Doing more good, doing good better

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 UG 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.

 

Overview talks

 

For an overview of the work I do with students related to “Doing more good” and “Doing more better” here are some initial thoughts shared in a talk to Effective Altruism Hong Kong on November 2023:

 

Leveraging psychological science for "Doing more good" & "Doing good better" | Effective Altruism HK

 

For an overview with some suggestions on increasing impact with “Doing more good” and “Doing more better” here are some initial thoughts shared in a talk at BI Norwegian Business School on July 2023:

 

Towards impactful collaborative research "Doing more good" and "Doing good better" | BI Norwegian

 

Research

Related research I do:

  1. Action and inaction: When and why people prefer inaction to action
  2. Heuristics and biases that impend and improve helping and giving.
  3. Morality: How do people think about helping and giving.

 

Examples:

A few recent Registered Reports projects with a Stage 1 in-principle acceptance:
(underlined: supervised students; ^: corresponding author)

  1. Chan, M. & ^Feldman, G.  (2024 expected). Factors impacting effective altruism: Revisiting heuristics and biases in charity in a replication and extensions Registered Report of Baron and Szymanska (2011).
    [Registered Report Stage 1 in-principle acceptance from PCI-RR]
    [Stage 2 preprint with results] [In-principle acceptance/Open peer review] [Open materials/data/code] [Presentation]
  2. Woo, T., & ^Feldman, G. (2025 expected). Revisiting the signal value of emotion in altruistic behavior: Replication and extension Registered Report of Barasch et al. (2014) Studies 3 and 6. https://doi.org/10.17605/OSF.IO/RWDN6
    [Registered Report Stage 1 in-principle acceptance from PCI-RR]
    [Thesis with results] [In-principle acceptance/Open peer review] [Preprint] [Open materials/data/code]
  3. Cheng, T., & ^Feldman, G. (2025 expected). Do pain and effort increase prosocial contributions?: Revisiting the Martyrdom Effect with a replication and extensions Registered Report of Olivola and Shafir (2013). https://doi.org/10.17605/OSF.IO/YU25A
    [Registered Report Stage 1 in-principle acceptance from PCI-RR]
    [Thesis with results] [In-principle acceptance/Open peer review] [Preprint] [Open materials/data/code]

 

Courses and collaborative resources

Related work with students in courses oriented towards “Doing more good, doing good better”:

 

Collaborative resources with students in my courses:

  1. CORE team, & ^Feldman, G. (2023). Effective Altruism using Psychological Science collaborative book. https://doi.org/10.17605/OSF.IO/6S58R
  2. CORE team, & ^Feldman, G. (2023). Comparing charities: Psychological science factors in charitable giving. https://doi.org/10.17605/OSF.IO/KRDNG

 

Other resources created in those courses: