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Comment by sachi on Scope Insensitivity · 2019-07-02T21:11:24.569Z · score: 3 (2 votes) · LW · GW

I have a question. (I’m not questioning the scope insensitivity though, well, kinda)

Let’s just say people would pay the same amount for 2000,20000,and 200000 birds saved. But wouldn’t 200000 birds cause a bigger reaction in the society so that more people would pay?

Let’s say there are 1000 people paying for 2000 birds (each 80 dollars). But 20000 would raise a stronger attention which leads to 10000 people willing to pay, same for 200000 birds saved.

I think. It also might be somehow related to the bystander effect, as people generally believe if there’s 200000 birds drowning from oil, there would be more of other people paying. Which gives them the feeling of: other people probably already paid more, why would I need to increase the number?

People tend to have a feeling along the lines of: “ they must have asked more people to donate for all the lakes in Ontario than just one area, if more people pay, then the result is the same, even if I pay only a little.”

If X is the number each person if willing to pay, Z is the amount of money needed to save the birds, there’s also another factor, Y, which is how many people are willing to pay.

If for 2000 birds X times Y is equals to Z

And the amount of birds increase to 20000

X doesn’t change

Z is ten times more than before

But isn’t Y also ten times more?

X times 10Y is equals to 10Z

So is it not a bias anymore? I just feel like the real situation might be more complex.

Although I’m not sure wheather my assumption of “the bigger social attention” is true. I don’t know anything, I’m still in high school. (English is also not my first language)