It's that time of year again.

If you are reading this post, and have not been sent here by some sort of conspiracy trying to throw off the survey results, then you are the target population for the Less Wrong Census/Survey. Please take it. Doesn't matter if you don't post much. Doesn't matter if you're a lurker. Take the survey.

This year's census contains a "main survey" that should take about ten or fifteen minutes, as well as a bunch of "extra credit questions". You may do the extra credit questions if you want. You may skip all the extra credit questions if you want. They're pretty long and not all of them are very interesting. But it is very important that you not put off doing the survey or not do the survey at all because you're intimidated by the extra credit questions.

It also contains a chance at winning a MONETARY REWARD at the bottom. You do not need to fill in all the extra credit questions to get the MONETARY REWARD, just make an honest stab at as much of the survey as you can.

Please make things easier for my computer and by extension me by reading all the instructions and by answering any text questions in the simplest and most obvious possible way. For example, if it asks you "What language do you speak?" please answer "English" instead of "I speak English" or "It's English" or "English since I live in Canada" or "English (US)" or anything else. This will help me sort responses quickly and easily. Likewise, if a question asks for a number, please answer with a number such as "4", rather than "four".

Last year there was some concern that the survey period was too short, or too uncertain. This year the survey will remain open until 23:59 PST December 31st 2013, so as long as you make time to take it sometime this year, you should be fine. Many people put it off last year and then forgot about it, so why not take it right now while you are reading this post?

Okay! Enough preliminaries! Time to take the...


2013 Less Wrong Census/Survey


Thanks to everyone who suggested questions and ideas for the 2013 Less Wrong Census/Survey. I regret I was unable to take all of your suggestions into account, because of some limitations in Google Docs, concern about survey length, and contradictions/duplications among suggestions. I think I got most of them in, and others can wait until next year.

By ancient tradition, if you take the survey you may comment saying you have done so here, and people will upvote you and you will get karma.

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Surveyed. Having everyone participate in a Prisoner's Dillema is extremely ingenious.

Edit: Hey, guys, stop upvoting this! You have already falsified my answer to survey's karma question by an order of magnitude!

Edit much later: The lesswrong community is now proved evil.

Edit much more later: Bwahaha, I expected that... Thanks for the karma and stuff...

Taken. It was relatively quick; the questions were easy. Thanks for improving the survey!

Two notes: The question about mental illness has no "None" answers; thus you cannot distinguish between people who had none, and people who didn't answer the question. The question about income did not make clear whether it's pre-tax or post-tax.

Are you planning to do any analysis on what traits are associated with defection? That could get ugly fast.

(I took the survey)


Well, remember that that's a zero sum game within the community since it's coming out of Yvain's pocket. I was going to reflexivly cooperate, then I remembered that I was cooperating in transfering money from someone who was nice enough to create this survey, to people who were only nice enough to answer.

This was my initial thought, too. But then it occurred to me that Yvain wants to incentivize people to take the survey, and more people will be so incentivized if the reward is larger. Thus, I can acausally help Yvain achieve his goal by cooperating. This will only influence people who know something about how the reward works before they decide to take the survey, but it still seemed worth it, so I cooperated.
Cooperating for reasons other than "I expect cooperating to make other people cooperate" gives people a reason to defect and make the total (and your expected) reward lower. I've done the math elsewhere in this thread, and if at least a third of all respondents decide to cooperate no matter what, the optimal solution is to just defect and take their money.
Yes. And I did cooperate because I expected that it would make other people cooperate (acausally). I was explaining why I wanted more people to cooperate, even though it would mean that Yvain would lose more money. Good. Then a defector has been enticed to take the survey.

I have taken the survey (and answered, to a good approximation, all the questions).

Note that if you take the survey and comment here immediately after, Yvain can probably identify which survey is yours. If this possibility troubles you, you may wish to delay. On the other hand, empirically it seems that earlier comments get more karma.

I conjecture that more than 5% of entrants will experience a substantial temptation to give SQUEAMISH OSSIFRAGE as their passphrase at the end. The purpose of this paragraph is to remark that (1) if you, the reader, are so tempted then that is evidence that I am right, and (2) if so then giving in to the temptation is probably a bad idea.

