Thanks to everyone who took the 2014 Less Wrong Census/Survey. Extra thanks to Ozy, who did a lot of the number crunching work.
This year's results are below. Some of them may make more sense in the context of the original survey questions, which can be seen here. Please do not try to take the survey as it is over and your results will not be counted.
There were 1503 respondents over 27 days. The last survey got 1636 people over 40 days. The last four full days of the survey saw nineteen, six, and four responses, for an average of about ten. If we assume the next thirteen days had also gotten an average of ten responses - which is generous, since responses tend to trail off with time - then we would have gotten about as many people as the last survey. There is no good evidence here of a decline in population, although it is perhaps compatible with a very small decline.
Female: 179, 11.9%
Male: 1311, 87.2%
F (cisgender): 150, 10.0%
F (transgender MtF): 24, 1.6%
M (cisgender): 1245, 82.8%
M (transgender FtM): 5, 0.3%
Other: 64, 4.3%
Asexual: 59, 3.9%
Bisexual: 216, 14.4%
Heterosexual: 1133, 75.4%
Homosexual: 47, 3.1%
Other: 35, 2.3%
[This question was poorly worded and should have acknowledged that people can both be asexual and have a specific orientation; as a result it probably vastly undercounted our asexual readers]
Prefer monogamous: 778, 51.8%
Prefer polyamorous: 227, 15.1%
Uncertain/no preference: 464, 30.9%
Other: 23, 1.5%
Number of Partners
0: 738, 49.1%
1: 674, 44.8%
2: 51, 3.4%
3: 17, 1.1%
4: 7, 0.5%
5: 1, 0.1%
Lots and lots: 3, 0.2%
Currently not looking for new partners: 648, 43.1%
Open to new partners: 467, 31.1%
Seeking more partners: 370, 24.6%
[22.2% of people who don’t have a partner aren’t looking for one.]
Married: 274, 18.2%
Relationship: 424, 28.2%
Single: 788, 52.4%
[6.9% of single people have at least one partner; 1.8% have more than one.]
Alone: 345, 23.0%
With parents and/or guardians: 303, 20.2%
With partner and/or children: 411, 27.3%
With roommates: 428, 28.5%
0: 1317, 81.6%
1: 66, 4.4%
2: 78, 5.2%
3: 17, 1.1%
4: 6, 0.4%
5: 3, 0.2%
6: 1, 0.1%
Lots and lots: 1, 0.1%
Want More Children?
Yes: 549, 36.1%
Uncertain: 426, 28.3%
No: 516, 34.3%
[418 of the people who don’t have children don’t want any, suggesting that the LW community is 27.8% childfree.]
United States, 822, 54.7%
United Kingdom, 116, 7.7%
Canada, 88, 5.9%
Australia: 83, 5.5%
Germany, 62, 4.1%
Russia, 26, 1.7%
Finland, 20, 1.3%
New Zealand, 20, 1.3%
India, 17, 1.1%
Brazil: 15, 1.0%
France, 15, 1.0%
Israel, 15, 1.0%
Lesswrongers Per Capita
New Zealand: 1/223,550
United States: 1/358,390
United Kingdom: 1/552,586
France: 1/ 4,402,000
Russia: 1/ 5,519,231
Brazil: 1/ 13,360,000
India: 1/ 73,647,058
Asian (East Asian): 59. 3.9%
Asian (Indian subcontinent): 33, 2.2%
Black: 12. 0.8%
Hispanic: 32, 2.1%
Middle Eastern: 9, 0.6%
Other: 50, 3.3%
White (non-Hispanic): 1294, 86.1%
Academic (teaching): 86, 5.7%
For-profit work: 492, 32.7%
Government work: 59, 3.9%
Homemaker: 8, 0.5%
Independently wealthy: 9, 0.6%
Nonprofit work: 58, 3.9%
Self-employed: 122, 5.8%
Student: 553, 36.8%
Unemployed: 103, 6.9%
Art: 22, 1.5%
Biology: 29, 1.9%
Business: 35, 4.0%
Computers (AI): 42, 2.8%
Computers (other academic): 106, 7.1%
Computers (practical): 477, 31.7%
Engineering: 104, 6.1%
Finance/Economics: 71, 4.7%
Law: 38, 2.5%
Mathematics: 121, 8.1%
Medicine: 32, 2.1%
Neuroscience: 18, 1.2%
Philosophy: 36, 2.4%
Physics: 65, 4.3%
Psychology: 31, 2.1%
Other: 157, 10.2%
Other “hard science”: 25, 1.7%
Other “social science”: 34, 2.3%
None: 74, 4.9%
High school: 347, 23.1%
2 year degree: 64, 4.3%
Bachelors: 555, 36.9%
Masters: 278, 18.5%
JD/MD/other professional degree: 44, 2.9%
PhD: 105, 7.0%
Other: 24, 1.4%
III. Mental Illness
535 answer “no” to all the mental illness questions. Upper bound: 64.4% of the LW population is mentally ill.
393 answer “yes” to at least one mental illness question. Lower bound: 26.1% of the LW population is mentally ill. Gosh, we have a lot of self-diagnosers.
Yes, I was formally diagnosed: 273, 18.2%
Yes, I self-diagnosed: 383, 25.5%
No: 759, 50.5%
Yes, I was formally diagnosed: 30, 2.0%
Yes, I self-diagnosed: 76, 5.1%
No: 1306, 86.9%
Yes, I was formally diagnosed: 98, 6.5%
Yes, I self-diagnosed: 168, 11.2%
No: 1143, 76.0%
Yes, I was formally diagnosed: 33, 2.2%
Yes, I self-diagnosed: 49, 3.3%
No: 1327, 88.3%
Yes, I was formally diagnosed: 139, 9.2%
Yes, I self-diagnosed: 237, 15.8%
No: 1033, 68.7%
Yes, I was formally diagnosed: 5, 0.3%
Yes, I self-diagnosed: 19, 1.3%
No: 1389, 92.4%
[Ozy says: RATIONALIST BPDERS COME BE MY FRIEND]
Yes, I was formally diagnosed: 7, 0.5%
Yes, I self-diagnosed: 7, 0.5%
No: 1397, 92.9%
IV. Politics, Religion, Ethics
Communist: 9, 0.6%
Conservative: 67, 4.5%
Liberal: 416, 27.7%
Libertarian: 379, 25.2%
Social Democratic: 585, 38.9%
[The big change this year was that we changed "Socialist" to "Social Democratic". Even though the description stayed the same, about eight points worth of Liberals switched to Social Democrats, apparently more willing to accept that label than "Socialist". The overall supergroups Libertarian vs. (Liberal, Social Democratic) vs. Conservative remain mostly unchanged.]
