How Effective Altruism Can Help Psychologists Maximize Their Impact

Izzy Gainsburg, Shiva Pauer, Nawal Abboub, Eamon T. Aloyo, Jean Christophe Mourrat, Alejandrina Cristia

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Although many psychologists are interested in making the world a better place through their work, they are often unable to have the impact that they would like. Here, we suggest that both individuals and psychology as a field can better improve human welfare by incorporating ideas from effective altruism, a growing movement whose members aim to do the most good by using science and reason to inform their efforts. In this article, we first briefly introduce effective altruism and review important principles that can be applied to how psychologists approach their work, such as the importance, tractability, and neglectedness framework. We then review how effective altruism can inform individual psychologists’ choices. Finally, we close with a discussion of ideas for how psychology, as a field, can increase its positive impact. By applying insights from effective altruism to psychological science, we aim to integrate a new theoretical framework into psychological science, stimulate new areas of research, start a discussion on how psychology can maximize its impact, and inspire the psychology community to do the most good.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)239-253
Number of pages15
JournalPerspectives on Psychological Science
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 2023


  • effective altruism
  • metascience

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Psychology


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