To better understand a complex problem, we typically try to simplify it by breaking it down into different parts and finding out which bit isn’t working. A more useful approach used in systems thinking is to maintain the connections and interactions between the different parts of the system in order to understand why certain events happen.
A multiple cause diagram can help simplify the complexity whilst tracing the sequence of cause and effect through a system. It helps to clarify what is going on and in particular shows where there are feedback loops in the system.
It’s one of the most useful types of diagrams used in Systems Thinking.