In the years 2020-2 the global pandemic has led me to contemplate the impact of my work, the role that psychologists in society, and our potential impact on doing good in the world. I’ve tried to gain some understanding of this domain through my various activities in judgment and decision making (why people do not act, action versus inaction), and open science and meta research (replications in the domain of environmental psychology), but these seemed too small and too slow.
In 2022 I decided to try and leverage my teaching and research to try and promote “Doing more good, doing good better” aiming to support human flourishing and reduce death, pain, and suffering. The most useful framework I found was that by the Effective Altruism movement, especially with the science based approach to helping, giving, and addressing the world’s biggest and most urgent challenges.
I first shifted my courses from an emphasis on open-science to exploring effectiveness and impact through psychological science. Once I gain a better understanding of this domain I hope to follow by better aligning my research in these directions.
Related work with students:
- “Advanced Social Psychology” course syllabus oriented towards “Doing more good, doing good better”
- “Judgment and Decision Making” course syllabus oriented towards “Doing more good, doing good better”
- Effective altruism collaborative guide
- Effective altruism using psychological science book (In process, written by my students in Autumn 2022-3 semester).
- Doing good interventions book (In process, written by my students in Autumn 2022-3 semester).
- Evaluating charities collaborative book (In process, written by my students in Autumn 2022-3 semester).
Related research I do:
- Action and inaction: When and why people prefer inaction to action
- Heuristics and biases that impend and improve helping and giving.
- Morality: How do people think about helping and giving.