I have taken the survey and done exactly this. I have also chosen COOPERATE. I figure doing so is cooperating in two ways; assuming a large number of people give SQUEAMISH OSSIFRAGE, Yvain will either discard those tickets or split the prize between them. If it is split, then the squeamish people are cooperating with each other by making it more likely that all of us will receive something, albeit a smaller amount. If the tickets are discarded, then we are cooperating with non-squeamish people. Gifting them, really; they are more likely to win a prize because we have opted out, and it will be marginally larger because I chose COOPERATE. Of course this procedure is probably defection against Yvain, who will have to deal with his system being subverted. Oops.
My guess is that if lots of people give the same passphrase and one of them wins the draw, Yvain will simply hold another draw among the people who claim to have won. Also, for the sums we're talking about I bet your utility is close enough to linear that the difference between (say) "certainly $5" and "$60 with probability 1/12" is very small. (Perhaps it feels larger on account of some cognitive bias, though introspecting I think the two really feel basically equivalent to me.)
Hrm. Damn, that would be a sane solution and obviates both my mucking about and your own. My net utility for winning is as close to zero as makes no difference; I make enough that it's unimportant, so the marginal value of the money is probably worth less than the time it would take to arrange the exchange. My utility for playing amusing games with systems of this sort is rather higher, however.
I was temped, but didn't for the obvious reasons.
Is the karma related to actually taking it? Or should I post "took the survey" now, and then take it later to preserve my privacy?
If you don't mind lying about something trivial for karma+privacy, that seems like a fine idea.
Then one just has to post as early as possible, and then take the survey at one's leisure :P

I took the survey. My apologies for not doing so in every previous year I've been here, and for not finding time for the extra questions this year.

The race question should probably use checkboxes (2^N answers) rather than radio boxes (N answers). Biracial people aren't that uncommon.

Living "with family" is slightly ambiguous; I almost selected it instead of "with partner/spouse" since our kids are living with us, but I suspected that wasn't the intended meaning.


The race question should probably use checkboxes (2^N answers) rather than radio boxes (N answers)

Same with the diagnoses question. But I don't think that Yvain's software deals well with checkboxes. They seem to have much more radiobuttons this year.

Yes. I, who proposed the question, had worded those answers “with parents (and/or siblings)” and “with partner/spouse (and/or children)” respectively.

Surveyed. Left several questions blank.

Incidentally, while I answered the "akrasia" questions about mental illnesses, therapy, etc. as best I could, it's perhaps worth noting that most of my answers related to a period of my life after suffering traumatic brain injury that significantly impaired my cognitive function, and therefore might be skewing the results... or maybe not, depending on what the questions were trying to get at

I took the survey.

However, this question confused me:

Time in Community How long, in years, have you been in the Overcoming Bias/Less Wrong community? Enter periods less than 1 year in decimal, eg "0.5" for six months (hint: if you've been here since the start of the community in November 2007, put 6 years)"

(emphasis mine)

The wording confused me; I almost put "6 years" instead of "6" because of it.

Also, I was sorely tempted to respond that I do not read instructions and am going to ruin everything, and then answer the rest of that section, including the test question, correctly. I successfully resisted that temptation, of which fact I am proud.

Also, I was sorely tempted to respond that I do not read instructions and am going to ruin everything, and then answer the rest of that section, including the test question, correctly. I successfully resisted that temptation, of which fact I am proud.




Nice to see the reactionaries got their bone thrown to them on the politics section.


Survey taken. The very last question made me laugh out loud. It also proved to me that this is truly my type of community.

Taken, Answering all questions. I answered the last question (Co-operate or Defect) only after coming back and reading the comments, but I think I forgot to put in my passphrase so it doesn't really matter.


Finally decided to register for an account here. That reward structure will be fun to watch.


Made an account here to comment that I filled out the survey, and to make future participation more likely.

I have never posted on LW before, but this seems like a fine first time to do so.

I am really very curious to see the results of the real world cooperate/defect choice at the bottom of the test.

Surveyed. Put a humorous pair of Lojban lujvo as a passphrase. I cooperated, knowing that regardless, I was unlikely to win no matter what strategy I pursued, and that priming myself by forcing myself to cooperate now would possibly make me unknowingly want to cooperate in the future to my benefit.

Survey taken.

I found the Europe question awesome because I, incredibly luckily, had checked Europe's total population for a Fermi estimate just yesterday, so I got to feel like a high accuracy, highly calibrated badass. Of course, that also means it's not good data for things that I learned greater than ~1 day ago.