Anarchist: 40, 2.7%
Communist: 9, 0.6%
Conservative: 23, 1.9%
Futarchist: 41, 2.7%
Left-Libertarian: 192, 12.8%
Libertarian: 164, 10.9%
Moderate: 56, 3.7%
Neoreactionary: 29, 1.9%
Social Democrat: 162, 10.8%
Socialist: 89, 5.9%
[Amusing politics answers include anti-incumbentist, having-well-founded-opinions-is-hard-but-I’ve-come-to-recognize-the-pragmatism-of-socialism-I-don’t-know-ask-me-again-next-year, pirate, progressive social democratic environmental liberal isolationist freedom-fries loving pinko commie piece of shit, republic-ist aka read the federalist papers, romantic reconstructionist, social liberal fiscal agnostic, technoutopian anarchosocialist (with moderate snark), whatever it is that Scott is, and WHY ISN’T THERE AN OPTION FOR NONE SO I CAN SIGNAL MY OBVIOUS OBJECTIVITY WITH MINIMAL EFFORT. Ozy would like to point out to the authors of manifestos that no one will actually read their manifestos except zir, and they might want to consider posting them to their own blogs.]
Democratic Party: 221, 14.7%
Republican Party: 55, 3.7%
Libertarian Party: 26, 1.7%
Other party: 16, 1.1%
No party: 415, 27.6%
Non-Americans who really like clicking buttons: 415, 27.6%
Yes: 881, 58.6%
No: 444, 29.5%
My country doesn’t hold elections: 5, 0.3%
Atheist and not spiritual: 1054, 70.1%
Atheist and spiritual: 150, 10.0%
Agnostic: 156, 10.4%
Lukewarm theist: 44, 2.9%
Deist/pantheist/etc.: 22,, 1.5%
Committed theist: 60, 4.0%
Christian (Protestant): 53, 3.5%
Mixed/Other: 32, 2.1%
Jewish: 31, 2.0%
Buddhist: 30, 2.0%
Christian (Catholic): 24, 1.6%
Unitarian Universalist or similar: 23, 1.5%
[Amusing denominations include anti-Molochist, CelestAI, cosmic engineers, Laziness, Thelema, Resimulation Theology, and Pythagorean. The Cultus Deorum Romanorum practitioner still needs to contact Ozy so they can be friends.]
Atheist and not spiritual: 213, 14.2%
Atheist and spiritual: 74, 4.9%
Agnostic: 154. 10.2%
Lukewarm theist: 541, 36.0%
Deist/Pantheist/etc.: 28, 1.9%
Committed theist: 388, 25.8%
Christian (Protestant): 580, 38.6%
Christian (Catholic): 378, 25.1%
Jewish: 141, 9.4%
Christian (other non-protestant): 88, 5.9%
Mixed/Other: 68, 4.5%
Unitarian Universalism or similar: 29, 1.9%
Christian (Mormon): 28, 1.9%
Hindu: 23, 1.5%’
Accept/lean towards consequentialism: 901, 60.0%
Accept/lean towards deontology: 50, 3.3%
Accept/lean towards natural law: 48, 3.2%
Accept/lean towards virtue ethics: 150, 10.0%
Accept/lean towards contractualism: 79, 5.3%
Other/no answer: 239, 15.9%
Constructivism: 474, 31.5%
Error theory: 60, 4.0%
Non-cognitivism: 129, 8.6%
Subjectivism: 324, 21.6%
Substantive realism: 209, 13.9%
V. Community Participation
Less Wrong Use
Lurker: 528, 35.1%
I’ve registered an account: 221, 14.7%
I’ve posted a comment: 419, 27.9%
I’ve posted in Discussion: 207, 13.8%
I’ve posted in Main: 102, 6.8%
Never knew they existed until this moment: 106, 7.1%
Knew they existed, but never looked at them: 42, 2.8%
Some, but less than 25%: 270, 18.0%
About 25%: 181, 12.0%
About 50%: 209, 13.9%
About 75%: 242, 16.1%
All or almost all: 427, 28.4%
Yes, regularly: 154, 10.2%
Yes, once or a few times: 325, 21.6%
No: 989, 65.8%
Yes, all the time: 112, 7.5%
Yes, sometimes: 191, 12.7%
No: 1163, 77.4%
Yes: 82, 5.5%
I didn’t meet them through the community but they’re part of the community now: 79, 5.3%
No: 1310, 87.2%
Yes, in 2014: 45, 3.0%
Yes, in 2013: 60, 4.0%
Both: 42, 2.8%
No: 1321, 87.9%
Yes: 109, 7.3%
No: 1311, 87.2%
[A couple percent more people answered 'yes' to each of meetups, physical interactions, CFAR attendance, and romance this time around, suggesting the community is very very gradually becoming more IRL. In particular, the number of people meeting romantic partners through the community increased by almost 50% over last year.]
Yes: 897, 59.7%
Started but not finished: 224, 14.9%
No: 254, 16.9%
Referred by a link: 464, 30.9%
HPMOR: 385, 25.6%
Been here since the Overcoming Bias days: 210, 14.0%
Referred by a friend: 199, 13.2%
Referred by a search engine: 114, 7.6%
Referred by other fiction: 17, 1.1%
[Amusing responses include “a rationalist that I follow on Tumblr”, “I’m a student of tribal cultishness”, and “It is difficult to recall details from the Before Time. Things were brighter, simpler, as in childhood or a dream. There has been much growth, change since then. But also loss. I can't remember where I found the link, is what I'm saying.”]
Slate Star Codex: 40, 2.6%
Reddit: 25, 1.6%
Common Sense Atheism: 21, 1.3%
Hacker News: 20, 1.3%
Gwern: 13, 1.0%
VI. Other Categorical Data
Don’t understand/never thought about it: 62, 4.1%
Don’t want to: 361, 24.0%
Considering it: 551, 36.7%
Haven’t gotten around to it: 272, 18.1%
Unavailable in my area: 126, 8.4%
Yes: 64, 4.3%
Type of Global Catastrophic Risk
Asteroid strike: 64, 4.3%
Economic/political collapse: 151, 10.0%
Environmental collapse: 218, 14.5%
Nanotech/grey goo: 47, 3.1%
Nuclear war: 239, 15.8%
Pandemic (bioengineered): 310, 20.6%
Pandemic (natural): 113. 7.5%
Unfriendly AI: 244, 16.2%
[Amusing answers include ennui/eaten by Internet, Friendly AI, “Greens so weaken the rich countries that barbarians conquer us”, and Tumblr.]
