1B Causal Relationships and Slasher Films

Quick Write

Why did Ed Gein commit those murders?

Charting Cause and Effect

Let us chart the causes and effects of a monster. 


  • Don’t jump to conclusions
  • Appreciate your limits. We don’t know why so we have to follow the evidence from effect to cause.
  • Offer sufficient evidence for claims

Slasher Films

Understanding Causal Relationships

As a class, we are going to clearly define the types of causal relationships:

  1. necessary
  2. sufficient
  3. precipitating
  4. proximate
  5. remote
  6. reciprocal causes
  7. contributing factors

Causality: the relationship of cause and effect

Once you understand these concepts, the charts you create to map cause and effect can become more complex.

You should identify the types of causal relationships on your charts (you might use different types of arrows, different colors, or simply labels to show what kind of cause is being mapped).

  • Necessary Cause: any factor that must be in place for something to occur.
  • Sufficient Cause: is a condition that always produces the effect in question.
  • Precipitating Cause: the proverbial straw that breaks a camel’s back.
  • Proximate Cause: nearby and often easy to spot.
  • Remote Cause: may act at some distance from an event but be closely tied to it.
  • Reciprocal Cause: you have a reciprocal situation when a cause leads to an effect that, in turn, strengthens the cause.
  • Contributing Factors: add to the causes to bring about the effect.

Why is society so fascinated with serial killers?

Jeopardy! Game Board

  1. Pick a monster or category of monster.
  2. Come up with six relevant categories and arrange them from most to least interesting. 
  3. Write five facts about each topic, in increasing order of difficulty. From common knowledge to specific and advanced knowledge.

For instance, say the category is oil and natural gas “fracking.” The easiest clue might be, “This is the technical name for ‘fracking.’ ” The answer, phrased as a question, would be, “What is hydraulic fracturing?”

A much more difficult clue might be, “The presence of this gas has been linked to flammable drinking water near fracking sites.” The answer, phrased as a question, would be, “What is methane gas?”

The progression from general to specific, easy to advanced, should help you see that any issue has many lines of cause and effect to be investigated. Without this process, students often settle on the easiest question—and their focus remains there. We want to make more complex and interesting lines of inquiry.


Research Activity: Chronological News

For this activity, we want to search for a topic and see how it progressed. Hopefully, we can begin to see the causes and effects of the topic.

Teaching Notes:




 Causal Analysis systematically examines the causes and/or the effects of an event, situation, belief, or action. Cause asks: Why did it happen? Why does it happen? Why will it happen? Effect asks: What did it produce? What does it produce? What will it produce? By carefully analyzing …

At an earlier stage, place students in small groups and ask them to create short skits that illustrate a form of causal relationship. They can perform these skits for the class, and the rest of the students can guess (like the game Charades) what type of relationship is being shown. For instance, to illustrate remote causes, the students might show a scene of a young man illegally downloading music. Then they might depict a musician pawning his guitar to buy groceries. This activity helps students understand, apply, and retain the multiple types of causal relationships.

Google Search Terms

  • Causal analysis
  • causal relationships
  • necessary cause
  1. Brittany F. 8 months ago

    1) Required to be done, achieve, or present, needed or essential For example, the killer’s actions is necessarily for his murders
    2) Sufficient cause is a condition that always produces the effect in question. For example, skipping the final exam in this course would be a sufficient cause of failing it, though it is not a necessary cause: you could fail in other ways.
    3) Precipitating cause: cause to happen suddenly, unexpectedly or prematurely. For ex: attack on the twin towers precipitated the families of the tragedy to feel sorrow and lost
    4) Proximate: The killer was in proximate reach of his victims, therefore he killed them.
    5) Remote cause: one that is removed or separated from the proximate cause
    6) Reciprocal cause means that one follows another, being caused by it. For example, serial killers lead to the making of slash movies, these horror movies follows, is the effect of the killings
    7) Contributing Factors: are any behavior, omission, or deficiency that sets the stage for an accident, or increases the severity of injuries.

  2. Asia Roberson 8 months ago

    1. Necessary- The vital component in order to define a monster EX: Has to kill innocent people
    2. Sufficient- the components that are needed to produce a monster EX: Has to be mentally damaged/insane
    3. Precipitating: The triggering factor that causes one to kill EX: Ed Geins mom dying triggered him to kill women
    4. Proximate: the primary cause of the injury EX: Ed Gein getting body parts but the women are getting killed

  3. Christie Gutierrez 8 months ago

    Remote Causes–the causes are remote in time, they are causes of causes
    For example: the Great Wall of China led to the fall of Rome!
    Reciprocal Causes-For example: consumer demand leads to new products which in turn lead to more consumer demand
    Contributing -these affect the rate or degree of the phenomenon, they intensify or moderate it
    For example: cheerleaders may intensify the energy of the players and, therefore, indirectly influence the outcome of a game

  4. T 8 months ago

    Necessary- factors that must be present in order to get effect
    Sufficient condition is related to necessary condition, which is something that must happen for an effect to occur.
    Precipitating- an occurrence that happens suddenly
    Proximate- while individuals occupy roles and statuses relative to each other, it is the social structure and institutions in which these exist that are the ultimate cause of behavior.
    Remote- something in close distance
    reciprocal causes- allows for relationships to form
    contributing factors- a chain of events that contributes s to the effect

  5. Johana Ponce 8 months ago

    Johana Ponce
    Dezara Burrell

    Sufficient cause: complete causal mechanism, the coming together of the pieces.
    Precipitating cause:
    Proximate cause: cause having the most significant impact in bringing about the loss. ‘Caused by”
    Remote cause: takes place before the proximate cause, sequence of events and type of situations.
    Reciprocal cause:
    Contributing factors: any behavior, omission, or deficiency that sets the stage for an accident.

  6. Merneeta Romero 8 months ago

    Precipitating cause is a factor which must be present to produce disease; the disease does not occur unless the factor was or is present. The trigger mechanism that initiates the commencement of the disease state.
    Reciprocal cause negative cognitions appear to produce depression, and, conversely, depression increases the probability of just those cognitions which will cause further depression. This reciprocal relationship between depression and cognition may form the basis of a vicious cycle which will perpetuate and intensify depression
    Dezara, Joana, Merneeta

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