Me: “X did this”.

My friend: “I cannot believe they did that”.

Two other friends in conversation: “I wonder what could have caused this?!”


Me: “Could it be that they were not in their right senses at the time they did that?”

My friend: “Nnnooo…or maybe, many things could have caused this”.


Do you see that statement from my friend, that is pondering on the idea that what happened could have been caused by a number of things?

That is a very common phenomenon in the world of psychology.

And, it is one of those phenomena that many of us do not pay keen attention to!


This phenomenon is technically called, “multifactorial causation”.

It is a situation where a combination of events or causes influence the outcome of behaviour in somebody.


Photo credit: Pipeline Performance Group


Let us try out an example;

Pick out any awful incident that has happened in the recent past, wherever you are or whichever you can vividly remember.

Pick out the behaviour that was exhibited in the end.

Try pondering on what could have led to things turning out that way.

(We do not have any wrong answers; this is a learning exercise).


Can you ably say that the behaviour you saw or witnessed was brought up by only one thing?

Can you ably say that a group of things brought about the behaviour you saw or witnessed?


In psychology, we all know that multiple causes of things turning out the way they turned out is at play in shaping any behaviour.

However, even the best or most refined of us often fall into the trap of believing behaviour is caused by a single factor!


Photo credit: Wikidata


One thing is for sure

Multiple causes of behaviour best explain the biggest chunk of behaviours in the world today.


~What do you think of that? ~