A: Social scientists often study whether two phenomena are linked by causation, where one affects the other, or correlation, where they just tend to go together. Economists are especially interested in quantifying causal effects and the 2021 Nobel Memorial Prize in Economics was awarded for "the analysis of causal relationships".
Take women's right to vote. In many countries, this right followed women's suffrage movements advocating for voting rights. However, it is difficult to establish if the right to vote was caused by the suffrage movements or if there were other factors, such as rising incomes, that led to both the right to vote and the social movements advocating for this right.