Effective Altruism (do you self-identify)
Yes: 422, 28.1%
No: 758, 50.4%
[Despite some impressive outreach by the EA community, numbers are largely the same as last year]
Effective Altruism (do you participate in community)
Yes: 191, 12.7%
No: 987, 65.7%
Vegan: 31, 2.1%
Vegetarian: 114, 7.6%
Other meat restriction: 252, 16.8%
Omnivore: 848, 56.4%
Yes: 33, 2.2%
Sometimes: 209, 13.9%
No: 1111, 73.9%
Most of my calories: 8. 0.5%
Sometimes: 101, 6.7%
Tried: 196, 13.0%
No: 1052, 70.0%
I only identify with my birth gender by default: 681, 45.3%
I strongly identify with my birth gender: 586, 39.0%
<5: 198, 13.2%
5 - 10: 384, 25.5%
10 - 20: 328, 21.8%
20 - 50: 264, 17.6%
50 - 100: 105, 7.0%
> 100: 49, 3.3%
Jan: 109, 7.3%
Feb: 90, 6.0%
Mar: 123, 8.2%
Apr: 126, 8.4%
Jun: 107, 7.1%
Jul: 109, 7.3%
Aug: 120, 8.0%
Sep: 94, 6.3%
Oct: 111, 7.4%
Nov: 102, 6.8%
Dec: 106, 7.1%
[Despite my hope of something turning up here, these results don't deviate from chance]
Right: 1170, 77.8%
Left: 143, 9.5%
Ambidextrous: 37, 2.5%
Unsure: 12, 0.8%
Yes: 757, 50.7%
No: 598, 39.8%
Favorite Less Wrong Posts (all > 5 listed)
An Alien God: 11
Joy In The Merely Real: 7
Dissolving Questions About Disease: 7
Politics Is The Mind Killer: 6
That Alien Message: 6
A Fable Of Science And Politics: 6
Belief In Belief: 5
Generalizing From One Example: 5
Schelling Fences On Slippery Slopes: 5
Tsuyoku Naritai: 5
VII. Numeric Data
Age: 27.67 + 8.679 (22, 26, 31) 
IQ: 138.25 + 15.936 (130.25, 139, 146) 
SAT out of 1600: 1470.74 + 113.114 (1410, 1490, 1560) 
SAT out of 2400: 2210.75 + 188.94 (2140, 2250, 2320) 
ACT out of 36: 32.56 + 2.483 (31, 33, 35) 
Time in Community: 2010.97 + 2.174 (2010, 2011, 2013) 
Time on LW: 15.73 + 95.75 (2, 5, 15) 
Karma Score: 555.73 + 2181.791 (0, 0, 155) 
P Many Worlds: 47.64 + 30.132 (20, 50, 75) 
P Aliens: 71.52 + 34.364 (50, 90, 99) 
P Aliens (Galaxy): 41.2 + 38.405 (2, 30, 80) 
P Supernatural: 6.68 + 20.271 (0, 0, 1) 
P God: 8.26 + 21.088 (0, 0.01, 3) 
P Religion: 4.99 + 18.068 (0, 0, 0.5) 
P Cryonics: 22.34 + 27.274 (2, 10, 30) 
P Anti-Agathics: 24.63 + 29.569 (1, 10, 40) 
P Simulation 24.31 + 28.2 (1, 10, 50) 
P Warming 81.73 + 24.224 (80, 90, 98) 
P Global Catastrophic Risk 72.14 + 25.620 (55, 80, 90) 
Singularity: 2143.44 + 356.643 (2060, 2090, 2150) 
[The mean for this question is almost entirely dependent on which stupid responses we choose to delete as outliers; the median practically never changes]
Abortion: 4.38 + 1.032 (4, 5, 5) 
Immigration: 4 + 1.078 (3, 4, 5) 
Taxes : 3.14 + 1.212 (2, 3, 4)  (from 1 - should be lower to 5 - should be higher)
Minimum Wage: 3.21 + 1.359 (2, 3, 4)  (from 1 - should be lower to 5 - should be higher)
Feminism: 3.67 + 1.221 (3, 4, 5) 
Social Justice: 3.15 + 1.385 (2, 3, 4) 
Human Biodiversity: 2.93 + 1.201 (2, 3, 4) 
Basic Income: 3.94 + 1.087 (3, 4, 5) 
Great Stagnation: 2.33 + .959 (2, 2, 3) 
MIRI Mission: 3.90 + 1.062 (3, 4, 5) 
MIRI Effectiveness: 3.23 + .897 (3, 3, 4) 
[Remember, all of these are asking you to rate your belief in/agreement with the concept on a scale of 1 (bad) to 5 (great)]
Income: 54129.37 + 66818.904 (10,000, 30,800, 80,000) 
Charity: 1996.76 + 9492.71 (0, 100, 800) 
MIRI/CFAR: 511.61 + 5516.608 (0, 0, 0) 
XRisk: 62.50 + 575.260 (0, 0, 0) 
Older siblings: 0.51 + .914 (0, 0, 1) 
Younger siblings: 1.08 + 1.127 (0, 1, 1) 
Height: 178.06 + 11.767 (173, 179, 184) 
Hours Online: 43.44 + 25.452 (25, 40, 60) 
Bem Sex Role Masculinity: 42.54 + 9.670 (36, 42, 49) 
Bem Sex Role Femininity: 42.68 + 9.754 (36, 43, 50) 
Right Hand: .97 + 0.67 (.94, .97, 1.00)
Left Hand: .97 + .048 (.94, .97, 1.00)
VIII. Fishing Expeditions
[correlations, in descending order]
SAT Scores out of 1600/SAT Scores out of 2400 .844 (59)
P Supernatural/P God .697 (1365)
Feminism/Social Justice .671 (1299)
P God/P Religion .669 (1367)
P Supernatural/P Religion .631 (1372)
Charity Donations/MIRI and CFAR Donations .619 (985)
P Aliens/P Aliens 2 .607 (1376)
Taxes/Minimum Wage .587 (1287)
SAT Score out of 2400/ACT Score .575 (89)
Age/Number of Children .506 (1480)
P Cryonics/P Anti-Agathics .484 (1385)
SAT Score out of 1600/ACT Score .480 (81)
Minimum Wage/Social Justice .456 (1267)
Taxes/Social Justice .427 (1281)
Taxes/Feminism .414 (1299)
MIRI Mission/MIRI Effectiveness .395 (1331)
P Warming/Taxes .385 (1261)
Taxes/Basic Income .383 (1285)
Minimum Wage/Feminism .378 (1286)
P God/Abortion -.378 (1266)
Immigration/Feminism .365 (1296)
P Supernatural/Abortion -.362 (1276)
Feminism/Human Biodiversity -.360 (1306)
MIRI and CFAR Donations/Other XRisk Charity Donations .345 (973)
Social Justice/Human Biodiversity -.341 (1288)
P Religion/Abortion -.326 (1275)
P Warming/Minimum Wage .324 (1248)
Minimum Wage/Basic Income .312 (1276)
P Warming/Basic Income .306 (1260)
Immigration/Social Justice .294 (1278)
P Anti-Agathics/MIRI Mission .293 (1351)
P Warming/Feminism .285 (1281)
P Many Worlds/P Anti-Agathics .276 (1245)
Social Justice/Femininity .267 (990)
Minimum Wage/Human Biodiversity -.264 (1274)
Immigration/Human Biodiversity -.263 (1286)
P Many Worlds/MIRI Mission .263 (1233)
P Aliens/P Warming .262 (1365)
P Warming/Social Justice .257 (1262)
Taxes/Human Biodiversity -.252 (1291)
Social Justice/Basic Income .251 (1281)
Feminism/Femininity .250 (1003)
Older Siblings/Younger Siblings -.243 (1321)
Charity Donations/Other XRisk Charity Donations .240 (957
P Anti-Agathics/P Simulation .238 (1312)
Abortion/Minimum Wage .229 (1293)
Feminism/Basic Income .227 (1297)
Abortion/Feminism .226 (1321)
P Cryonics/MIRI Mission .223 (1360)
Immigration/Basic Income .208 (1279)
P Many Worlds/P Cryonics .202 (1251)
Number of Current Partners/Femininity: .202 (1029)
P Warming/Immigration .202 (1260)
P Warming/Abortion .201 (1289)
Abortion/Taxes .198 (1304)
Age/P Simulation .197 (1313)
Political Interest/Masculinity .194 (1011)
P Cryonics/MIRI Effectiveness .191 (1285)
Abortion/Social Justice .191 (1301)
P Simulation/MIRI Mission .188 (1290)
P Many Worlds/P Warming .188 (1240)
Age/Number of Current Partners .184 (1480)
P Anti-Agathics/MIRI Effectiveness .183 (1277)
P Many Worlds/P Simulation .181 (1211)