Having seen this map a couple months ago hugely helped me with that question, BTW.

Survey Taken.

dude, no "jewish" religious background? seems like a serious omission unless my priors are all screwed up.

I'm sorry. I'm not sure how that happened. Must have accidentally gotten deleted when I was adding in the Eastern Orthodox stuff. The question has been fixed and "Jewish" is now an option.

Sorry I blew the conspiracy :-p
0Said Achmiz
I assume having written in "Jewish" under "Other" will properly place my response in the correct bucket?
Probably not for the 'official' analysis that Yvain runs - it's an awful lot of work to go through and clean up hundreds (thousands?) of long survey results so IIRC in past years all "Other" fill-in-the-blanks have been essentially discarded. However, the data (or that which was not asked to be kept private) is released after the fact you'd be welcome to do the analysis yourself.

Survey completed in full. Begging for karma as per ancient custom.

I choose DEFECT because presumably the money is coming out of CFAR's pocket and I assume they can use the money better than whichever random person wins the raffle. If I win, I commit to requesting it be given as an anonymous donation to CFAR.

EDIT: Having been persuaded my Yvain and Vaniver, I reverse my position and intend to spend the prize on myself. Unfortunately I've already defected and now it's too late to not be an asshole! Sorry about that. Only the slightly higher chance of winning can soothe my feelings of guilt.

The money is coming out of my pocket, it is not funging against any other charitable donations, and I am in favor of someone claiming the prize and using it to buy something nice that they like.

In that case, I pre-commit that if I win, I'll spend it on something leisure-related or some treat that I otherwise wouldn't be able to justify the money to purchase. I co-operated; I'd already committed myself to co-operating on any Prisoner's Dilemma involving people I believed to be rational. I'd like to say it was easy, but I did have to think about it. However, I stuck to my guns and obeyed the original logic that got me to pre-commit in the first place. If I assume other people are about as rational as me, than a substantial majority of people should think similarly to me. That means that if I decide that everyone else will co-operate and thus I can defect, there's a good chance other people will come to the same conclusion as well. The best way to go about it is to pre-commit to co-operation, and hope that other rational people will do the same. Thanks for the chance to test my beliefs with actual stakes on the line :)
My reasoning on this is in complete agreement of yours.
I am not sure I follow. If you predict that majority of 'rational' people (say more than 50%) would pre-commit to cooperation, then you had a great opportunity to shaft them by defecting and running with their money. Personally, I decided to defect as to ensure that other people who also defected won't take advantage of me.
That's the correct response when playing against rational players who are also trying to win, but if you actually look at the comments you'll see that most people are deciding to cooperate or defect for a variety of reasons. So I think in this case cooperation is (sadly) not the best move.
Sure other survey-takers may be roughly as rational as you, but that doesn't mean they're likely to do something as specific as precommitting to cooperation on prisoner's dilemmas.
Well, I can't argue with that. I'm editing my previous comment to reverse my previous position.

presumably the money is coming out of CFAR's pocket

I think the money is coming out of Yvain's pocket, actually.

I cooperated, and I precommit to waiving my prize if I win.

I believe there is a strong argument for taking the prize, even if you don't need it, and not donating the prize, even if you would like to, so that people who are actually motivated by prizes do not feel they are obligated to waive or donate their prize. (A prime example of this is George Washington, one of the richest men in America at the time, who thought it was silly that he was getting a salary as president, and that it would be more public-minded of him to not collect his salary. He was convinced that if he did so, he might set a precedent, and this would prevent anyone but the independently wealthy from seeking the presidency.)

Schelling had something to say about that too.
I defected, for similar reasons (without having read the comments, I just assumed that I'd be likely to prefer funds to whoever volunteered to fund this than to a random survey-taker, particularly weighted towards a survey-taker who defected). I'm afraid Yvain's answer here would not be enough to get me to switch. If the rest of the $60 prize was to be burned -- effectively a wealth redistribution among capital holders -- I'd cooperate.

I can't wait to see the Cooperate/Defect ratio. I, for one, chose to cooperate.

Oh wow, you really cut down on the extra credit questions this time- no links to external tests! Not sure if I like that or not; in particular, now we only have one IQ source to look at. But oh well.

