1 in Chihuahua, Mexico; although with special features that required to be specified and evaluated, in order to concrete an effective therapy. Observational, descriptive and prospective study; by means of active vigilance all along 2014 in order to detect the nosocomial infections, for epidemiologic study, culture and antibiogram to identify its causal agents and antibiotics resistance and sensitivity. Among 13527 hospital discharges, 1079 displayed NI (8 %), standed out: the related on vascular lines, of surgical site, pneumonia and urinal track; they added up two thirds of the total. We carried out culture and antibiogram about 300 of them (27.8 %); identifying 31 bacterian species, mainly seven of those (77.9 %): Escherichia coli, Staphylococcus aureus and epidermidis, Pseudomonas aeruginosa, Acinetobacter baumannii, Klebsiella pneumoniae and Enterobacter cloacae; showing multiresistance to 34 tested antibiotics, except in seven with low or without resistance at all: vancomycin, teicoplanin, linezolid, quinupristin-dalfopristin, piperacilin-tazobactam, amikacin and carbapenems. When we contrasted those results with the recommendations in the clinical practice guides, it aroused several contradictions; so they must be taken with reserves and has to be tested in each hospital, by means of cultures and antibiograms in practically every case of nosocomial infection.
Estimating the Effects of Delayed Entry into Higher Education: A Discussion
DEFF Research Database (Denmark)
Humlum, Maria Knoth
2007-01-01
In Denmark many high school graduates choose to delay their entry into higher education. A number of studies have investigated the effects of the delay on the educational and labour market careers. The existing studies are likely to suffer from selection bias, and this problem is unlikely...... to be remedied by use of control variables. More advanced techniques that can eliminate the selection bias are needed in order to identify causal effects. For policy purposes it would thus be preferable to focus on the economic losses associated with the years lost in the skilled labour market which...
Perceptual learning shapes multisensory causal inference via two distinct mechanisms.
McGovern, David P; Roudaia, Eugenie; Newell, Fiona N; Roach, Neil W
2016-04-19
To accurately represent the environment, our brains must integrate sensory signals from a common source while segregating those from independent sources. A reasonable strategy for performing this task is to restrict integration to cues that coincide in space and time. However, because multisensory signals are subject to differential transmission and processing delays, the brain must retain a degree of tolerance for temporal discrepancies. Recent research suggests that the width of this 'temporal binding window' can be reduced through perceptual learning, however, little is known about the mechanisms underlying these experience-dependent effects. Here, in separate experiments, we measure the temporal and spatial binding windows of human participants before and after training on an audiovisual temporal discrimination task. We show that training leads to two distinct effects on multisensory integration in the form of (i) a specific narrowing of the temporal binding window that does not transfer to spatial binding and (ii) a general reduction in the magnitude of crossmodal interactions across all spatiotemporal disparities. These effects arise naturally from a Bayesian model of causal inference in which learning improves the precision of audiovisual timing estimation, whilst concomitantly decreasing the prior expectation that stimuli emanate from a common source.
YURDAKUL, Funda; CEVHER, Erdogan
2015-01-01
This study aims to reveal the causality relations between the macro aggregates that affect current deficit using conditional and partial Granger causality test. Current deficit/GDP, growth rate, real effective exchange rate, direct foreign capital investment, openness, and energy import were selected as variables for this purpose. 2003.1-2014.2 quarterly data for Turkey’s economy were used for analysis. The results of the conditional and partial Granger causality test demonstrate that real ef...
Effects of exposure estimation errors on estimated exposure-response relations for PM2.5.
Cox, Louis Anthony Tony
2018-07-01
Associations between fine particulate matter (PM2.5) exposure concentrations and a wide variety of undesirable outcomes, from autism and auto theft to elderly mortality, suicide, and violent crime, have been widely reported. Influential articles have argued that reducing National Ambient Air Quality Standards for PM2.5 is desirable to reduce these outcomes. Yet, other studies have found that reducing black smoke and other particulate matter by as much as 70% and dozens of micrograms per cubic meter has not detectably affected all-cause mortality rates even after decades, despite strong, statistically significant positive exposure concentration-response (C-R) associations between them. This paper examines whether this disconnect between association and causation might be explained in part by ignored estimation errors in estimated exposure concentrations. We use EPA air quality monitor data from the Los Angeles area of California to examine the shapes of estimated C-R functions for PM2.5 when the true C-R functions are assumed to be step functions with well-defined response thresholds. The estimated C-R functions mistakenly show risk as smoothly increasing with concentrations even well below the response thresholds, thus incorrectly predicting substantial risk reductions from reductions in concentrations that do not affect health risks. We conclude that ignored estimation errors obscure the shapes of true C-R functions, including possible thresholds, possibly leading to unrealistic predictions of the changes in risk caused by changing exposures. Instead of estimating improvements in public health per unit reduction (e.g., per 10 µg/m 3 decrease) in average PM2.5 concentrations, it may be essential to consider how interventions change the distributions of exposure concentrations. Copyright © 2018 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.
