The desire to do good for the less fortunate is always praiseworthy, but it's also easier said than accomplished. Large-scale attempts to help the needy — such as social programs and charitable interventions — are tricky, and backfire more often than you'd think.
To illustrate this point, we've created this free, short quiz, which asks you to guess whether 10 different social interventions had positive, negative, or neutral results, based on short descriptions.
The interventions were taken from those reviewed by the Campbell Collaboration, which brings together all the highest-quality research that's available on major social interventions to decide whether they're effective or not. We chose the top ten interventions that were easiest to explain and had the clearest conclusions, so it's clear what the answers are. You'll be asked about the following interventions:
Second responder programs
Drug substitution programs
School-based social information processing
Preventative home visits for older adults
Mindfulness-based stress reduction
Formal juvenile court processing
Correctional boot camps
Restorative justice conferencing
Scared Straight programs
The quiz has the following features:
Immediate feedback on every answer
Sources documenting each program's outcome
A scoring system so you can evaluate your instincts
A report detailing your results versus the average user's
Try it out now to quickly learn about some effective social programs — and to find out whether you can distinguish them from their less useful cousins.