(I took the survey.)





The IQ question should, like with the SAT/ACT, make it clear you should leave it blank if you've not been tested. And the same with the follow-up in calibration.

Survey taken.


The occupation thing could have been a checkbox, for us who are e.g. both students and doing for-profit work.

The income question could have used a clarification of whether it was pre- or post-tax. (I assumed pre-.)

Yeah, I'm both a student and am self-employed. I guessed pre-tax, but the number is going to be very different otherwise (for me anyway).
I am both studying and working for profit. I am studying STEM and working in [other] areas. I desired an option to choose this.
2Said Achmiz
Seconded on "occupation should be checkboxes" thing.
When I run into a radio button group that I have multiple answers for I select one randomly. (While taking this survey I literally flipped a coin.) Edit: I'm not particularly arguing that occupation shouldn't have been checkboxes, but for something where most people will have a single answer, radio buttons do make the data a bit simpler to deal with.

Done. I'm glad there was nothing about Schrodinger this time around.


Surveyed, requesting free internet points.


I took the survey.

I completed every question on the survey that I could.

And was that at least one?

I've taken the survey.

By the way, nice game at the end. I didn't do the math but it seemed evident that defecting was the logical choice (and by reading the comments below I was right). I cooperated anyway, it just felt right. So, defectors, I probably just made one of you a few hundredths of a cent richer! Lucky you! ;-)


I'm doing the survey while I should be in a lecture, and I just reached the akrasia questions.

Took the survey. Note: "average" is not a very precise term. For one, "average person" is probably a mediocre stand-in for "typical person" (since there isn't actually a commonly accepted way to take averages of people). Furthermore, questions like "How long, in approximate number of minutes, do you spend on Less Wrong in the average day?" are actually highly ambiguous. The arithmetic mean of times that I spend on Less Wrong over days is substantially different from the median time.

I think it was supposed to mean arithmetic mean.

It seems that I only comment here when I take the survey and remain a lurker otherwise.

(Survey taken)

Survey taken. Defected since I'm neutral as to whether the money goes to Yvain or a random survey-taker, but would prefer the money going to me over either of those two.

It seems that the fate of the prize money is having a huge effect on people's choice to cooperate or defect. Yavin could modify the numbers by some potentially large percentage by offering to either donate the remainder of the prize to a charity, or to do something near-equivalent to burning it. I chose to cooperate because the good feelings are worth more to me than a fraction of a cent, and I expect people to prefer cooperation even if it is the anti-game theory response.

Took the survey. Surprisingly short.


Notes taken while I answered.

What is your family's religious background, as of the last time your family practiced a religion?

We're Ashkenazi Jews, but AFAIK the last time any ancestor of mine practiced a religion was in my great-grandparents' generation. (And then only because I knew only one of them personallyh, so it's reasonable to assume at least one of the others could have been religious.) I get that every human is descended from religious ones, but conflating this datapoint with someone whose actual parents practiced a religion once seems wrong.


For some of these my confidence was so low that I didn't answer. For some questions, there are also semantic quibbles that would affect the answer:

  • Supernatural: AFAIK there is no agreed-on definition of "supernatural" events other than "physically impossible" ones which of course have a probability of 0 (epsilon). OTOH, if you specify "events that the average human observer would use the word 'supernatural' to describe", the probability is very high.
  • Anti-Agathics: what counts as reaching an age of 1000 years? Humans with a few patched organs and genes? Cyborgs? Uploads with 1000 s
... (read more)
7Scott Alexander
I endorse you still putting your background as Ashkenazi Jewish, as this gives interesting ethnic information beyond that in the race question.
Maybe you could have split “White (non-Hispanic)” into “White (Jewish)” and “White (other)”.
(Then again, it would be unclear which one a Sephardi Jew from Argentina currently living in the US would pick.)
IIRC the poll choice only specified 'Jewish', so 'Ashkenazi' was lost.
Somewhere on LessWrong I have seen supernatural defined as "involving ontologically basic mental entities". This is imho the best deffinition of supernatural I have ever seen and should probably be included into this question in the future. Other definitions do not really make sense with this question, as you allready pointed out.
I don't think the concept of "ontologically basic" is coherent.
I personally think it's a strawman, but I don't see why it's necessarily incoherent for people who reject reductionism. Can you expand?
Here I understand "ontologically basic" to mean "having no Kolmogorov complexity / not amenable to reductionistic exlanations / does not posses an internal mechanism". Why do you think this is not coherent?
Assuming the standard model of quantum mechanics is more or less correct which enteties are ontologically basic? 1) Leptons and quarks 2) The quantum fields 3) The universal wave function 4) The Hilbert space where said wave function lives 5) The mathematics used to describe the wave function
Interesting, but this does not exactly mean the concrete is incoherent, more that QM isnt playing ball.
I could do this with any other theory of physics just as easily, e.g., in Newtonian mechanics are are particles ontologically basic, or are points in the universal phase space? Edit: Also, I never said the concrete was incoherent, I said the concept of "ontologically basic" was incoherent.
You're arguing issues of cartography, not geography.
No, I'm saying that the people asking whether something is "ontologically basic" are arguing cartography. Also it's funny how they only ask the question of things they don't believe exist.
Ok I'm in agreement with that.
I don't that is clear cut, because space and points have often often been denied any reality Concrete was my tablets version of concept.
Before I knew of Hilbert space and the universal wave function, I would have said 1, now I am somewhat confused about that.
There are good reasons not to consider particles ontologically basic. For instance, particle number is not relativistically invariant in quantum field theory. What looks like a vacuum to an inertial observer will not look like a vacuum to an accelerating observer (see here). If the existence of particles depends on something as trivial as an observer's state of motion, it is hard to maintain that they are the basic constituents of the universe.
Thanks! Did not know that.
So, I understand what it would mean for something to not be amenable to reductionist explanations and maybe what it would mean to not have internal mechanisms. What does it mean to not have Kolmogorov complexity? Do you mean that the entity is capable of engaging in non-computable computations? That doesn't seem like a standard part of the supernatural notion, especially because many common supernatural entities aren't any smarter than humans.
What I meant is, that (apart from positional information) you can only give one bit of information about the thing in question: it is there or not. There is no internal complexity to be described. Perhaps I overstreched the meaning of Kolmogorov complexity slightly. Sorry for that. No.
There's a quite popular view hereabouts according to which the universal wave function is ontologically basic. If that view is correct, or even possibly correct, your construal of "ontologically basic" cannot be, since wave functions do have internal complexity.
Interesting thought. So how would you define ontologically basic?
I don't think that' a slight overstretch: how many bits you can give about something doesn't have much to do with its K-complexity. Moreover, I'm not sure what it means to say that you can only talk about something being somewhere and its existence. How then do you distinguish it from other objects?
2Said Achmiz
Likewise here, the last time my family practiced a religion was when my grandparents were children (my family is also Ashkenazi Jewish). I wasn't raised religious at all, but there was certainly a good deal of cultural effect.
How about "events that the average human observer would use the word 'supernatural' to describe, even given some knowledge about their nature (regardless of whether that knowledge would be available to the average human observer)"? So a ghost that is a spirit is supernatural while a ghost that is a hallucination is not, even if an average human observer would be unable to tell them apart.
How about messages from outside the simulation? The simulation itself may be running in an orderly material universe (we could call this "exonatural"), and may run according to fixed orderly rules most of the time ("usually endonatural"), but still allow the simulators to tweak it. As an analogy, consider what happens in Conway's Life when you pause it and draw or erase a glider.
We can discuss it and maybe agree on an interesting meaning that we could ask people about. The problem is that I don't think all participants in this poll interpreted the question in the same way. As for your example, it doesn't illuminate a general rule for me. If supernatural things can actually happen, what is the definition of "supernatural"?
I just realized that I parsed the quoted question wrong in the survey - I assumed that it meant the last time your immediate family practiced religion, not the most recent ancestral practice of religion.
I answered about the politics of immigration in my country, for consistency with the other questions.


Also, spoiler: the reward is too small and unlikely for me to bother thinking through the ethics of defecting; in particular, I'm fairly insensitive to the multiplier for defecting at this price point. (Morality through indecisiveness?)

I took the survey. Thanks for putting this together, Yvain!

I chose DEFECT: CFAR/MIRI can keep their money. Furthermore, if I win I precommit to refusing payment and donating $120 * (1 - X) to MIRI, where X is the proportion of people who answer COOPERATE. I humbly suggest that others do the same.

