Sunday, April 10, 2011

The Moral Experiment - Moving Forward

It’s been an eventful few months to say the least.  The ‘Moral Experiment’ is real and is here. People are joining and most importantly people are talking. I am very excited to know that I have stirred the proverbial melting pot of perceptions on morality. Some participants have informed me that it took several hours to decided on what to do with their ‘Moral Earnings’. This took me back a bit, something I created actually stopped them in their tracks and forced them to question them-selves. I felt like an artist whom created a great work proving thought from its onlooker. This feedback has stimulated more motivation within me to push on with the project.  Thank you.


The ‘Moral Experiment has started to get some press below are a few articles: published an article called ‘The origins and effects of morality’ – ‘The Moral Experiment is a revolutionary social networking concept; it has the potential to make history. It has been designed to harness the power of a participant’s online social network and can be many things to many people: fun, insightful, controversial, charitable or profitable.’ – Scientist David Bradley. Read the article here.

Also a few months back the site was picked up by the good people at they wrote an article called ‘Website Uses Dictator Game for (Mostly) Charity’. It was great to read what people really thought of the concept. The geek in me went crazy when I found out that had published an article on the experiment. One geek ambition, to be published by the world’s most read blog, complete. Read the article here.

The results:

I believe it’s still too early to draw any valid conclusions from the experiments results. There are some interesting trends that are coming out of the results, like females always seem to be more giving than males. And that there is only a fluctuation of 4% of average morality between different religions where as there is a 55% fluctuation in employment; the retired to students. This says to me that social circumstances rather than fear of ‘god/s’ have more of an impact on what a participant will do with their ‘Moral Earnings’. Again it’s still early days and I have somewhat of a way to go before the volume of data can credibly back this up.
Originally I was only displaying the average morality of people who had actually got a referral to the experiment but as more people joined the experiment and then didn’t actually get any referrals, there data was being wasted, hidden from anybody interested in that demographic. So I decided to change the way the results are displayed. Now anybody can chose between the morality of participants who have joined and earned money from referrals and participants who have not earned any money via their link.


I really want the results of the ‘Moral Experiment’ to be look upon as truthful.  I require assistance finding how I can validate the results of the experiment. I want the results to have credibility, if you are a well know scientist or a well established trusted group/company that would like to audit and validate the results please contact me.


I am happy to introduce a new charity as a beneficiary of the Moral Experiment – ‘Thanda After-School is a project in rural KwaZulu-Natal, South Africa, that provides daily support to orphans and other vulnerable children. We use already-existing local resources -- from classrooms to soccer fields -- to engage 325 children, ages 5-22, in after-school activities. We employ young role models from within the community to be mentors for these students, filling the developmental and emotional gaps left by missing parents and overwhelmed caregivers.’ -

I am also currently in talks with a few other large charities that have shown an interest in getting involved. Fingers crossed the ‘Moral Experiment’ can help out too.

If you are a charity and would like to get involved and accept donation from participants of the ‘Moral Experiment’ please contact me.

There is no charge involved in becoming a beneficiary the only requirement is a PayPal account and a valid registered charity number.

More feedback:

I like feedback! The good, the bad and the ugly. Most people who I don’t personally know that have given me feedback have all been intellectually in tune to what I am trying to achieve. Feedback has been honest and at times cutting. I have always acted to clear up any misunderstanding their maybe and hear their points of view. I have made several changes to the reports and the administration of a participants accounts from this feedback. I have also now added comments sections on all of the reports so we can all hear your views on the results.

What’s new?

New reports and visualizations:
I can’t really take any credit for the visualization of the data as it’s a free Google API. Thank you Google for being so generous with your software.. The data is obviously not Googles though. If you want to know more on how I used Googles API go to.

The idea of improving the data visualization came to me via a participant ‘Bevan’ who suggested I displayed the data in a more informed and interesting way. He suggested I look at some work by Hans Rosling on Ted Talks. Check out his amazing work:
View his data: click here.

Changing your morals:
As a participant you can now change your morality, mood and charity whenever you want to. The change will only take affect going forward and will not change what you chose to do with your ‘Moral Earnings’ before the change. This is a really exciting feature for me. I record the amount of ‘Moral Earnings’ that’s been earned and the morality, mood and charity before the change. I think it’s going to be really interesting to see at what point participants will change their morality for good or bad. Does everybody have a price?

More moods:
Since having a chat with a few participants regard the current moods on offer I have decided to add several more for participants to choose from.  Happy, Sad, Angry, Easy going, Giving, Selfish, Spiritual, Intoxicated, Guilty, Desperate, Self loathing, Self loving, Flush, Satisfied.

What’s next?

Marketing, I need help… I know that the ‘Moral Experiment’ has huge potential to change people’s lives. The biggest problem I have is getting the site on new participant’s radars. I need to give more help to the participants when sharing and advertise their link. I need to get some more press to the site. If you know of any journalists who are looking for a story or want to conduct an interview I would be very grateful for the exposure.

I have invited a friend to help me out and try and get some more charities and exposure to the site. I look forward to seeing what she comes up with J

Who am I?

I am just a normal person, with a passion for software development and the big questions in life. I really want to do some good in this world. I am personally funding the running of the ‘Moral Experiment Limited’. Some people are questioning why there is an admin fee associated with joining the ‘Moral Experiment’. The answer is quite simple. Software development, designers, marketing,  servers, software licenses are not free. I have a full time job that is currently covering these costs but as the site grows my salary will not cover these costs and support my family at the same time.

Here is some more information about me:


The participants of the experiment have so far to date 10/04/2011 donated £129.18 they have an average morality of 88%. Charities have been and are free to collect their donations using PayPal. To all the participants that donated their 'Moral Earnings', Thank you and keep on spreading the word. To all the other participants who didn't donate to charity; enjoy your earnings and keep spreading the 'Moral Experiment'.