Cognitive and emotional barriers to EA’s growth

This morn­ing I gave a col­lo­quium to my Psy­chol­ogy Depart­ment here at Univer­sity of New Mex­ico. Most of the 30+ au­di­ence mem­bers had never heard of EA, al­though a few had a vague idea about it.

I an­a­lyzed 10 cog­ni­tive and emo­tional bar­ri­ers that peo­ple face in ac­cept­ing EA ap­proaches to moral ac­tivism, from con­fir­ma­tion bias and speciesism to scope-in­sen­si­tivity and The­ory of Mind failures in un­der­stand­ing likely AGI sys­tems.

I also made a pitch for more psy­chol­ogy grad stu­dents and fac­ulty to get in­volved in EA, to share our ex­per­tise on hu­man na­ture, statis­tics, re­search de­sign, pub­lic out­reach, pro­gram eval­u­a­tion, men­tal health welfare is­sues, etc.

The pow­er­point is here if any­one’s in­ter­ested: https://​​ge­offrey-mil­ler-y5jr.squares­​​s/​​EA-talk-march09-pub­lic-shorter-tcdh.pptx

I’ve pro­posed to give a similar but shorter talk at the Hu­man Be­hav­ior and Evolu­tion So­ciety (HBES) con­fer­ence this June in Am­s­ter­dam, which is the main evolu­tion­ary psy­chol­ogy re­search meet­ing—so I’d ap­pre­ci­ate any feed­back on this ver­sion.