Taken, answering all of the questions I was capable of answering. I will be very interested to see the results on some of the new questions. (The shifts on existing questions could also be interesting, but I don't expect much to change.)

First survey and comment, and I liked it too! (Including the bonuses, especially the reward question :)

I took it.


I took the survey. Also just realised that my choice of pass phrase was really silly... I was trying to make it easy for myself to remember what the second word would be, but failed to observe that the first word could become public and therefore it would be sensible to choose something that wouldn't be obvious to just about anybody from knowing the first word! Ah well, in the unlikely event that I win the draw, whoever gets in first can have the prize, I guess...

Um, I might be being stupid but I think you can just announce your pair of words now in order to "lay claim to them".
The only reason I wouldn't want to do that would be if Yvain is going to publish the pass phrases along with the data, for the curious. Then it would be publicly obvious which were my responses (not that I said anything I particularly care about keeping private on there, I suppose...).

Survey taken.


taken. I did the whole thing! it actually wasn't that long.


I took the survey.

I realized while answering one of the questions that the comments that I make for free karma are one of my main interactions with the LW website.


Survey taken, answered all questions I could. This excluded the IQ question set. I've never taken an IQ test. I've never been offered an IQ test, nor considered taking one. Is that strange? The survey seemed pretty confident that I'd have measured my IQ.

A previous incarnation of the test just asked what your IQ was. We got both people who had taken official tests responding, and people who were just estimating their IQ. The second group is really noisy, and made it difficult to meaningfully talk about the IQ of LWers. I suggested the current question as a way to get high-quality information out of survey-takers, but I also wanted a question where people estimated their IQ (maybe as two questions, for the lower and upper bound of a 50% CI) so that we could still get the low-quality information.
I consider also professional/scientific, despite being taken online. (I understand the general aversion towards online tests, and don't mind the current wording.) Respondents with high IQ seem more likely to have taken official tests, though; doesn't this overestimate LW's mean?
Any self-report will overestimate LW's mean, even if there is no disproportionality among test-takers. I've taken this into account with various assumed population means in the analysis of previous surveys, but there's fudging involved (if the average IQ of responders is 130, is it really sensible to expect non-responders have an average IQ of 100?).
I've never taken an IQ test either. However in the US the usual standardized tests (SAT, GRE, GMAT, LSAT, MCAT) are highly correlated with IQ and going by percentiles you can get a reasonable IQ estimate easily enough.
This is no longer true for high IQs, and most of the conversion tables are only for the old SAT. A 1600 just ain't what it used to be.
Measuring high IQs is difficult in general, but a rough estimate on the basis of, say, SAT scores is better than no data at all.
My point is that the renorming in the 1990s (if I remember correctly) chopped off the right tail of the SAT distribution. It used to be that about 1 in 4000 people got SATs of 1600, and so that implied a commensurately high IQ, but now about 1 in 300 do (only looking at M+CR), so the highest IQ level that the SAT is sensitive to has dropped significantly. If I remember correctly from the last year's survey, the mean SAT score of LWers who reported it implied that the mean LWer was about 98th percentile, which seemed about right to me (and suggests that the SAT is a decent tool at discriminating between most LWers).
I haven't taken any official IQ test nor have I taken any standardized tests. The only sort of official intelligence test I took was the ASVAB, though I forgot what my score was. I did score high enough to take the DLAB though (I was originally tasked to be a Turkish linguist in the Air Force).

I have taken the survey, also the extra part. Although I was never tested for IQ in professional way and since it was a question in the non-extra part, I assume that most LW readers were. Interesting observation (if true). Maybe it is a nationally dependent thing? This ad-hoc hypothesis can be validated by the survey if only enough people from enough countries take it


Cooperator here.



Surveyed. Is it okay to answer commited theist/pastafarian? :)

Surveyed. Thank you.

Survey Taken


I took the survey! Great set of questions. I felt like it was rather well designed,

It is done.

Short comments:

(Calibration Question) Without checking a source, please give your best guess for the current population of Europe in millions (according to Wikipedia's "Europe" article)

This is ambiguous! While strictly speaking "Europe" defaults to "the continent of Europe" spanning to the Ural, in common parlance "Europe" is used interchangeably with "European Union", similar to how you interpret "American student" in your very survey, a totum pro parte. Stahp with the totums pro parte for calibration questions, I beseech thee! (Of course I wouldn't have minded had I not given the correct answer for the European Union...)

