Causal Reductionism (Complex Cause)

The explanation for an event or situation is reduced to a single, simple cause when there are other factors that contributed to it. The goal is to provide a simplistic answer to a complex problem while avoiding a more in-depth analysis, which could reveal flaws in one's arguments.



"Our team got terrible results for this pendulum lab.  Our data gave us a value for "g" of 11.7 instead of 9.8. So our percent of error came out to 19%. I don't know what went wrong. We followed the instructions exactly.  I don't think we had enough time to finish it. We should have had more than an hour.  I don't know how the other teams got good results when we didn't."

NB: While time can be an issue in lab work, the fact that other teams successfully completed the lab and got good results suggests that the lack of time was not the source of the problem. The poor results were more likely the result of measurement errors, timing errors, errors in data recording, calculation errors, or even distractions and the lack of serious attention to the lab process. While more time might have allowed the correction of those deficiencies, time was not the real problem.

Contemporary Media Examples
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