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Causal epistemology: estimands

Tuesday, September 27, 2022 - 11:00 to 12:00
Boris Sobolev, Professor and Head, UBC School of Population and Public Health
Statistics Seminar
ESB 4192 / Zoom

To Join Via Zoom: To join this seminar virtually, please request Zoom connection details from headsec [at]

Abstract: How do we know that the vaccine works and that cancer treatment prolongs life? We see treatments and we see changes in health. How do we know that one causes the other? It follows from reasoning. We reason that randomization makes treatment groups alike. We reason that stratification blocks covariation. We then credit the treatment with changes in health. In this talk, I will share a breakthrough made by discovering the hierarchy of seeing, doing, and imagining in causal attribution. The main learning objective is to understand the different types of estimands as we move through the hierarchy.