When interacting with others you can be considerate of their preferences, for instance by being friendly or reliable. This normally has small positive direct effects. But, by improving your reputation or strengthening aspects of culture that make a community more cooperative, the positive indirect effects can be large.

Considerateness: One is being considerate if the way one treats others, in personal interactions and communications, is notably guided by how they would like to be treated.

First, actions undertaken within the community will affect one’s reputation among members of the community, as well as the social capital of the community. Second, actions undertaken as part of the community which are externally visible will affect its reputation and may, in some circumstances, have an outsized impact on the social capital of society at large.

n this article, we have taken an initial stab on these questions. We have argued that the indirect effects of considerateness are amplified when you act as a member of the effective altruism community. This means that though considerateness carries costs, and though there are some circumstances in which you should not be considerate, overall the positive effects of considerateness turns out to be surprisingly strong.

Read the full article at effectivealtruism.org