Cause and effect is the idea that a certain action results because of another action. It is basically the idea that all actions have consequences, whether good or bad. The correlation of one event to another.
The cause is the event, person or action that gives rise to another action, event or phenomenon. Something that makes something else occur. The effect is the change that results from that action. The effect is a dependent variable because it would not exist without the cause. The cause is independent because it can exist without the effect, or with many other effects.
An example of cause and effect could be a house falling down during an earthquake. The earthquake is the cause because it triggered an event, but does not need the house to fall down in order to happen. The house is the result of the earthquake, making it the effect. Without an event such as an earthquake, the house would not have fallen down. If the house falling down also crushed the car next to the house, both actions would be the effect of the earthquake, but the car getting crushed would also be an effect of the house falling, which would now be both a cause and effect. Cause and effect can work in one action to one cause or in a chain of reactions.