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Marcela Perrone-Bertolotti
2017-06-01
Full Text Available It has been suggested that dorsal and ventral pathways support distinct aspects of language processing. Yet, the full extent of their involvement and their inter-regional connectivity in visual word recognition is still unknown. Studies suggest that they might reflect the dual-route model of reading, with the dorsal pathway more involved in grapho-phonological conversion during phonological tasks, and the ventral pathway performing lexico-semantic access during semantic tasks. Furthermore, this subdivision is also suggested at the level of the inferior frontal cortex, involving ventral and dorsal parts for lexico-semantic and phonological processing, respectively. In the present study, we assessed inter-regional brain connectivity and task-induced modulations of brain activity during a phoneme detection and semantic categorization tasks, using fMRI in healthy subject. We used a dynamic causal modeling approach to assess inter-regional connectivity and task demand modulation within the dorsal and ventral pathways, including the following network components: the ventral occipito-temporal cortex (vOTC; dorsal and ventral, the superior temporal gyrus (STG; dorsal, the dorsal inferior frontal gyrus (dIFG; dorsal, and the ventral IFG (vIFG; ventral. We report three distinct inter-regional interactions supporting orthographic information transfer from vOTC to other language regions (vOTC -> STG, vOTC -> vIFG and vOTC -> dIFG regardless of task demands. Moreover, we found that (a during semantic processing (direct ventral pathway the vOTC -> vIFG connection strength specifically increased and (b a lack of modulation of the vOTC -> dIFG connection strength by the task that could suggest a more general involvement of the dorsal pathway during visual word recognition. Results are discussed in terms of anatomo-functional connectivity of visual word recognition network.
Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)
Rebecca C Richmond
2014-03-01
Full Text Available Cross-sectional studies have shown that objectively measured physical activity is associated with childhood adiposity, and a strong inverse dose-response association with body mass index (BMI has been found. However, few studies have explored the extent to which this association reflects reverse causation. We aimed to determine whether childhood adiposity causally influences levels of physical activity using genetic variants reliably associated with adiposity to estimate causal effects.The Avon Longitudinal Study of Parents and Children collected data on objectively assessed activity levels of 4,296 children at age 11 y with recorded BMI and genotypic data. We used 32 established genetic correlates of BMI combined in a weighted allelic score as an instrumental variable for adiposity to estimate the causal effect of adiposity on activity. In observational analysis, a 3.3 kg/m² (one standard deviation higher BMI was associated with 22.3 (95% CI, 17.0, 27.6 movement counts/min less total physical activity (p = 1.6×10⁻¹⁶, 2.6 (2.1, 3.1 min/d less moderate-to-vigorous-intensity activity (p = 3.7×10⁻²⁹, and 3.5 (1.5, 5.5 min/d more sedentary time (p = 5.0×10⁻⁴. In Mendelian randomization analyses, the same difference in BMI was associated with 32.4 (0.9, 63.9 movement counts/min less total physical activity (p = 0.04 (∼5.3% of the mean counts/minute, 2.8 (0.1, 5.5 min/d less moderate-to-vigorous-intensity activity (p = 0.04, and 13.2 (1.3, 25.2 min/d more sedentary time (p = 0.03. There was no strong evidence for a difference between variable estimates from observational estimates. Similar results were obtained using fat mass index. Low power and poor instrumentation of activity limited causal analysis of the influence of physical activity on BMI.Our results suggest that increased adiposity causes a reduction in physical activity in children and support research into the targeting of BMI in efforts to
Improved quantum backtracking algorithms using effective resistance estimates
Jarret, Michael; Wan, Kianna
2018-02-01
We investigate quantum backtracking algorithms of the type introduced by Montanaro (Montanaro, arXiv:1509.02374). These algorithms explore trees of unknown structure and in certain settings exponentially outperform their classical counterparts. Some of the previous work focused on obtaining a quantum advantage for trees in which a unique marked vertex is promised to exist. We remove this restriction by recharacterizing the problem in terms of the effective resistance of the search space. In this paper, we present a generalization of one of Montanaro's algorithms to trees containing k marked vertices, where k is not necessarily known a priori. Our approach involves using amplitude estimation to determine a near-optimal weighting of a diffusion operator, which can then be applied to prepare a superposition state with support only on marked vertices and ancestors thereof. By repeatedly sampling this state and updating the input vertex, a marked vertex is reached in a logarithmic number of steps. The algorithm thereby achieves the conjectured bound of O ˜(√{T Rmax }) for finding a single marked vertex and O ˜(k √{T Rmax }) for finding all k marked vertices, where T is an upper bound on the tree size and Rmax is the maximum effective resistance encountered by the algorithm. This constitutes a speedup over Montanaro's original procedure in both the case of finding one and the case of finding multiple marked vertices in an arbitrary tree.
