For example, people often refer to an elevator as claustrophobic, but I'm curious whether it is more accurate to say that an elevator causes its occupants to feel claustrophobic.
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claustrophobic can mean both:
Let's start here.
So, with that definition in mind. It's not grammatically correct to say that an elevator is claustrophobic.
But, I had heard it used that way, so I looked it up.
So, in light of that definition, yes, you can use it that way.