Use of Affiliate Links

I believe ethics are one of the critical foundations not only of individual professions–and especially psychology and research–but also an important foundation for a free and just society.

I sometimes share information about books or products that I use and believe my readers may benefit from. I use affiliate links when linking to such products, and the remainder of this page describes my principles regarding the use of affiliate links and what affiliate earnings support.

Principles:

I only link to products that I have personally paid for (or, in the case of a book, perhaps borrowed from a library) and do not provide reviews or recommendation for any product that was provided to me without charge or as an incentive for a positive review or other coverage.

Earnings:

Twenty-five (25.0) percent of all earnings are donated to the Against Malaria Foundation, the top-ranked charity by GiveWell.org, which conducts in-depth research aiming to determine how much good a given program accomplishes in terms of lives saved or improved per dollar spent. Malaria disproportionately affects children under age 5 and can be prevented with the use of simple, insecticide-treated bed nets and appropriate education about their use.

The remaining earnings support the maintenance and hosting of this website.

Additional background:

I have been interested in the ethics and psychology of expert product recommendations since my earliest work in health care. Considerable research has investigated the influence of pharmaceutical companies on physician prescribing habits, for example, and I’d encourage you to visit ProPublica’s Dollars for Doctors to consider the role of gifts, payments, and even non-monetary incentives in your physician’s prescription decisions. Most concerning is the fact that docs are not aware that they are affected, while the aggregate prescription data tell a different story.

If you are a health care professional with prescription privileges, consider pledging “No Free Lunch” (or pens, paper, tissues, clipboards, drug samples, phone cases…you get the idea!).