comment by rodeo_flagellum ·
2021-07-24T22:36:24.070Z · EA(p) · GW(p)
Thank you for posting this question. It has spurred me to consider taking some action; I am now interested in creating a survey on this topic, and then submitting it to my college.
I am interested in advice on this idea in general (once each section has been read) and on each of the individual sections listed below (execution details, hanging variables, proposals for survey questions, narrowing / expanding the scope, redefining the objectives, etc...) .
Should you find that this has the potential to be effective or informative, I am interested in receiving help and discussing the content/execution of the survey. Should you think this is a waste of effort, or should you have any criticisms, please notify me, I would greatly appreciate the feedback.
Objective and Measurements
The objectives (in order) of this survey are to evaluate (1) which issues people believe are worth donating to, coming into the survey, (2) what people believe it would take for them to change what they believe is worth donating to, (3) how people evaluate EA affiliated organizations' cause-area selections, and (4) how people change their evaluations of which issues are worth donating to once they are exposed to EA affiliated organizations' measurements / reasoning of the importance of the cause-areas (e.g. scale, neglectedness, solvability ratings for a cause or metrics attached to a problem area) .
Questions by Objective
These are initial conceptualizations of questions for each of the objectives listed above. Some questions depend on previously asked questions, so there are multiple sequences of questions that can be used. There are many other ways this survey can be created, so please do not think that I am set on these questions, or even on this particular ordering or set of objectives.
(1) which issues people believe are worth donating to, coming into the survey
- What issues are worth donating money to?
- Please list the top five issues you think are worth donating money to.
- If you had money to donate, which issues would you donate to?
- Please list the top five issues you think are worth donating money to. Specify why each is important to you personally and to humanity as a whole.
- Please list the top five issues you think are worth donating money to. Specify why these are the top five issues humanity should focus on solving.
- (follow up): Please list some other issues that are maybe slightly less pressing, but are still important.
- You have $[quantity of funds] you must donate to some issue/s: What causes would you donate the money to? How much would you donate to each cause?
(2) what people believe it would take for them to change what they believe is worth donating to
- What would it take for you to consider [iterate through EA affiliated organizations' cause-areas or a subset of causes areas, where the subset could differ between surveys] to be in your (top five) or (selection) of causes worth donating to?
- Why isn't [iterate through EA affiliated organizations' cause-areas or a subset of causes areas, where the subset could differ between surveys] in your list of causes worth donating to?
(3) how people evaluate EA affiliated organizations' cause-area selections
[iterate through EA affiliated organizations' cause-areas or a subset of causes areas, where the subset could differ between surveys]
- Which of these causes shouldn't be considered causes? Why?
- What would you change about this list? Why?
- Please select the elements of this list that should be removed, and add the ones that you think are missing. Please provide some reasoning behind your decisions.
(4) how people change their evaluations of which issues are worth donating to once they are exposed to EA affiliated organizations' measurements / reasoning of the importance of the cause-areas
x = [iterate through EA affiliated organizations' cause-areas or a subset of causes areas, where the subset could differ between surveys]
y = [a quantitative negative or positive outcome]
- What if you knew working on [x] would/might result in [y]; does this change your cause-area selection?
- Quantitative statement about the pressingness of [x]; would you now consider donating to this?
- Quantitative statement about the pressingness of [x]; do you think this is pressing enough to replace one of your original cause-areas to donate to?
Given my circumstances, I am 75% confident that I will be able to submit a survey on this topic to at least two of the following departments [Economics, Neuroscience, Computer Science, Mathematics, Sociology, Anthropology, Philosophy] in my college. Additionally, I am somewhat confident that I will be able to convince EA groups at two other colleges in the area to host this survey in at least one department. Finally, there is a small chance that my non-EA affiliated friends will be able to host this survey and, should the survey be formulated well, a small chance that some members of this forum will take the survey or consider spreading it.
Across all of these, I estimate that I can get at least 50 survey responses.
Some Final Remarks
I can envision this survey beginning with a scenario where people divide 1,000,000 hypothetical dollars between cause-areas they personally find important. Then they'd choose how to reallocate funds in subsequent questions that pertain to different objectives (e.g. after reading about the reasoning EA affiliated organization use to select cause-areas, they'd have the option to reallocate money to another cause). A situation where the participant reallocates hypothetical money to donate upon learning new information could be a short survey-game, similar to Explorable Explanations , but perhaps of a slightly shorter duration.
Thank you for taking a look at this; I will wait for some feedback before taking more serious steps to conduct this survey (I will still be thinking about question phrasing, objectives, and implementation details). Replies from: aarongertler, Davis_Kingsley
↑ comment by Aaron Gertler (aarongertler) ·
2021-07-28T22:56:55.767Z · EA(p) · GW(p)
I recommend making this comment into a full post, so that more people will see it and have a chance to share feedback!Replies from: rodeo_flagellum
↑ comment by rodeo_flagellum ·
2021-07-29T17:47:20.499Z · EA(p) · GW(p)
After some more thought, I've decided that I am going to create a separate post for this.
I was hesitant because (1) I wasn't sure whether something of this nature already existed, and I just hadn't seen it (there doesn't seem to be any work on the particular question of cause-switching) and (2) I wasn't sure how related the Rethink Priorities 2019 Cause-prioritization survey [EA · GW]was to this idea, but it seems to me now that this line of work could be distinct enough to continue pursuing.
Given that the forum's reasoning and creative abilities can more easily be accessed by making a full post, I will go ahead and do so. The post will consist of a considerably expanded version of my previous comment.
edit: I added Aaron Gertler / Davis_Kingsley to a draft; I am looking to publish the post by tomorrow morning.Replies from: Davis_Kingsley
↑ comment by Davis_Kingsley ·
2021-07-30T08:30:50.758Z · EA(p) · GW(p)
For some reason I can't see the draft, when I click on the notification I received for it it says "Error: app.operation_not_allowed" and kind of glitches out the interface until I refresh. Apologies!
(edit: fixed now, thanks!)
↑ comment by Davis_Kingsley ·
2021-07-28T11:24:05.475Z · EA(p) · GW(p)
Thanks, I'm impressed by this reply and your willingness to go out there and do a survey. I will have more substantive feedback later as I want to consult with someone else before making a further statement -- ping me if I haven't replied by Friday.Replies from: rodeo_flagellum
↑ comment by rodeo_flagellum ·
2021-07-29T17:49:19.483Z · EA(p) · GW(p)
Thank you for your kind words. I will ping you midday-evening Eastern time on Friday if I see no reply. I am going to make a full post (probably by this evening), so please reply to that instead of in this comment thread, if possible. Hope you have a nice day.