Predicting Slow Judgments: Practice Predicting and Generate Data for AI Safety

Ought and FHI's AI Safety Group are collecting data on how people come to judgments over time. Start playing here (no sign-up required)!   Take part and play games about: Fermi arithmetic problems, or Fact-checking political statements (decide if a statement is “fake news”), or Deciding how much you like... Read More

The Effective Altruism Newsletter & Open Thread – September 2016

 The September edition of the newsletter is here, with exciting news of grants, EA courses in universities and a spotlight on EA Global this month, with some fantastic talks available online. This is an open thread, meaning you can comment about whatever you like - not just discussion about the... Read More

The Effective Altruism Newsletter & Open Thread – August 2016

Here is the latest newsletter, brought to you by the Effective Altruism Newsletter Team:  This is an open thread, so feel free to comment about anything, whether it's what you've got up to in the last month, or awesome plans for new EA things. The Monthly EA Newsletter – August... Read More

The First Effective Altruism Group Organizers' Survey: Results and Analysis

I'm pleased to announce the results of the first ever Effective Altruism Local Group Organizers' Survey.  At the start of the year, .impact wanted to mirror the success of the EA Survey by surveying the rich variety of local groups that promote Effective Altruism in their area. One of the... Read More
Comment author: yboris 30 July 2016 10:35:45PM 3 points [-]

Thank you for being so transparent: writing up your thoughts, plans, costs, execution, and results. I suspect this article will help others think through and plan similar events.

At Rutgers University, our local Giving What We Can chapter has run the Giving Games several times during the annual Rutgers Day (sorry we never wrote about it). Our situation is slightly different: as a University club we get the table for free, and have dozens of people stop by (larger audience). Unfortunately, the crowd isn't as well-targeted as in your case; but as a plus-side, i's very local, and the table is run by members of the club which I think is generally rewarding for them (at least it was for me).

I hope more university clubs take advantage of this inviting and potentially very educational way of tabling!

Comment author: ChrisCundy 01 August 2016 05:31:45PM 1 point [-]

For anyone interested in learning more, I'm giving a whole workshop about how to do really well at this sort of tabling / large audience set-up at EA Global, at 9am in the Mandrone; I'll be writing up the whole thing later.

Comment author: ChrisCundy 01 August 2016 04:12:45AM 2 points [-]

Thanks for writing this up Gleb! I'm doing an EA Global workshop on pitching EA (though with a bit more focus on university groups), so I'd be interested to know if you have any idea how many people passed by your stall and didn't engage? Was it all of the attendees, or was it possible for attendees to bypass the stall?

Comment author: RandomEA 30 July 2016 10:16:07PM *  2 points [-]

Here are a few ideas for improvement that may be worth considering:

This Year's Survey Results Document

1) Add page numbers for ease of reference

2) Revise the document so that the Key Findings on page 2/3, the table on page 11/12, the table on page 12/13, the table on page 18/19, the table on page 28/29, and the abbreviations on page 31/32 each display on a single page

3) Add percentages to the age histogram on page 14, the location table on page 15, the career table on page 18/19, and the graph on page 22

4) For the table on page 26, add a "Total" column and a "Total" row that show both the number and the percentage of respondents choosing each option for each of the two questions

Future Surveys

1) Ask people for the dollar amount they donated to each broad cause area to get an estimate of what percent of money donated by EAs goes to each cause area

2) Ask people who changed their career or career plan because of EA which career type (earning to give, direct work, research) they are now pursuing instead

3) It might be interesting to ask people whether they tell non-EAs about EA and if yes, the number of non-EAs they have convinced to become an EA

4) It might be interesting to have a marital status question as well as a question about whether those who are married are married to another EA

Overall it's a great survey with very useful information. Thank you for all of your effort!

Comment author: ChrisCundy 01 August 2016 04:08:08AM 0 points [-]

Thank you for the feedback!

Comment author: vipulnaik 30 July 2016 04:35:20AM 3 points [-]

I have two questions.

(1) The number of donors per charity was included and even broken down by referral type, but the total amount of money moved per charity was not (I believe) disclosed. I'm wondering if this is data you intentionally left out of the analysis (for privacy reasons) or just happened not to include. I would be interested in that data since it can help convey the seriousness of donations. If privacy considerations are an issue, you might wish to disclose the number only for the charities that got at least ten donors.

(2) Somewhat related to Dan Keys' point: the feedback time between the year of donations (2014) and the time the results are released (July 2016) is larger than ideal. You mentioned that the reason for having to do it this way was that the survey was conducted prior to the end of 2015. I'm wondering if it might make more sense to conduct the survey around the end of January, and then have the results released a little before the Giving Season of the next year. Is this something you've considered, and/or are there other ways you expect the feedback loop to be shorter in subsequent years?

Comment author: ChrisCundy 30 July 2016 07:34:02PM 1 point [-]

(1) We didn't ask people how much money they donated to individual charities, that's right. The data is available in the github repository for the project - search for 'github' in the report

(2) I agree that conducting the survey at the start of the calendar year would be better. Whether we would do that depends to some extent on whether we'd want to wait six months until we start the next survey. We are tightening up the feedback loop - we're improving the code used to analyse it every time. This year the survey was handed around quite a few people - we hope next year to have a dedicated person who can focus entirely full-time on it.

Comment author: Dan_Keys 30 July 2016 04:00:40AM 6 points [-]

For the analysis of donations, which asked about donations in 2014, I'd like to see the numbers for people who became EAs in 2013 or earlier (including the breakdowns for non-students and for donations as % of income for those with income of $10,000 or more).

37% of respondents first got involved with EA in 2015, so their 2014 donations do not tell us much about the donation behavior of EAs. Another 24% first got involved with EA in 2014, and it's unclear how much their 2014 donations tell us given that they only began to be involved in EA midyear.

Comment author: ChrisCundy 30 July 2016 07:24:28PM *  3 points [-]

That is a very good point, and ties in to vipulnaik's point below about starting the survey collection time just after the start of a year so that donation information can be recorded for the immediately preceding year.

I've quickly run the numbers and the median donation in 2014 for the 467 people who got involved in 2013 or earlier was $1,500, so significantly higher than that for EAs overall. This is not including people who didn't say what year they got involved, so probably cuts a few people out who did get involved before 2014 but can't remember. Also if we have constant attrition from the EA movement then you'd expect the pre-2014 EAs to be more committed as a whole

This is a very good point and is making me lean towards vipulnaik's suggestion for future surveys, as this problem will be just as pressing if the movement continues to grow at the rate it has done.


The 2015 Survey of Effective Altruists: Results and Analysis

After many months of hard work from everyone on the .impact team, this year's EA Survey results are finally available. It's a long document (~25 pages), however,  so we've put it together in an external PDF . Introduction In November 2015, a team from  .impact  released a survey of the... Read More

View more: Next