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A proximate cause is an event immediately responsible for some outcome, as opposed to the root cause - the ultimate, "real" reason something happened.

To diagnose the real cause, you can use "5 Why's" method.

For example, a problem:
I got a speeding ticket.

- Why?
Was driving too fast. (Proximate cause)

- Why?
Was late for work.

- Why?
Woke up late.

- Why?
Went to sleep late.

- Why?
Watched Netflix whole night. (Root cause)

@startuplab

Ultimate cause

Adding some more whys

Why?
Netflix has videos to watch

Why?
Videos uploaded by someone or some group of people

Why?
To earn

Why?
To get food

Why?
To survive

Why?
Just because he/she/they born (root cause)

@startuplab Or you can keep going

- Why?
Job is unfulfilling

- Why?
It is entirely pointless administrative paperwork

- Why?
The philosophical position that a person must "earn a living"—do something that justifies ones existence in economic terms, on pain of death by starvation or exposure

- Why?
In a word, Capitalism (Root cause)

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