Izzy Gainsburg, Likert Prize Winner

How Effective Altruism Can Help Behavioral and Organizational Scientists Increase Their Social Impact
Izzy Gainsburg, Harvard University


Winter 2023
Lecture Time: 
Friday, April 14, 2023 - 1:30pm to 3:00pm
Lecture Location: 

R0220, Ross building

Introduced By: 
Grace Hochrein


Behavioral and organizational scientists often want their work to help make the world a better place. People in these fields, however, do not always have an organizing framework to guide them in these efforts. In today’s talk, I discuss how effective altruism (EA)—a growing movement based on using science and reason to guide efforts to do good—can help behavioral and organizational scientists achieve their prosocial goals, both as individuals and as a field. First, I’ll briefly introduce effective altruism and review important principles that people can apply to various elements of their work, such as importance, tractability, neglectedness, and personal fit. I’ll then review concrete examples of current and new actions that people can take as teachers, clinicians, scholars, and consultants. Finally, I’ll discuss field-level efforts that may help behavioral and organizational scientists increase their positive impact. Ultimately, I hope that this talk can contribute to the broader discussion on how our science can maximize its positive impact and inspire audience members to figure out ways that they can do the most good in their careers.

Recording & Additional Notes

Izzy Gainsburg is a behavior scientist focused on how to help people do the most good. He is currently a Postdoctoral Fellow in the Harvard Kennedy School, where his work flows in three related streams of research: 1) testing methods that people and organizations can take to create more equitable and inclusive environments; 2) leveraging emotion-regulation to both increase and debias altruistic behavior; and 3) exploring the intersection of psychology and effective altruism, such as understanding the psychology underlying which social causes people prioritize and meta-scientific efforts to understand which research questions and interventions are most impactful for psychologists to pursue.