Abortion/Immigration .181 (1304)
Number of Current Partners/Number of Children .180 (1484)
P Cryonics/P Simulation .174 (1315)
P Global Catastrophic Risk/MIRI Mission -.174 (1359)
Minimum Wage/Femininity .171 (981)
Abortion/Basic Income .170 (1302)
Age/P Cryonics -.165 (1391)
Immigration/Taxes .165 (1293)
P Warming/Human Biodiversity -.163 (1271)
P Aliens 2/Warming .160 (1353)
Abortion/Younger Siblings -.155 (1292)
P Religion/Meditate .155 (1189)
Feminism/Masculinity -.155 (1004)
Immigration/Femininity .155 (988)
P Supernatural/Basic Income -.153 (1246)
P Supernatural/P Warming -.152 (1361)
Number of Current Partners/Karma Score .152 (1332)
P Many Worlds/MIRI Effectiveness .152 (1181)
Age/MIRI Mission -.150 (1404)
P Religion/P Warming -.150 (1358)
P Religion/Basic Income -.146 (1245)
P God/Basic Income -.146 (1237)
Human Biodiversity/Femininity -.145 (999)
P God/P Warming -.144 (1351)
Taxes/Femininity .142 (987)
Number of Children/Younger Siblings .138 (1343)
Number of Current Partners/Masculinity: .137 (1030)
P Many Worlds/P God -.137 (1232)
Age/Charity Donations .133 (1002)
P Anti-Agathics/P Global Catastrophic Risk -.132 (1373)
P Warming/Masculinity -.132 (992)
P Global Catastrophic Risk/MIRI and CFAR Donations -.132 (982)
P Supernatural/Singularity .131 (1148)
God/Taxes -.130 (1240)
Age/P Anti-Agathics -.128 (1382)
P Aliens/Taxes .127(1258)
Feminism/Great Stagnation -.127 (1287)
P Many Worlds/P Supernatural -.127 (1241)
P Aliens/Abortion .126 (1284)
P Anti-Agathics/Great Stagnation -.126 (1248)
P Anti-Agathics/P Warming .125 (1370)
Age/P Aliens .124 (1386)
P Aliens/Minimum Wage .124 (1245)
P Aliens/P Global Catastrophic Risk .122 (1363)
Age/MIRI Effectiveness -.122 (1328)
Age/P Supernatural .120 (1370)
P Supernatural/MIRI Mission -.119 (1345)
P Many Worlds/P Religion -.119 (1238)
P Religion/MIRI Mission -.118 (1344)
Political Interest/Social Justice .118 (1304)
P Anti-Agathics/MIRI and CFAR Donations .118 (976)
Human Biodiversity/Basic Income -.115 (1262)
P Many Worlds/Abortion .115 (1166)
Age/Karma Score .114 (1327)
P Aliens/Feminism .114 (1277)
P Many Worlds/P Global Catastrophic Risk -.114 (1243)
Political Interest/Femininity .113 (1010)
Number of Children/P Simulation -.112 (1317)
P Religion/Younger Siblings .112 (1275)
P Supernatural/Taxes -.112 (1248)
Age/Masculinity .112 (1027)
Political Interest/Taxes .111 (1305)
P God/P Simulation .110 (1296)
P Many Worlds/Basic Income .110 (1139)
P Supernatural/Younger Siblings .109 (1274)
P Simulation/Basic Income .109 (1195)
Age/P Aliens 2 .107 (1371)
MIRI Mission/Basic Income .107 (1279)
Age/Great Stagnation .107 (1295)
P Many Worlds/P Aliens .107 (1253)
Number of Current Partners/Social Justice .106 (1304)
Human Biodiversity/Great Stagnation .105 (1285)
Number of Children/Abortion -.104 (1337)
Number of Current Partners/P Cryonics -.102 (1396)
MIRI Mission/Abortion .102 (1305)
Immigration/Great Stagnation -.101 (1269)
Age/Political Interest .100 (1339)
P Global Catastrophic Risk/Political Interest .099 (1295)
P Aliens/P Religion -.099 (1357)
P God/MIRI Mission -.098 (1335)
P Aliens/P Simulation .098 (1308)
Number of Current Partners/Immigration .098 (1305)
P God/Political Interest .098 (1274)
P Warming/P Global Catastrophic Risk .096 (1377)
In addition to the Left/Right factor we had last year, this data seems to me to have an Agrees with the Sequences Factor-- the same people tend to believe in many-worlds, cryo, atheism, simulationism, MIRI’s mission and effectiveness, anti-agathics, etc. Weirdly, belief in global catastrophic risk is negatively correlated with most of the Agrees with Sequences things. Someone who actually knows how to do statistics should run a factor analysis on this data.
IX. Digit Ratios
After sanitizing the digit ratio numbers, the following correlations came up:
Digit ratio R hand was correlated with masculinity at a level of -0.180 p < 0.01
Digit ratio L hand was correlated with masculinity at a level of -0.181 p < 0.01
Digit ratio R hand was slightly correlated with femininity at a level of +0.116 p < 0.05
Holy #@!$ the feminism thing ACTUALLY HELD UP. There is a 0.144 correlation between right-handed digit ratio and feminism, p < 0.01. And an 0.112 correlation between left-handed digit ratio and feminism, p < 0.05.
The only other political position that correlates with digit ratio is immigration. There is a 0.138 correlation between left-handed digit ratio and believe in open borders p < 0.01, and an 0.111 correlation between right-handed digit ratio and belief in open borders, p < 0.05.
No digit correlation with abortion, taxes, minimum wage, social justice, human biodiversity, basic income, or great stagnation.
Okay, need to rule out that this is all confounded by gender. I ran a few analyses on men and women separately.
On men alone, the connection to masculinity holds up. Restricting sample size to men, left-handed digit ratio corresponds to masculinity with at -0.157, p < 0.01. Left handed at -0.134, p < 0.05. Right-handed correlates with femininity at 0.120, p < 0.05. The feminism correlation holds up. Restricting sample size to men, right-handed digit ratio correlates with feminism at a level of 0.149, p < 0.01. Left handed just barely fails to correlate. Both right and left correlate with immigration at 0.135, p < 0.05.
On women alone, the Bem masculinity correlation is the highest correlation we're going to get in this entire study. Right hand is -0.433, p < 0.01. Left hand is -0.299, p < 0.05. Femininity trends toward significance but doesn't get there. The feminism correlation trends toward significance but doesn't get there. In general there was too small a sample size of women to pick up anything but the most whopping effects.
Since digit ratio is related to testosterone and testosterone sometimes affects risk-taking, I wondered if it would correlate with any of the calibration answers. I selected people who had answered Calibration Question 5 incorrectly and ran an analysis to see if digit ratio was correlated with tendency to be more confident in the incorrect answer. No effect was found.
