2. The Language of Potential Outcomes

  1. Carlo Berzuini,
  2. Philip Dawid and
  3. Luisa Bernardinelli
  1. Arvid Sjölander

Published Online: 25 JUN 2012

DOI: 10.1002/9781119945710.ch2

Causality: Statistical Perspectives and Applications

Causality: Statistical Perspectives and Applications

How to Cite

Sjölander, A. (2012) The Language of Potential Outcomes, in Causality: Statistical Perspectives and Applications (eds C. Berzuini, P. Dawid and L. Bernardinelli), John Wiley & Sons, Ltd, Chichester, UK. doi: 10.1002/9781119945710.ch2

Editor Information

  1. Statistical Laboratory, Centre for Mathematical Sciences, University of Cambridge, Cambridge, UK

Author Information

  1. Department of Medical Epidemiology and Biostatistics, Karolinska Institutet, Stockholm, Sweden

Publication History

  1. Published Online: 25 JUN 2012
  2. Published Print: 13 JUL 2012

Book Series:

  1. Wiley Series in Probability and Statistics

Book Series Editors:

  1. Walter A. Shewhart and
  2. Samuel S. Wilks

ISBN Information

Print ISBN: 9780470665565

Online ISBN: 9781119945710



  • the language of potential outcomes;
  • observed association, interpreted as causal effect;
  • causal inference, as based on potential outcomes;
  • subject-specific causal effect of exposure level;
  • potential and factual outcome, the ‘consistency assumption’;
  • potential outcomes, and association and causation differences;
  • exposure–outcome comparison, two groups of subjects;
  • outcome distribution, of same population under different exposure levels


This chapter contains sections titled:

  • Introduction

  • Definition of causal effects through potential outcomes

  • Identification of population causal effects

  • Discussion

  • References