2020, issue 45, Jochen Mayerl and Kathrin Komp-Leukkunen: Our lives can be captured in numbers. For example, one can count how many children we have, election results are presented in percentages, and the Gini coefficient illustrates the income inequalities in a country. One can also determine the size and patterns of correlations between social phenomena, e.g. between poverty and political participation. One can be interested in empirically testing hypotheses for causal explanation of societal or individual events, and to dig into causal mechanisms. Because of these functions, numbers play a central role in sociological research.