Other things that didn't correlate with digit ratio: IQ, SAT, number of current partners, tendency to work in mathematical professions.
...I still can't believe this actually worked. The finger-length/feminism connection ACTUALLY WORKED. What a world. What a world. Someone may want to double-check these results before I get too excited.
There were ten calibration questions on this year's survey. Along with answers, they were:
1. What is the largest bone in the body? Femur
2. What state was President Obama born in? Hawaii
3. Off the coast of what country was the battle of Trafalgar fought? Spain
4. What Norse God was called the All-Father? Odin
5. Who won the 1936 Nobel Prize for his work in quantum physics? Heisenberg
6. Which planet has the highest density? Earth
7. Which Bible character was married to Rachel and Leah? Jacob
8. What organelle is called "the powerhouse of the cell"? Mitochondria
9. What country has the fourth-highest population? Indonesia
10. What is the best-selling computer game? Minecraft
I ran calibration scores for everybody based on how well they did on the ten calibration questions. These failed to correlate with IQ, SAT, LW karma, or any of the things you might expect to be measures of either intelligence or previous training in calibration; they didn't differ by gender, correlates of community membership, or any mental illness [deleted section about correlating with MWI and MIRI, this was an artifact].
Your answers looked like this:
The red line represents perfect calibration. Where answers dip below the line, it means you were overconfident; when they go above, it means you were underconfident.
It looks to me like everyone was horrendously underconfident on all the easy questions, and horrendously overconfident on all the hard questions. To give an example of how horrendous, people who were 50% sure of their answers to question 10 got it right only 13% of the time; people who were 100% sure only got it right 44% of the time. Obviously those numbers should be 50% and 100% respectively.
This builds upon results from previous surveys in which your calibration was also horrible. This is not a human universal - people who put even a small amount of training into calibration can become very well calibrated very quickly. This is a sign that most Less Wrongers continue to neglect the very basics of rationality and are incapable of judging how much evidence they have on a given issue. Veterans of the site do no better than newbies on this measure.
XI. Wrapping Up
To show my appreciation for everyone completing this survey, including the arduous digit ratio measurements, I have randomly chosen a person to receive a $30 monetary prize. That person is...the person using the public key "The World Is Quiet Here". If that person tells me their private key, I will give them $30.
I have removed 73 people who wished to remain private, deleted the Private Keys, and sanitized a very small amount of data. Aside from that, here are the raw survey results for your viewing and analyzing pleasure:
The number of Asians (both East and South) among American readers is pretty surprisingly low - 43/855 ~= 5%. This despite Asians being, e.g., ~15% of the Ivy League student body (it'd be much higher without affirmative action), and close to 50% of Silicon Valley workers.
Being south asian myself - I suspect that the high achieving immigrant-and-immigrant-descended populations gravitate towards technical fields and Ivy leagues for different reasons than American whites do. Coming from hardship and generally being less WEIRD, they psychologically share more in common with the middle class and even blue collar workers than the Ivy League upper class - they see it as a path to success rather than some sort of grand purposeful undertaking. (One of the Asian Professional community I participated in articulated this and other differences in attitude as a reason that Asians often find themselves getting passed over for higher level management positions, as something to be overcome).
Lesswrong tends to appeal to abstract, starry-eyed types. I hate to use the word "privilege", but there is some hard to quantify things, like degree of time talking about lesswrong-y key words like "free will" or "utilitarianism", which are going to influence the numbers here. (Not that asians don't like chatting about philosophy, but they certainly have less time for it and also they tend to focus on somewhat different topics during philosophical... (read more)
"Used against", to me, implies active planning that may or may not exist here; but the pragmatic effects of the policy as implemented in American universities do seem to negatively affect Asians.
There's pretty unambiguous statistical evidence that it happens. The Asian Ivy League percentage has remained basically fixed for 20 years despite the college-age Asian population doubling (and Asian SAT scores increasing slightly).
Using a log scoring rule, I calculated a total accuracy+calibration score for the ten questions together. There's an issue that this assumes the questions are binary when they're not- someone who is 0% sure that Thor is the right answer to the mythology question gets the same score (0) as the person who is 100% sure that Odin is the right answer to the mythology question. I ignored infinitely low scores for the correlation part.
I replicated the MWI correlation, but I noticed something weird- all of the really low scorers gave really low probabilities to MWI. The worst scorer had a score of -18, which corresponds to giving about 1.6% probability to the right answer. What appears to have happened is they misunderstood the survey, and answered in fractions instead of percents- they got 9 out of 10 questions right, but lost 2 points every time they assigned 1% or slightly less than 1% to the right answer (i.e. they mean to express almost certainty by saying 1 or 0.99) and only lost 0.0013 points when they assigned 0.3% probability to a wrong answer.
When I drop the 30 lowest scorers, the direction of the relationship flips- now, people with better log scores (i.e. close... (read more)
This result sets off my halo effect alarm.
Once again pandemic is the leading cat risk. It was the leading cat risk last year. http://lesswrong.com/lw/jj0/2013_survey_results/aekk It was the leading cat risk the year before that. http://lesswrong.com/lw/fp5/2012_survey_results/7xz0
Pandemics are the risk LWers are most afraid of and to my knowledge we as a community have expended almost no effort on preventing them.
So this year I resolve that my effort towards pandemic prevention will be greater than simply posting a remark about how it's the leading risk.
Clearly, we haven't been doing enough to increase other risks. We can't let pandemic stay in the lead.
Givewell has looked into global catastrophic risks in general, plus pandemic preparedness in particular. My impression is that quite a bit more is spent per year on biosecurity (around 6 billion in the US) than is on other catastrophic risks such as AI.
Pandemics may be the largest risk, but the marginal contribution a typical LWer can make is probably very low, and not their comparative advantage. Let the WHO do its work, and turn your attention to underconsidered risks.
This is why I didn't vote on the politics question.
Theory: People use this site as a geek / intellectual social outlet and/or insight porn and/or self-help site more than they seriously try to get progressively better at rationality. At least, I know that applies to me :).
This definitely belongs on the next survey!
Why do you read LessWrong? [ ] Rationality improvement [ ] Insight Porn [ ] Geek Social Fuzzies [ ] Self-Help Fuzzies [ ] Self-Help Utilons [ ] I enjoy reading the posts
I decided to take a look at overconfidence (rather than calibration) on the 10 calibration questions.
For each person, I added up the probabilities that they assigned to getting each of the 10 questions correct, and then subtracted the number of correct answers. Positive numbers indicate overconfidence (fewer correct answers than they predicted they'd get), negative numbers indicate underconfidence (more correct answers than they predicted). Note that this is somewhat different from calibration: you could get a good score on this if you put 40% on each question and get 40% of them right (showing no ability to distinguish between what you know and what you don't), or if you put 99% on the ones you get wrong and 1% on the ones you get right. But this overconfidence score is easy to calculate, has a nice distribution, and is informative about the general tendency to be overconfident.
After cleaning up the data set in a few ways (which I'll describe in a reply to this comment), the average overconfidence score was 0.39. On average, people expected to get 4.79 of the 10 questions correct, but only got 4.40 correct. My impression is that this gap (4 percentage points) is smallish compared ... (read more)
Details on data cleanup:
In the publicly available data set, I restricted my analysis to people who:
Failure to meet any of these criteria generally indicated either a failure to understand the format of the calibration questions, or a decision to skip one or more of the questions. Each of these criteria eliminated at least 1 person, leaving a sample of 1141 people.
