Coincidence Analysis

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Coincidence Analysis (CNA) is a configurational comparative method of causal inference and data analysis grouping causes into bundles that are jointly effective and placing them on alternative causal routes to their effects. The method is custom-built for uncovering multi-outcome structures, even when they produce no or only weak pairwise dependencies between endogenous and exogenous factors. This page collects relevant information on CNA and on the corresponding research projects at the University of Bergen.

Coincidence Analysis (CNA) is a configurational comparative method of causal data analysis that was first introduced in (Baumgartner 2009a2009b), substantively re-worked and generalized in (Baumgartner and Ambühl 2020), and implemented in the software libraries cna, frscore, and cnaOpt for the R environment for statistical computing. In recent years, CNA was applied in numerous studies in public health as well as in the social, political, and behavioral sciences (e.g. Dy et al. 2022,  Knott et al. 2022, Miech et al. 2021, Swiatczak 2021, Whitaker et al. 2020, Yakovchenko et al. 2020, Haesebrouck 2019; more applications are collected here). 

While most standard methods of causal data analysis require that causation manifests as some non-zero pairwise dependence between causes and effects in the data, CNA belongs to a family of methods--comprising Qualitative Comparative Analysis (QCA; e.g. Ragin 2008) or Logic Regression (LR; e.g. Ruczinski et al. 2003), among others--that are capable of analyzing structures in which causes and effects are pairwise independent. While standard methods primarily quantify effect sizes, CNA groups causal influence factors conjunctively (i.e. in complex bundles) and disjunctively (i.e. on alternative pathways). CNA is firmly rooted in the so-called INUS theory of causation (see Mackie 1974, Baumgartner and Falk 2019) and it is the only method of its kind that can process data generated by causal structures with multiple outcomes (effects), for example, causal chains.

CNA is currently being developed further in two prominent research projects at the University of Bergen. The first is co-funded by the University of Bergen and the Trond Mohn Foundation in the context of the Toppforsk-programme; the second is funded by the Research Council of Norway in the context of the FRIPRO scheme. From May 30 to June 4, 2022, the CNA22 training and the first international CNA conference were held as in-person events in Bergen.

This website collects relevant information on CNA and on the corresponding research projects.

frscore plot

frscore news, tips and tricks

In a series of news articles, Veli-Pekka Parkkinen informs about new developments concerning the frscore package for CNA robustness analysis. To make the best of frscore, users are encouraged to follow these updates.


New geoconfiguational application of CNA

John Rich, Edward Miech, Daniel Semenza and Theodore Corbin applied CNA in a new study investigating the effect of 10 firearm laws in US states on homocide and suicide rates.


Coincidence Analysis introduced to medical informatics

The data analysis method of Coincidence Analysis has been introduced to the field of medical informatics: Womack DM, Miech EJ, Fox NJ, Silvey LC, Somerville AM, Eldredge DH, Steege LM. (2022), Coincidence Analysis: A Novel Approach to Modeling Nurses' Workplace Experience, Applied Clinical...


New publication of the CNA group

Martyna Swiatczak's paper entitled "Towards a neo-configurational theory of intrinsic motivation" was published in Motivation and Emotion (2021): https://doi.org/10.1007/s11031-021-09906-1


FRIPRO project granted

The CNA group is very happy to announce that the Research Council of Norway (Forskningsrådet) will fund the further development of CNA with NOK 12,000,000 (about 1,2 M EUR) over the coming years.