This year's EA Survey is now ready to be shared! This is a survey of all EAs to learn about the movement and how it can improve. The data collected in the survey is used to help EA groups improve and grow EA. Data is also used to populate the map of EAs, create new EA meetup groups, and create EA Profiles and the EA Donation Registry.
If you are an EA or otherwise familiar with the community, we hope you will take it using this link. All results will be anonymised and made publicly available to members of the EA community. As an added bonus, one random survey taker will be selected to win a $250 donation to their favorite charity.
Take the EA Survey
Please share the survey with others who might be interested using this link rather than the one above: http://bit.ly/1OqsVWo
For reference, here are the results from last year's survey, along with Peter's analysis of them. This includes a link to a Github repository including the raw data, with names and email addresses removed.
Notable findings included:
1 Based on my current impressions of changing and growing cause selections within effective altruism, here are some other causes I believe it would've been useful to include this year, and perhaps can be added to next year's survey.
2 Based on my current impressions of the growing number of major effective altruism organizations, here are some other organizations I believe it would've been useful to include this year as sources for first hearing about effective altruism, and perhaps can be added to next year's survey.
3 Based on my current impressions of the growing number of major effective altruism organizations, and also their recommended charities, I expect it would make sense to include in the list of charities asked if donated to this year, and perhaps can be included next year:
Really, of all the lists which don't have enough options this year, this one is the most lacking. Note: there has been rapid change to the effective altruism community as of late, with an unusually rapid expansion in the number of organizations recognized as effective in 2015 than in prior years. Thus, I consider it understandable the team running the EA Survey this year hasn't been able to keep up pace with the growing and full list of organizations favored by the broader effective altruism community.
4 For education levels, between "High school (and lower)" and "Undergraduate degree", I'd include "2-year college/Associate's degree" as another option.
5 For the question "What broad career are you planning to follow?", I believe it would've been useful to include the following options in this year's survey, and perhaps can be added to next year's survey:
That's all. Otherwise, assume anything else I didn't comment on is free or any errors or conspicuous omissions (I could notice). Great work!
I've always thought that "if I were to give, I should maximize the effectiveness of that giving" but I did not give much nor consider myself an EA. I had a slight tinge of "not sure if EA is a thing I should advocate or adopt." I had the impression that my set of beliefs probably didn't cross over with EAs and I needed to learn more about where those gaps were and why they existed.
Recently through Robert Wiblin's facebook have encountered more interesting arguments and content in EA. I had no concrete beliefs about EA, only vague impressions (not having had much time to research it in depth in the past). I had developed an impression that EA was about people maximizing giving to a self-sacrificial degree that I found uncomfortable. I also have repeatedly bounced off the animal activism - I have a hard time separating my pleasure of eating meat from my understanding of the ethical arguments. (So, I figured I would be considered a lawful evil person to the average EA).
However, now having read a few more things even just today, I feel like these are misplaced perceptions of the movement. Reading the 2014 summary, posted in a comment here from Tog, makes me think that:
EAs give in a pattern similar to what I would give. However, I personally favor the ex-risk and teaching rationality stuff probably a bit higher than the mean.
EAs give about as much as I'd be willing to give before I run into egoist problems (where it becomes painful in a stupid way I need to work to correct). So 10% seems very reasonable to me. For whatever reason, I had thought that "EA" meant "works to give most of what they earn and live a spartan life." I think this comes from not knowing any EAs and instead reading 80,000 hours and other resources not completely processing the message correctly. Probably some selective reading going on and I need to review how that happened.
The "donate to one charity" argument is so much easier for me to plan around.
Overall I should have read the 2014 results much sooner and it helped me realize that my perspective is probably a lot closer to the average LWer than I had thought. This makes me feel like taking further steps to learn more about EA and make concrete plans to give some specific amount from an EA perspective is a thing I should do. Which is weird, because I could have done all of that anyway, but was letting myself bounce off of the un-pleasurable conclusions of giving up meat eating or giving a large portion of my income away. Neither of which I have to do in the short term to both give effectively or participate in the EA community. Derp.
How about promoting in Main? Was promoted last year IIRC. I think the overlap of the communities can justify this. Disclosure: I'm biased as an aspiring effective altruist.
I'd also like to see the results on LW this year!
Is there a deadline for when the survey will close?
Yep - we were thinking Dec 31st, but we've now decided to make it Jan 31st as some student EA groups have said they'd like to share it in their newsletters after students return from the holidays.
Maybe this should be posted in Discussion? That way more people will see it.