I counted as "correct":
These seem to cover the most common ... (read more)
And here's an analysis of calibration.
If a person was perfectly calibrated, then each 10% increase in their probability estimate would translate into a 10% higher likelihood of getting the answer correct. If you plot probability estimates on the x axis and whether or not the event happened on the y axis, then you should get a slope of 1 (the line y=x). But people tend to be miscalibrated - out of the questions where they say "90%", they might only get 70% correct. This results in a shallower slope (in this example, the line would go through the point (90,70) instead of (90,90)) - a slope less than 1.
I took the 1141 people's answers to the 10 calibration questions as 11410 data points, plotted them on an x-y graph (with the probability estimate as the x value and a y value of 100 if it's correct and 0 if it's incorrect), and ran an ordinary linear regression to find the slope of the line fit to all 11410 data points.
That line had a slope of 0.91. In other words, if a LWer gave a probability estimate that was 10 percentage points higher, then on average the claim was 9.1 percentage points more likely to be true. Not perfect calibration, but not bad.
If we look at various s... (read more)
Myth: Americans think they know a lot about other countries but really are clueless.
Verdict: Self-cancelling prophesy.
Method: Semi-humorous generalization from a single data series, hopefully inspiring replication instead of harsh judgment :)
I decided to do some analysis about what makes people overconfident about certain subjects, and decided to start with an old stereotype. I compared how people did on the population calibration question (#9) based on their country.
Full disclosure: I'm Israeli (currently living in the US) and would've guessed Japan with 50% confidence, but I joined LW (unlurked) two days after the end of the survey.
I normalized every probability by rounding extreme confidence values to 1% and 99% and scored each answer that seemed close enough to a misspelling of Indonesia according to the log rule.
Results: Americans didn't have a strong showing with an average score of -0.0071, but the rest of the world really sucked with an average of -0.0296. The reason? While the correct answer rate was almost identical (28.3% v 28.8%) Americans were much less confident in their answers: 42.4% confidence v 46.3% (p<0.01).
Dear Americans, you don't know (significantly) less about the world than everyone else, but at least you internalized the fact that you don't know much*!
Next up: how people who grew up in a religious household do on the Biblical calibration question.
*Unlike cocky Israelis like me.
I'm losing a lot of confidence in the digit ratio/masculinity femininity stuff. I'm not seeing a number of things I'd expect to see.
First, my numbers for correlations don't match up with yours. With filters on for female gendered, and answering all of BemSexRoleF, BemSexRoleM, RightHand, and LeftHand, I get a correlation of only -0.34 for RightHand and BemSexRoleM, not -0.433 as you say. I get various other differences as well, all weaker correlations than you describe. Perhaps differences in filtering explain this? -.34 vs -.433 seems to be high for this to be true though.
Second, Bem masculinity and femininity actually seem to have a positive correlation, albeit tiny. So more masculine people are... more feminine? This makes no sense and makes me more likely to throw out the entire data set.
Thirdly, I don't see any huge differences between Cisgender Men, Transgender Men, Cisgender Women, or Transgender Women on digit ratios. I would expect to see this as well. I get 95% confidence intervals (mean +/- 3*sigma/sqrt(n), formatted [Lower Right - Upper Right / Lower Left - Upper Left]) for the categories as follows:
There isn't necessarily any problem with a small positive correlation between masculinity and femininity. The abstract of what I think is the original paper (I couldn't find an ungated version) says that "The dimensions of masculinity and femininity are empirically and logically independent."
https://pdf.yt/d/zguK1Egu2kFycsA- / https://www.dropbox.com/s/4ky5snzyteftmz2/1974-bem.pdf
I would be really interested in hearing from one of the fourteen schizophrenic rationalists. Given that one of the most prominent symptoms of schizophrenia is delusional thinking, a.k.a. irrationality... I wonder how this plays out in someone who has read the Sequences. Do these people have less severe symptoms as a result? When your brain decides to turn against you, is there a way to win?
I also find it fascinating that bisexuality is vastly overrepresented here (14.4% in LW vs. 1-2% in US), while homosexuality is not. My natural immediate interpretation of this is that bisexuality is a choice. I think Eliezer said once that he would rather be bisexual than straight, because it would allow for more opportunities to have fun. This seems like an attitude many LW members might share, given that polyamory a.k.a. pursuing a weird dating strategy because it's more fun is very popular in this community. (I personally also share Eliezer's attitude, but unfortunately I'm pretty sure I'm straight.) So to me it seems logical that the large number of bisexuals may come from a large number of people-who-want-to-be-bisexual actually becoming so. This seems more likely to me than some aspect or... (read more)
I don't. Compare it with the OkCupid data analysis. Bisexuality could be more of a signal. Admittedly at least in the (quite large) OkCupid data.
I initially misparsed this as "the female bisexuality rate is as expected." I see that isn't what you meant, but had to re-read two or three times. Just FYI.
I feel like a 42.2% bisexuality rate among LW women is surprising enough to say something, but I'm not sure what.
May is missing from Birth Month.
I think it's pretty astounding that nobody at Less Wrong was born in May. I'm not sure why Scott doesn't think that's a deviation from randomness.
Thanks for showing us that there are autistic cryonics patients in the world. I am more likely to sign up when I am old enough to legally do so without parental permission, because now I know I wouldn't be the only autistic person in the future, no matter what happens when people develop a prenatal autism test.
Thanks for doing this!
I find the "vastly" part dubious, given that 3% asexual already seems disproportionately large (general population seems to be about 1%). I would expect for asexuals to be overrepresented, and I do think the question wording means the survey's estimate underestimates the true proportion, but I don't think that it's, say, actually 10% instead of actually 4%.
Good job on running the survey and analyzing the data! I do wish that one of the extra credit questions had asked whether or not readers were fans of My Little Pony: Friendship is Magic.
The question for P(Supernatural) explicitly said "including God." So either LW assigns a median probability of at least one in 10,000 that God created the universe and then did nothing, or there's a bad case of conjunction fallacy.
1319 people supplied a probability of God that was not blank or "idk" or the equivalent thereof as well as a non-blank religion. I was going to do results for both religious views and religious background, but religious background was a write-in so no thanks.
Literally every group had at least one member who supplied a P(God) of 0 and a P(God) of 100.
Do you have some links to calibration training? I'm curious how they handle model error (the error when your model is totally wrong).
For question 10 for example, I'm guessing that many more people would have gotten the correct answer if the question was something like "Name the best selling PC game, where best selling solely counts units not gross, number of box purchases and not subscriptions, and also does not count games packaged with other software?" instead of "What is the best-selling computer game of all time?". I'm guessing mos... (read more)
They punish it. That is, your stated credence should include both your 'inside view' error of "How confident is my mythology module in this answer?" and your 'outside view' error of "How confident am I in my mythology module?"
One of the primary benefits of playing a Credence Game like this one is it gives you a sense of those outside view confidences. I am, for example, able to tell which of two American postmasters general came first at the 60% level, simply by using the heuristic of "which of these names sounds more old-timey?", but am at the 50% level (i.e. pure chance) in determining which sports team won a game by comparing their names.