Estimated effects of temperature on secondary organic aerosol concentrations.
Sheehan, P E; Bowman, F M
2001-06-01
The temperature-dependence of secondary organic aerosol (SOA) concentrations is explored using an absorptive-partitioning model under a variety of simplified atmospheric conditions. Experimentally determined partitioning parameters for high yield aromatics are used. Variation of vapor pressures with temperature is assumed to be the main source of temperature effects. Known semivolatile products are used to define a modeling range of vaporization enthalpy of 10-25 kcal/mol-1. The effect of diurnal temperature variations on model predictions for various assumed vaporization enthalpies, precursor emission rates, and primary organic concentrations is explored. Results show that temperature is likely to have a significant influence on SOA partitioning and resulting SOA concentrations. A 10 degrees C decrease in temperature is estimated to increase SOA yields by 20-150%, depending on the assumed vaporization enthalpy. In model simulations, high daytime temperatures tend to reduce SOA concentrations by 16-24%, while cooler nighttime temperatures lead to a 22-34% increase, compared to constant temperature conditions. Results suggest that currently available constant temperature partitioning coefficients do not adequately represent atmospheric SOA partitioning behavior. Air quality models neglecting the temperature dependence of partitioning are expected to underpredict peak SOA concentrations as well as mistime their occurrence.
Estimation of effective dose from radionuclides contained in misch metal
International Nuclear Information System (INIS)
Furuta, Etsuko; Aburai, Tamaru; Nisizawa, Kunihide
2003-01-01
Radionuclides contained in three kinds of misch metal products and two kinds of ingots were analyzed using a Ge (Li) semiconductor detector. Lanthanum-138 ( 138 La) and several daughter nuclides derived from thorium and uranium series were detected in all samples. All misch metal products and ingots were determined to be radioactive consumer products (RCP), although they have not been regarded as RCP in Japan. 138 La showed the highest nuclide content rate of all the radionuclides, and the lanthanum metal ingots displayed the highest specific activity at 720 mBq·g -1 . The maximum external effective dose was estimated to be at 3.7 mSv when a metal match was carried for 8,760 hours at 1 mm from the skin. The calculated effective dose under some conditions exceeded 10 μSv per year. This value corresponded to the exemption standard proposed by the UK's National Radiological Protection Board. Individuals working with large amounts of RCP should be appropriately protected. (author)
Wang, Wei; Griswold, Michael E
2016-11-30
The random effect Tobit model is a regression model that accommodates both left- and/or right-censoring and within-cluster dependence of the outcome variable. Regression coefficients of random effect Tobit models have conditional interpretations on a constructed latent dependent variable and do not provide inference of overall exposure effects on the original outcome scale. Marginalized random effects model (MREM) permits likelihood-based estimation of marginal mean parameters for the clustered data. For random effect Tobit models, we extend the MREM to marginalize over both the random effects and the normal space and boundary components of the censored response to estimate overall exposure effects at population level. We also extend the 'Average Predicted Value' method to estimate the model-predicted marginal means for each person under different exposure status in a designated reference group by integrating over the random effects and then use the calculated difference to assess the overall exposure effect. The maximum likelihood estimation is proposed utilizing a quasi-Newton optimization algorithm with Gauss-Hermite quadrature to approximate the integration of the random effects. We use these methods to carefully analyze two real datasets. Copyright © 2016 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd. Copyright © 2016 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.
Estimating 'Value at Risk' of crude oil price and its spillover effect using the GED-GARCH approach
International Nuclear Information System (INIS)
Fan, Ying; Wei, Yi-Ming; Zhang, Yue-Jun; Tsai, Hsien-Tang
2008-01-01
Estimation has been carried out using GARCH-type models, based on the Generalized Error Distribution (GED), for both the extreme downside and upside Value-at-Risks (VaR) of returns in the WTI and Brent crude oil spot markets. Furthermore, according to a new concept of Granger causality in risk, a kernel-based test is proposed to detect extreme risk spillover effect between the two oil markets. Results of an empirical study indicate that the GED-GARCH-based VaR approach appears more effective than the well-recognized HSAF (i.e. historical simulation with ARMA forecasts). Moreover, this approach is also more realistic and comprehensive than the standard normal distribution-based VaR model that is commonly used. Results reveal that there is significant two-way risk spillover effect between WTI and Brent markets. Supplementary study indicates that at the 99% confidence level, when negative market news arises that brings about a slump in oil price return, historical information on risk in the WTI market helps to forecast the Brent market. Conversely, it is not the case when positive news occurs and returns rise. Historical information on risk in the two markets can facilitate forecasts of future extreme market risks for each other. These results are valuable for anyone who needs evaluation and forecasts of the risk situation in international crude oil markets. (author)
DEFF Research Database (Denmark)
Jimenez Mena, Belen; Verrier, Etienne; Hospital, Frederic
an increase in the variability of values over time. The distance from the mean and the median to the true Ne increased over time too. This was caused by the fixation of alleles through time due to genetic drift and the changes in the distribution of allele frequencies. We compared the three estimators of Ne...
