Causal Thinking

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The science of cause and effect

Levels of causation

  1. Association
    • Detecting regularities in our environment
  2. Intervention
    • Predicting the effect(s) of deliberate alterations of the environment and choosing among these alterations to produce a desired outcome.
  3. Counterfactuals
    • A “theory” of why it works and what to do when it doesn’t.

Types of junctions

Three junctions - Mediator (chain), Confounder (fork), and Collider - are the steps from patterns to principles. Through them we can see the secrets of the causal process we observe. Each junction stands for a distinct pattern of causal flow and leaves its mark in the form of conditional dependence and independence.

Sources
The Book of Why - J. Pearl & D. Mackenzie - Basic Books - 2018
Een wereld vol patronen - R. Bods - Prometheus - 2019