What are some EA-aligned statements that almost everyone agrees with?

by Akash2 min read10th Nov 20203 comments

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My research team and I are working on a research project designed to promote effective giving. 

We hypothesize that participants will be more likely to engage in effective giving (e.g., donate to GiveWell-endorsed charities) if they reflect on the ways in which effective giving is congruent with their values & beliefs.

As part of this project, we are trying to identify EA-related beliefs that are widely held. We’re going to be targeting university students and online workers (the vast majority of whom have never heard of EA).

We’re looking for advice

I’m including a few of the statements we’ve brainstormed. These are supposed to be statements that are aligned with EA and nearly everyone will endorse. At the beginning of our intervention, we will ask people to rate each statement (from strongly disagree to strongly agree).

Here are a few examples of statements that we’ve brainstormed so far (the full list is provided at the end of the post):

  • Unnecessary suffering should be prevented 
  • All else equal, helping more people is better than helping fewer 
  • I think charitable organizations should be transparent about how they spend money.
  • I think some charitable organizations make a bigger difference than others. 
  • Helping more is better than helping less (all else being equal, we should save more lives, help people live longer, and make people happier)

With this in mind, I’m wondering if you have any suggestions for additional phrases we could include. Alternatively, feel free to let me know if you would remove any statements from the full list below.

If you want to learn more about this project, feel free to read our proposal here or email me at wasil@sas.upenn.edu.

Full list of statements:

  • Unnecessary suffering should be prevented 
  • All else equal, helping more people is better than helping fewer 
  • The country where someone is born should not determine how much they matter morally
  • I am motivated to do things that make a difference for others
  • Charities are often bureaucratic and ineffective
  • Helping people can be rewarding 
  • Volunteering to help someone can be a productive use of time 
  • I think charitable organizations should be transparent about how they spend money.
  • I think some charitable organizations make a bigger difference than others. 
  • I think everyone deserves equal access to opportunity 
  • I think people of all backgrounds should be treated equally
  • Fairness is very important to me
  • I think everyone should have access to basic necessities, like food and water
  • It’s important to help others (when people are in need and we can help them, I think that we should)
  • People are of equal moral value (all people matter: everyone has an equal claim to be happy, healthy, fulfilled and free)
  • Helping more is better than helping less (all else being equal, we should save more lives, help people live longer, and make people happier)
  • Our resources are limited (everyone has a finite amount of money, all of us only have so many minutes in our lives)
  • Helping others is an important part of life
  • It’s important to help others (when people are in need and we can help them, I think that we should)
  • People are of equal moral value (all people matter: everyone has an equal claim to be happy, healthy, fulfilled and free)
  • Helping more is better than helping less (all else being equal, we should save more lives, help people live longer, and make people happier)
  • Our resources are limited (everyone has a finite amount of money, all of us only have so many minutes in our lives)

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