de Moor, M.H.M.; Boomsma, D.I.; Stubbe, J.H.; Willemsen, G.; de Geus, E.J.C.
2008-01-01
Context: In the population at large, regular exercise is associated with reduced anxious and depressive symptoms. Results of experimental studies in clinical populations suggest a causal effect of exercise on anxiety and depression, but it is unclear whether such a causal effect also drives the
The Causal Relationship between Health and Education Expenditures in Malaysia
Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)
Chor Foon TANG
2011-08-01
Full Text Available A major macroeconomic policy in generating economic growth is to encourage investments on human capital such as health and education. This is because both health and education make significant contribution to increasing productivity of the labour force which ultimately exerts a positive effect on raising output levels. A question that arises is whether investments on health and education have a causal relationship and if so, what is the directional causality? The objective of this study is to examine the causal relationship between health and education expenditures in Malaysia. This study covered annual data from 1970 to 2007. Using Granger causality as well as Toda and Yamamoto MWALD causality approaches, this study suggests that education Granger-causes health expenditure in both the short run and long run. The findings of this study implied that the Malaysian society places preference on education expenditure rather than health. This preference is not unexpected as generally, an educated and knowledgeable society precedes a healthy one. Before a society has attained a relatively higher level of education, it is less aware of the importance of health. Thus, expenditure on education should lead expenditure on health.
The Bradford Hill considerations on causality: a counterfactual perspective
Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)
Höfler Michael
2005-11-01
Full Text Available Abstract Bradford Hill's considerations published in 1965 had an enormous influence on attempts to separate causal from non-causal explanations of observed associations. These considerations were often applied as a checklist of criteria, although they were by no means intended to be used in this way by Hill himself. Hill, however, avoided defining explicitly what he meant by "causal effect". This paper provides a fresh point of view on Hill's considerations from the perspective of counterfactual causality. I argue that counterfactual arguments strongly contribute to the question of when to apply the Hill considerations. Some of the considerations, however, involve many counterfactuals in a broader causal system, and their heuristic value decreases as the complexity of a system increases; the danger of misapplying them can be high. The impacts of these insights for study design and data analysis are discussed. The key analysis tool to assess the applicability of Hill's considerations is multiple bias modelling (Bayesian methods and Monte Carlo sensitivity analysis; these methods should be used much more frequently.
On the entanglement entropy of quantum fields in causal sets
Belenchia, Alessio; Benincasa, Dionigi M. T.; Letizia, Marco; Liberati, Stefano
2018-04-01
In order to understand the detailed mechanism by which a fundamental discreteness can provide a finite entanglement entropy, we consider the entanglement entropy of two classes of free massless scalar fields on causal sets that are well approximated by causal diamonds in Minkowski spacetime of dimensions 2, 3 and 4. The first class is defined from discretised versions of the continuum retarded Green functions, while the second uses the causal set’s retarded nonlocal d’Alembertians parametrised by a length scale l k . In both cases we provide numerical evidence that the area law is recovered when the double-cutoff prescription proposed in Sorkin and Yazdi (2016 Entanglement entropy in causal set theory (arXiv:1611.10281)) is imposed. We discuss in detail the need for this double cutoff by studying the effect of two cutoffs on the quantum field and, in particular, on the entanglement entropy, in isolation. In so doing, we get a novel interpretation for why these two cutoff are necessary, and the different roles they play in making the entanglement entropy on causal sets finite.
Linear causal modeling with structural equations
Mulaik, Stanley A
2009-01-01
Emphasizing causation as a functional relationship between variables that describe objects, Linear Causal Modeling with Structural Equations integrates a general philosophical theory of causation with structural equation modeling (SEM) that concerns the special case of linear causal relations. In addition to describing how the functional relation concept may be generalized to treat probabilistic causation, the book reviews historical treatments of causation and explores recent developments in experimental psychology on studies of the perception of causation. It looks at how to perceive causal
Inferring Saving in Training Time From Effect Size Estimates
National Research Council Canada - National Science Library
Burright, Burke
2000-01-01
.... Students' time saving represents a major potential benefit of using them. This paper fills a methodology gap in estimating the students' timesaving benefit of asynchronous training technologies...