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a. a ground for legal action; matter giving rise to a lawsuit
b. the lawsuit itself
2. (in the philosophy of Aristotle) any of four requirements for a thing's coming to be, namely material (material cause), its nature (formal cause), an agent (efficient cause), and a purpose (final cause)
Collins Discovery Encyclopedia, 1st edition © HarperCollins Publishers 2005


any immediate, or more indirect, factor precipitating an outcome. See also CAUSALITY AND CAUSAL RELATIONSHIP.
Collins Dictionary of Sociology, 3rd ed. © HarperCollins Publishers 2000
The following article is from The Great Soviet Encyclopedia (1979). It might be outdated or ideologically biased.



a phenomenon that directly determines or gives rise to another phenomenon, the effect. In the real world all phenomena and processes are in a state of universal connection and interaction. The concept of “cause” presupposes the singling out of a particular group of phenomena or a system, within the framework of which a causal relation is established between particular phenomena and processes.

Every phenomenon is grounded in several others and is determined by them, its causes. In the process of cognition the researcher inevitably goes beyond the mere description of facts and turns to an investigation of the laws of their origin, development, and functioning, seeking the causes that determine the corresponding properties of a particular object. The movement of thought from description to causal explanation is the movement of cognition from outer to inner, from phenomenon to essence.

As the basis and essence of the effect, the cause functions as the originating and determining element in the relationship between phenomena. The interconnection and mutual conditioning of phenomena take an innumerable variety of forms. Accordingly, the types of causes are extremely diverse. In modern science causes are classified by the most varied criteria. Thus, depending on the nature of the causal relations, causes are classified as ideal and material, informational and energetic (energeticheskie), dynamic and statistical, simple and compound, single-factor and multiple-factor, systemic and nonsystemic, external and internal, primary and nonprimary, objective and subjective, and so on.

It is customary to distinguish the cause from the circumstances of its operation. In the social sciences, causes are distinguished from reasons—the processes contributing to the formation and manifestation of causes. Consideration of the diversity of phenomena gives rise to the conception of causality as a fundamental feature of reality.


The Great Soviet Encyclopedia, 3rd Edition (1970-1979). © 2010 The Gale Group, Inc. All rights reserved.


Actions, omissions, events, conditions, or a combination thereof, which led to the accident or incident investigation (ICAO).
An Illustrated Dictionary of Aviation Copyright © 2005 by The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc. All rights reserved
References in periodicals archive ?
For decades, researchers largely assumed that a poison's effects increase as the dose rises and diminish as it falls.
We required studies to provide reliable data about the effect of interventions on both microbial and drug outcomes with clear case definition, description of infection control measures, and other variables such as bed occupancy or staffing levels that could provide plausible alternative explanations for changes in microbial outcomes.
The committee then ran a second set of tests to determine if the water pH had an effect. During this testing, they altered the pH of a known water sample and then ran the green sand tests.
In simplistic terms, effect size refers to any statistic that describes the degree of difference or relationship between the variables of interest.
In order to determine whether the studies can reasonably be described as sharing a common effect size, the statistical test for homogeneity of effect sizes was conducted.
According to the systematic laboratory-effects model, the degree of equivalence [d.sub.i] and uncertainty u([d.sub.i]) are, respectively, the expected value and standard deviation of a state-of-knowledge distribution for the laboratory effect (bias) [X.sub.i] - Y, for i = 1, 2,..., n, and the degree of equivalence [d.sub.i,j] and uncertainty u([d.sub.i,j]) are, respectively, the expected value and standard deviation of a state-of-knowledge distribution for the difference [X.sub.i] - [X.sub.j], for i, j = 1, 2,..., n and i [not equal to] j.
Certain factors indicate that the increase in market concentration in the Alleghany banking market, as measured by the HHI, does not reflect a significantly adverse effect on competition.
One study has shown that Chinese women who had higher intakes of soy foods during adolescence had lower risk of breast cancer as adults, (10) Several studies have suggested that the use of soy foods leads to a longer menstrual cycle, which may reduce risk of breast cancer, (26-27) although not all studies show an effect on menstrual cycle length.
However, these results were met with some skepticism because Shea and Ge also used conventional oral antidepressant medications and provided counseling, which might have had an effect on their findings-that is, we cannot be certain which of the interventions led to the improvement.
Further, the reactance theory predicts that when individuals perceive that their behavioral freedom is threatened, they will change their attitude to the opposite of what is advocated in the persuasion (i.e., "boomerang effect") in an attempt to reclaim the threatened freedom (Brehm, 1966).
Dow Plastics, Midland, Mich., has come out with the Effections line of eight decorative effects available in various engineering resins for uses in consumer electronics, appliances, and other consumer goods.