As EA moves towards more uncertain interventions, expected value calculations become more uncertain, more prone to motivated reasoning and more prone to self-serving biases.


Here are 3 key ways we could protect against self-serving biases and other forms of motivated reasoning in expected value calculations:

  1. Have two (or more) individuals, or groups, independently calculate the expected value of a decision and compare results
  2. In expected value calculations, identify a theoretical cost at which the intervention would no longer be approximately maximising expected value from the resources
  3. Keep in mind that EA aims to make decisions that approximately maximise expected value from a set of resources, rather than just make decisions which just have net positive expected value
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