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MichaelPlant comments on A model of StrongMinds - Oxford Prioritisation Project - Effective Altruism Forum

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Comment author: MichaelPlant 15 May 2017 12:37:17AM 3 points [-]

Great to see this here. Thanks Konstantin and Lovisa. A couple of thoughts.

It would be good if you'd put your headline results in the post and what, if anything, you think further flows from your conclusions (i.e. you now consider StrongMinds is more/less effective than something else, such as AMF).

Can you provide a link to the 0.658 DALY rating for depression? I can never remember how much of that is "years of life lost" and how much is "years lived with disability". There are two parts that make up DALYS and I think people should present them seperately; there are different views you can take on the badness of deaths. This is helpful to those of an Epicurean persuasion such as myself who are more concerned with making people happy than just keeping people alive (to riff off Narveson 1967).

Comment author: ThomasSittler 23 May 2017 11:07:16AM *  0 points [-]

Thanks for the comment.

Regarding epicureanism: More generally, breaking everything down into years of life lost to death, years of suffering, and years of potential future life enabled, would be a good idea for a future improvement of the models. It would enable us to see how the models work for people with different values. By the way anyone can make a copy of our models and adapt them! :)

Regarding your (separate) view that depression is much worse than consensus DALY weights account for, I think this is best thought of in relative terms. You want to make sure the HEWALY weights across all four models are consistent with your values and empirical beliefs, rather than just the DALY weight on depression in the StrongMinds model.

Comment author: MichaelPlant 25 May 2017 06:02:03PM 0 points [-]

I agree on your second point that you'd want to adjust all the models, I was just hoping you could give me a reference. My thought is that depression removing 0.65 of someone's happiness for a year (i.e. going from 8/10 to a 2.5/10) seems about right on the life satisfaction scores. This means that everything else should have a much lower comparative weight, rather than making depression worse than death. For instance, maybe blindness really has a weight of 0.1 rather than 0.5 as I believe it does at present.