What Is a Cohort Effect? Definition and Examples
The cohort effect is observed when a group of people exposed to a particular event or condition (cohort) subsequently experience different outcomes than those not exposed to the same event or condition. Cohort effects can be observed in various settings, including health studies, educational outcomes, and job performance.
Cohort effects can be caused by various factors, including the nature of the exposure, the cohort’s characteristics, and the cohort’s response pattern. Depending on the characteristics of the cohort, cohort effects can have various effects, including increased or decreased rates of occurrence, increased or decreased rates of severity, and increased or decreased rates of impact.
Cohort effects are often studied in the context of health studies, particularly because exposure to health conditions can have a wide range of effects on different aspects of a person’s health. For example, exposure to high levels of air pollution can increase the risk of developing lung cancer, while exposure to a virus can increase the risk of developing a cold.
Cohort effects are also often studied in the context of education outcomes, particularly because different educational interventions can affect different groups of students. For example, providing a low-income student with financial assistance can improve their academic performance, while providing a high-income student with the same assistance may not affect their academic performance.
Cohort effects are also often studied in the context of job performance, in particular, because different job positions can have different effects on different groups of employees. For example, a job position that requires intensive manual labor may have a greater impact on a group of employees who are physically fit, while a job position that requires little manual labor may have a greater impact on a group of employees who are not physically fit.