Re: 4 & 5 – it’s kind of an edge case, because I think everyone is motivated by both egoistic & altruistic drives to some degree.
I don’t know of any evidence that donating effectively makes someone happier than just donating.
Similarly, I don’t know of any evidence that the donations<>happiness link scales linearly with donation size. (My guess is that the link is heavily sublinear.)
I agree that the link is probably heavily sublinear. But I wonder if it becomes less sublinear if one is more conscious of impact-per-dollar.
I’ve had this experience myself, sort of, in that I began to enjoy giving more after I found EA and my previous “well, I hope this works” feeling resolved into “yes, I found the best deal on helping!”. And since I know that I’ve found a good deal with high-EV returns, giving more does feel better, just as it would if I were depositing more money into a high-yield investment. Meanwhile, because I have enough money to be materially comfortable, the idea of “$1000 in savings lets me skip working for another two weeks in 40 years, assuming I even want to stop working” doesn’t hold much appeal, compared to “spending $1000 on one of the world’s best products”.
I think there are many other use-cases for savings than just retiring earlier (e.g. Jeff & Julia’s mercury catastrophe, which cost $50,000 to clean up).
This is certainly true! Money can buy almost anything, including security against future disasters. I’m only making a personal claim about myself and my own use of money. I personally often feel like giving is the form of spending that will make me “happiest”, because it feels like a direct path to me getting a sense of personal satisfaction in a way that saving often doesn’t.
People are more likely to give when certain markers of “effectiveness” are satisfied (e.g. you tell them exactly how the money will be spent, you tell them the charity is relatively low-overhead, you tell them how much progress you’ve made toward solving a problem).
“More likely to give” =/= “more happy after giving”, but it does seem to represent something like “anticipates being happier after giving” (that’s a reasonable interpretation for why people do almost anything with money).
These claims come from what I remember about writing a thesis on giving behavior. The relevant material starts on p. 59, items (1), (4), and (6), though I’m synthesizing a broader base of evidence here (plus a bit of intuition from my experiences talking about EA with people outside the community).