The Many Facets of the Cause-Effect Relation

  • Christopher Khoo
  • Syin Chan
  • Yun Niu
Part of the Information Science and Knowledge Management book series (ISKM, volume 3)


This chapter presents a broad survey of the cause-effect relation, with particular emphasis on how the relation is expressed in text. Philosophers have been grappling with the concept of causation for centuries. Researchers in social psychology have found that the human mind has a very complex mechanism for identifying and attributing the cause for an event. Inferring cause-effect relations between events and statements has also been found to be an important part of reading and text comprehension, especially for narrative text. Though many of the cause-effect relations in text are implied and have to be inferred by the reader, there is also a wide variety of linguistic expressions for explicitly indicating cause and effect. In addition, it has been found that certain words have “causal valence”—they bias the reader to attribute cause in certain ways. Cause-effect relations can also be divided into several different types.


Noun Phrase Causal Attribution Text Comprehension Attribution Theory Narrative Text 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media Dordrecht 2002

Authors and Affiliations

  • Christopher Khoo
    • 1
  • Syin Chan
    • 1
  • Yun Niu
    • 1
  1. 1.Centre for Advanced Information Systems, School of Computer EngineeringNanyang Technological UniversitySingapore

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