Social Causation Psychology refers to a branch of psychology that focuses on the impact of social factors on an individual’s cognitive and emotional functioning. It is a relatively new area of study that has gained significant attention in recent years due to its relevance in understanding the complex interplay between social structures and mental health.

What is Social Causation?

Social causation refers to the idea that social factors, such as poverty, discrimination, and lack of access to resources, can lead to mental health issues. According to this theory, people who experience discrimination or other forms of social disadvantage are more likely to develop psychiatric disorders than those who do not. This theory suggests that environmental factors play a crucial role in shaping an individual’s mental health.

How Does Social Causation Psychology Work?

Social Causation Psychology works by exploring the different ways in which social factors can impact an individual’s psychological well-being. It examines the complex interactions between an individual’s environment, their psychological state, and their behavior. The goal of this field is to identify the various mechanisms through which social factors can lead to mental health issues so that effective interventions can be developed.

Social Causation vs. Social Selection

Social causation psychology should not be confused with social selection psychology, which suggests that individuals with pre-existing mental health issues are more likely to experience social disadvantage. According to this theory, individuals with psychiatric disorders are more likely to experience poverty or discrimination due to their condition.

The Impact of Social Causation Psychology

The impact of social causation psychology has been significant in several areas. For instance, it has led to a better understanding of how poverty and discrimination affect an individual’s mental health. This knowledge has helped policymakers develop effective interventions aimed at reducing mental health disparities among different populations.

Moreover, Social causation psychology has also highlighted the importance of addressing broader societal issues such as poverty and discrimination in order to promote positive mental health outcomes. This knowledge has helped mental health professionals work towards creating a more equitable society that supports the psychological well-being of all individuals.


In conclusion, social causation psychology is an exciting field that is helping us understand the complex interactions between social factors and mental health. By exploring the ways in which social factors impact an individual’s psychological functioning, this field is helping us develop effective interventions aimed at promoting positive mental health outcomes for all individuals. As we continue to learn more about the intricacies of this relationship, we can hope to create a more just and equitable society that supports the psychological well-being of all members.