This is the sort of thing you learn by answering a bunch of questions from the same person, or by having a lawyer-sense of "how many qualifications would I need to add or remove to this sentence to be sure?".
Yayy! I was having a shitty day, and seeing these results posted lifted my spirits. Thank you for that! Below are my assorted thoughts:
I'm a little disappointed that the correlation between height and P(supernatural)-and-similar didn't hold up this year, because it was really fun trying to come up with explanations for that that weren't prima facie moronic. Maybe that should have been a sign it wasn't a real thing.
The digit ratio thing is indeed delicious. I love that stuff. I'm surprised there wasn't a correlation to sexual orientation, though, since I se... (read more)
I remember answering the computer games question and at first feeling like I knew the answer. Then I realized the feeling I was having was that I had a better shot at the question than the average person that I knew, not that I knew the answer with high confidence. Once I mentally counted up all the games that I thought might be it, then considered all the games I probably hadn't even thought of (of which Minecraft was one), I realized I had no idea what the right answer was and put something like 5% confidence in The Sims 3 (which at least is a top ten game). But the point is that I think I almost didn't catch my mistake before it was too late, and this kind of error may be common.
I was confident in my incorrect computer game answer because I had recently read this Wikipedia page List of best-selling video games remembered the answer and unthinkingly assumed that "video games" was the same as "computer games".
I think that this is what correct calibration overall looks like, since you don't know in advance which questions are easy and which ones are tricky. I would be quite impressed if a group of super-calibrators had correct calibration curves on every question, rather than on average over a set of questions.
It's interesting to compare these results to those of the 2014 Survey of Effective Altruists. These will be released soon, but here are some initial ways in which effective altruists who took this survey compare to LessWrong census takers:
I think that there are better analyses of calibration which could be done than the ones that are posted here.
For example, I think it's better to combine all 10 questions into a single graph rather than looking at each one separately.
The pattern of overconfidence on hard questions and underconfidence on easy questions is actually what you'd expect to find, even if people are well-calibrated. One thing that makes a question easy is if the obvious guess is the correct answer (like a question about Confederate Civil War generals where the correct answer is R... (read more)
Can someone who's done calibration training comment on whether it really seems to represent the ability to "judge how much evidence you have on a given issue", as opposed to accurately translate brain-based probability estimates in to numerical probability estimates?
I'm surprised at this. Is there a special term for "only identifying with one's gender by default" or keywords I can use to look for statistics for among the general population? (a brief googling didn't uncover anything). I would've guessed this number to be much lower, and now I'm wondering whether this is signaling or whether my model of other people in this particular instance is completely wrong.
And here's the Internet Archive's copy of Ozy's original "Cis By Default" post.
Edit: And now they've reposted it to their current blog.
Thanks for all the hard work!
This was the first time that I failed to take the survey, because I kept going "I don't have a scanner at home for the finger ratio thing, so I'll do it when I'm at the university" and then each time when I was at the university, I forgot. (I wasn't there often.)
Any correlation between digit ratios and gender default?
For the warming question, much of the difference between responses is likely due to differing judgments on what is "significant" as opposed to on what will/has been actually happening. I think it would be better to try to split these components. A first question could ask for example, how much do you think human influence (e.g. CO2 emitted due to human activity) has raised the temperature at the current moment (give a value that you think has a 50% chance of being above or below the correct ... (read more)
The questions about sexual orientation and gender identity seem to be quite well thought-out, as I would expect, but I have some suggestions in that regard for next year's survey:
1) Include the option to report as a man who has sex with men or a woman who has sex with women.
This could either be incorporated into the question of sexual orientation, or, perhaps more appropriately, because it is not technically a sexual orientation, it could be included as a standalone question.
2) Include the option to report one's sexual orientation using the Klein Sexual Or... (read more)
This post had more statements of the type “p < 0.01” than I would expect at LW. I recently read “Frequentist Statistics are Frequently Subjective” here.
It looks like the median age is 27.67, but I'm curious to see the age-range breakdown as I've frequently assumed I'm "old" for the group (over 40). Oh....never mind.....just saw the link to the Excel spreadsheet and will sort it myself.
1421 respondents supplied their age: 1292 (90.9%) of them were less than 40. The modal age is 25.
As always, thanks for doing this.
Huh? This is worded as a question about orientation rather than practice, so people who have an orientation have an orientation, no? Or is the issue something else?
Why are some results ordered and some listed alphabetically? That's a bit confusing.
What's this easy becoming calibrated through training? Bonus for a mainstream-ish source rather than LWsphere.
So I noticed a few people from Portugal in the public raw data. I am one of those people and from what I saw in the data, the remaining are all lurkers.
Viva pessoal! Want to join the community, even if just to say hi? =)
I'm surprised that this correlation wasn't higher. They're both pretty much the same test, right?
Three explanations I thought of:
I'm missing something/I have an inaccurate model of the difference between the two tests.
There's a lot of random difference between SAT scores from different testings. If this is true, I would expect there to be a correlation of around .844 between one test score and a later test score under the same grading system.
SAT scores are correlated with age (no idea whethe
I thought they were partially not the same because they added the writing subtest.
The reliability of recent SAT tests seems to generally be ~0.9 according to one random PDF I found (and has long been high). If I am understanding the formulas in this page correctly, then in this application, reliability simplifies to the Pearson's r of the 2 scores*, and that reliability of 0.9 is pretty similar to the LW old/new correlation r of 0.84.
So this may be simply what one would expect from people taking the SAT twice, without having to invoke the lowered correlation caused by the additional sections and any other tweaks they've made.
* Specifically, I'm looking at Artifactual Influences, #3: reliability, where I think we can reuse the example: for test-retest, assume the LWer doesn't get dumber or smarter and the true correlation would be 1; the reliability of the old SAT should be 0.9, the reliability of the new one should be 0.9 too, so you get '1 sqrt(0.9 0.9)' or 'sqrt(0.9 * 0.9)' or 's... (read more)
The psychometric term for #2 is test-retest reliability, and the numbers I've seen for the SAT range between .8 and .95, so I think that is a complete explanation for this phenomenon.
If the 2400 scores (which came later) are higher than the 1600 scores, that's evidence for #3, but comparing them is difficult because they do test different things and are normed differently.
What's up with a whole 10% being 'Atheist and spiritual'? It doesn't seem to be a family thing, as you get only 4.9% with that belief in the family section, and the numbers don't match up with the P(Supernatural) question.
I was worried about this last year when it was 8.1%, and the number seems to be increasing. Is this Will Newsome's post-rationality faction or what?
"Spiritual" doesn't necessarily imply a belief in anything supernatural: as Wikipedia puts it,
I've sometimes marked myself in the "atheist and spiritual" category in the surveys, though not always since I've been a little unsure of what exactly is meant by it. When I have, I've taken "spiritual" to refer to practices like engaging in meditation (possibly with the intention of seeing through the illusion of the self), seeking to perceive a higher meaning in everything that one does, enjoyment of ritual, cultivation of empathy towards other people, looking to connect with nature, etc.
