# From associations to logic and imagination – the Ladder of Causation

In this section, we’ll introduce the concept of *the Ladder of Causation* and summarize its building blocks. *Figure 2**.1* presents a symbolic representation of the Ladder of Causation. The higher the rung, the more sophisticated our capabilities become, but let’s start from the beginning:

Figure 2.1 – The Ladder of Causation. Image by the author, based on a picture by Laurie Shaw (https://www.pexels.com/photo/brown-wooden-door-frame-804394/)

*The Ladder of Causation*, introduced by Judea Pearl (Pearl, Mackenzie, 2019), is a helpful metaphor for understanding distinct levels of relationships between variables – from simple associations to counterfactual reasoning. Pearl’s ladder has three rungs. Each rung is related to different activity and offers answers to different types of causal questions. Each rung comes with a distinct set of mathematical tools...