What Are Some Examples of Cause and Effect?

Some examples of cause and effect include not brushing your teeth leading to having five cavities and having to receive dental surgery, a boss being busy so his secretary has to take a phone message for him, and a boy receiving a cast because he broke his arm. Any relationship between two things or events where one is the direct result of the other classifies as a cause and effect relationship.

In a cause and effect relationship, the “effect” is defined as what happened, while the “cause” is defined as why something happened. Cause and effect relationships must consist of a minimum of two items, but they may have an unlimited maximum of items.

Additionally, one singular cause may create unlimited multiple effects. In the aforementioned example of not brushing your teeth leading to having five cavities and dental surgery, both the cavities and the surgery are effects that are caused by the lack of tooth brushing. The singular cause yielded two separate effects.

Meanwhile, in the example of the boy receiving a cast because he broke his arm, the cast is the effect that is caused by the arm breaking. This example is a more direct one to one relationship.

There are infinite examples of cause and effect because it is a very broad topic. It can be used in many different contexts, including literature, marketing and scientific research.

Cause and effect can be small or large. Pushing on a pencil causing it to roll is a small example, while a large one is an earthquake in the ocean causing a tsunami. Neither the cause nor the effect has to be tangible, it can be intangible as well. An example of an intangible effect is a comment causing someone’s feelings to be hurt. Studying a written work for cause and effect is a good way to practice critical thinking and reading comprehension.