(Akrasia: Elsewhat 1) Have you ever other things to improve your mental functioning?

Has Anyone Really Been Far Even as Decided to Use Even Go Want to do Look More Like?

(Human Biodiversity) (...) are in fact scientiically justified

Took it.

I took the survey as well


Took the survey.

I surveyed.

COMPLAIN! I have one partner but I'm definitely not monogamous. Sorry :)


I guess that's why there were separate questions asking whether you prefer monogamy or whatever else, and how many partners you happen to have.


Took the survey. Can't wait for the results.


I took the survey.

I think most of my answers were the same as last year, although I think my estimates have improved a little, and my hours of internet have gone down, both of which I like.

Many of the questions are considerably cleaned up -- much thanks to Yvain and everyone else who helped. It's very good it has sensible responses for gender. And IIRC, the "family's religious background" was tidied up a bit. I wonder if anyone can answer "atheist" as religious background? I hesitated over the response, since the last religious observance I know of for sure was G being brought up catholic, but I honestly think living in a protestant (or at least, anglican) culture is a bigger influence on my parents cultural background, so I answered like that.

I have no idea what's going to happen in the raffle. I answered "cooperate" because I want to encourage cooperating in as many situations as possible, and don't really care about a slightly-increased chance of < $60.

I could and did answer atheist as background. My parents are both inspoken* nonbelievers, though they attended a Unitarian Universalist church for two years when their kids (me included) were young, for the express purpose (explained well after the fact) of exposing us to religion and allowing us to make our own choices. *The opposite of outspoken.


Taken the survey. Thanks for doing this, Yvain.


Taken for the first time. 'Twas fun.

Congratulations for putting the dilemma to test. That was the hardest survey I've taken since the 2012 one.

Took the survey.

I'm interested in seeing what sort of interventions ended up working for people with akrasia.

Have you seen the akrasia tactics review threads?

I took the survey. Thanks for running it.

Should Muslim be divided into types?

I'm not sure what supernatural means for the more arcane simulation possibilities. I consider it likely that if we're simulated, it's from a universe with different physics.

I would rather see checkboxes for global catastrope, since it's hard to judge likelihood and I think the more interesting question is whether a person thinks any global catastrophe is likely.

Would it be worth having a text box for questions people would like to see on a future survey? I'm guessing that you wouldn't need to tabulate it,-- if you posted all the questions, I bet people here would identify the similar questions and sort them into topics.

So far no one of several hundred people has identified Muslim, so I think finer gradations there would be overkill.

I can't do checkboxes.

I ask every year what questions people want in a future survey on this site. That way the good ones can get updated and people can hold discussions about them.

I'm curious: why? (Not necessarily disagreeing, just wondering.)

Because the simulations we make have simpler physics than we do.

Sensible. On the face of it, I would expect that if a physics P1 is the result of some agent A that lives under some other physics P2 constructing a simplified physics for simulation purposes, it would have characteristically different properties from a physics P3 that is not the result of such a process. Put differently... if our physics is P1, it should be more likely to be easily understood by A's cognitive processes than if it's P3. That said, I don't understand the general constraints on either physicses or cognitive processes well enough to even begin to theorize about what specific properties I would expect to differentially find in P1 and P3. Still, I wonder whether someone a lot smarter and better informed than me could use that as a starting point for trying to answer that question.
I agree that it seems more likely that if we're in a simulation, it's got a simplified version of our simulator's physics rather than some drastically different physics. On the other hand, this is very much guesswork. And on yet another hand, if you assume that our simulators have huge amounts of computational power, they might be exploring universes with possible laws of physics thoroughly enough that the proportion of simulations with simplifications of the home physics isn't very high. I'm faintly horrified at the idea of physics which is much more complicated than ours-- ours is complicated enough.

Survey taken, all of it!

Thanks Yvain, for all the time and work you put every year into this. Can't wait to see the results!


I took the survey.

I completed the survey.


Second time taking the survey. I think a lot of my answers to the probability questions have changed in the last year — I think I've discovered more about myself and my beliefs since the first survey.


Took it.

Could you add a question asking how many of their donations people gave to non-x-risk EA charities? The EA movement would appreciate the information!