It seems to me that religious belief and religious practice should be distinguished. The current questions are about religious belief and family background. Perhaps a question like this:
How many times in the past year have you done the following practices? Estimates are OK. The question here is whether you did the thing, not whether you believed in it, made it a habit, or did it voluntarily.
Data point: I picked this option, because of a grab-bag of vaguely related positions in my head that make me feel dissatisfied with the flat "atheist" option, including:
(I actually wish it was reversed to "religio... (read more)
I'd like to see the correlations between Bem Sex Roles and actual Gender answers.
Thanks Alex and Ozy!
Do I understand correctly that a more masculine finger ratio correlated strongly to support for feminism in both men and women?
I am also amused to note that, despite our extreme sex ratio, our BEM gender masculinity and femininity are almost exactly equal -- way below error.
Among the correlations the first I found surprising are
Minimum Wage/Feminism .378 (1286)
Immigration/Feminism .365 (1296)#
I wouldn't have guessed these from the corresponding memeplexes and can't see a plausible relationship. Anybody volunteer?
Support for a higher minimum wage, increased immigration, and feminism are all typically left-wing positions, so it's not surprising that they're found together.
I'm pretty sure it's more than just that, a lot of feminist ideas are about helping typically underprivileged communities. I've seen a lot of stuff on feminist areas about helping the poor and the undocumented as an extension of that.
As Arnold Kling suggests, progressives think of issues on an oppressor-oppressed axis. Women, poor people, and immigrants are all seen as oppressed, which is why feminism, raising the minimum wage, and support for more immigration are positions that are often found together.
Looking at 2013/2014 effective altruist donation amounts: http://lesswrong.com/r/discussion/lw/m6o/lw_survey_effective_altruists_and_donations/
If anyone else is interested in them, I'm willing to score, count, and/or categorize the responses to the "Changes in Routine" and "What Different" questions.
However, I've started to try and develop a scheme for the former... and I've hit twenty different categories (counting subcategories) and will probably end up with 5-10 more if I don't prune them down.
What sort of things do you think might be interesting to look for?
(Though I haven't started to do work on paper, the latter seems like a much simpler problem. However, if you have tho... (read more)
To compare, are there any public stats on LessWrong readership, such as how many new and returning visitors the site gets?
Hmmm...How strongly does this agrees with the sequences factor correlate with having read the sequences?
For a statistician, this is insane. In this case, this would mean that a sizable chunk of responders actually receives money from charity.
You seem to assume that every dataset has an inherent mean and standard deviation. But means and standard deviations are the results of modeling a gaussian distribution, and if the model fit is too bad, these metrics simply don't apply for this dataset.
The Lilliefors test was created for exactly this purpose: it gives you the probability that a dataset is not normal distributed. Please use it... (read more)
Means and standard deviations are general properties one can compute for any statistical distribution which doesn't have pathologically fat tails. (Granted, it would've been conceptually cleaner for Yvain to present the mean & SD of log donations, but there's nothing stopping us from using his mean & SD to estimate the parameters of e.g. a log-normal distribution instead of a normal distribution.)
Is there any correlation between calibration and CFAR-attendance?
(you mention "previous training in calibration", but I thought I'd specifically ask just in case)
Here is a complete list of Country counts (ordered by count) (ordered alphabetically).
Note that only countries from people who allowed their results to be public are listed. It is possible for someone from a non-listed country to have completed the survey but chose to remain private.
Inside square brackets are the full counts provided by Yvain (which include private results).
People who have not chosen a country are not listed. People with multiple countries are counted multiple times.
Have you ranked questions by their easiness before you looked at the results?
I want to be friends with the write-in worshiper of CelestAI mentioned :) PM if you like!
Under the profession listings, it says 35 people and 4% for Business. 35 is 2.7% of 1500.
Could someone explain or link to an explanation of the significance of the feminism-digit ratio connection? Why is it exciting?
Thank you for doing this survey.
I would be interested to see the correlations between political identification and moral views, and between moral views and meta-ethics.
(Also, looking at my responses to the survey, I think I unintentionally marked "Please do not use my data for formal research".)
Who is here from a country that does not hold elections?
It would appear 0% of lesswrongers were born in May. Which is strange, because I seem to remember being born then, and also taking the survey.
Thank you for this, very informative!
I am so confused.
Also, I'd like to see an aggregate calibration graph that includes people's answers to all of the calibration questions.
I think one logical correlation following from the Simulation Argument is underappreciated in the correlations.
I spotted this in the uncorrelated data already:
P Supernatural: 6.68 + 20.271 (0, 0, 1) 
P God: 8.26 + 21.088 (0, 0.01, 3) 
P Simulation 24.31 + 28.2 (1, 10, 50) 
Shouldn't evidence for simulations - and apparently the median belief is 10% for simulation - be evidence for Supernatural influences, for which there is 0% median belief (not even 0.01). After all a simulation implies a simulator and thus a more complex 'outer w... (read more)
A simulation is still a naturalistic non-supernatural thing, and it would just mean we see less of the universe than we thought we do. The question was, after all:
Definition of Rational Atheist - considers probability of God at ~5%.
Row Labels Average of PGod StdDev of PGod Count of PGod
Agnostic 17,20 22,13 130
Atheist and not spiritual 3,27 10,15 958
Atheist but spiritual 7,95 19,66 129
Committed theist 75,07 34,40 47
Deist/Pantheist/etc. 41,24 36,04 19
Lukewarm theist 48,09 34,61 39
(blank) 3,67 5,51 3
Grand Total 9,96 22,90 1 325
I don't understand:
The question above is one option, so for depression only self+notself 383+273 = 656, how come 393 lower bound?
I think it's interesting to note the lack of significant correlation between either IQ or calibration(as a proxy for rationality and/or sanity) and various beliefs such as many worlds. It's a common sentiment here that beliefs are a gauge of intelligence and rationality, but that doesn't seem to be true.
It would be interesting to include a small set of IQ test like questions, to confirm that there is a huge correlation between IQ and correct answers in general.
In retrospect, I'm really really sad we didn't have a "city" question (along with country) this year. In talking to other Australian organisers, we occasionally wonder about which cities to target with "come to your local LessWrong meetup" notifications... that time we had city in the survey was useful for knowing that there was a body of local people who were interested, but we hadn't reached.
So I'd like to request that next year we add that question back, please :)
What's the correlation between the left- and the right-hand digit ratio?
A note about calibration...
A poor showing on some questions, such as "what is the best-selling computer game", doesn't necessarily reflect poor calibration. It might instead simply mean that "the best-selling game is Minecraft" is a surprising fact to this particular community.
For example, I may have never heard of Minecraft, but had a large amount of exposure to evidence that "the best-selling game is Starcraft", or "the best-selling game is Tetris". During the time when I did play computer games, which was before t... (read more)
Strange, someone downvoted this summary post.
Has the digit ratio/feminism/immigration thing been published elsewhere? If not, this is an interesting novel result.
Its also kinda worrying IMO, as it seems to indicate that (surprise, surprise) political reasoning is far more emotional than logical, logic being independent of the hormone balance of the person doing the reasoning. This also explains how open borders and basic income are both really popular, despite being mutually exclusive AFAICT (if one country has both these policies, then loads of poor people would move there, and the system would coll... (read more)