2012 Less Wrong Census/Survey

by Scott Alexander2 min read3rd Nov 2012737 comments



11/26: The survey is now closed. Please do not take the survey. Your results will not be counted.

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.

The survey will probably remain open for a month or so, but once again do not delay taking the survey just for the sake of the extra credit questions.

Please make things easier for my computer and by extension me by reading all the instructions and by answering any text questions in the 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".

Okay! Enough nitpicky rules! Time to take the...

2012 Less Wrong Census/Survey

Thanks to everyone who suggested questions and ideas for the 2012 Less Wrong Census Survey. I regret I was unable to take all of your suggestions into account, because some of them were contradictory, others were vague, and others would have required me to provide two dozen answers and a thesis paper worth of explanatory text for every question anyone might conceivably misunderstand. But I did make about twenty changes based on the feedback, and *most* of the suggested questions have found their way into the text.

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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Muflax offers his feedback on some of the survey questions:

  • Treat the three digit number that you just wrote down as a length, in feet. Is the height of the tallest redwood tree in the world more or less than the number that you wrote down?: Feet! Fuck you, barbarians. I refuse to answer.
  • What is your best guess about the height of the tallest redwood tree in the world (in feet)?: Why not beard-seconds? Seriously, fuck you.
  • ...Height: 185cm (oh, now you can use sane units, you stupid imperialist pig-dogs)
[-][anonymous]9y 15

Upvoted for "beard-seconds."

I took survey. Long time lurker 1St time poster

Welcome! A year ago I was in your exact same position, having just created an account in order to take the survey and get free karma. Hope you continue posting!

[-][anonymous]9y 12

Have you seen the welcome thread?


Lurker, first time poster and done!

[-][anonymous]9y 11

Feel free to introduce yourself in the welcome thread.

I took the survey before it was cool.

Some might claim that so did everyone else who took it. :-)

I took the survey before. It was cool.

Punctuation time!

9gjm9yI took the survey. Before, it was cool. I took the survey before it was. Cool! See also, on a similar theme: The Uncertainty of the Poet [http://happopoemouse.blogspot.co.uk/2011/07/number-225-wendy-cope-uncertainty-of.html] , by Wendy Cope. [EDITED to add: I hadn't seen Jandila's comment when I wrote mine, of course.]
6[anonymous]9yI took the survey. Before, it was cool.
4TraderJoe9yI took the survey before. It. Was. Cool!
4jeremysalwen9yLuckily it will remain possible for everyone to do so for the foreseeable future.

Survey: done. Learned about deontology/virtue ethics: done.

Thanks LW. First time poster. 8 month lurker.

Took it. Yvain is a gentleman and a scholar for putting so much time and effort into this.

Just a few comments:

It could be a little clearer that the Calibration IQ question in Section 8 should only be answered by those people who reported an IQ in Section 5.

A GRE score question (as I requested in what is currently the fifth-most-upvoted top-level comment in the survey critiques thread) would have been nice. It was cool to see the Political Compass, AQ test, and iqtest.dk on there, though.

And done. I look forward to the Big Five scores, personally.

Commenting here because this is the highest voted comment mentioning the Big Five.

The Big Five personality test linked to in the survey is an online implementation of the Big Five Inventory (BFI). It was used in two studies: Srivastava et al. (2003) and Gosling et al. (2004.

The most recent canonical citation of the BFI is John et al. (2008). The BFI is very widely used in the literature, so descriptive statistics (i.e., mean and SD) for different populations are available from many studies.

The percentiles from the online test were approximated under a Gaussian assumption (scores on Big Five inventories are typically not well-approximated by Gaussians, so the percentile rankings are bound to be off). Everyone was normed to the same distribution (i.e., age, gender, etc. do not affect the results; only the 44 questions on the BFI do). The exact mean and SD used by the test to calculate percentile rankings are as follows (converted to the usual 5-point Likert scale):

  • E: mean = 3.30, SD = 0.88
  • A: mean = 3.66, SD = 0.70
  • C: mean = 3.40, SD = 0.76
  • N: mean = 3.15, SD = 0.85
  • O: mean = 3.85, SD = 0.65

In order to compare LW's results to norms in the literature, we need to convert the percen... (read more)

7RobertLumley9yWell, my big five scores were off. I was watching college football while I took the personality tests, which I think may have altered the results a bit. High emotions and whatnot. Edit: I took the Meyers Briggs and three of the four letters were off, so I just used what I know my type is. It's been that type for like five years and I took a test about two weeks ago, and got the same results.

I took it. Thanks for doing this every year, the results are very interesting.

Did the survey! Also, this is my first comment, as a long-standing lurker!

7MBlume9yWelcome ^_^
[-][anonymous]9y 52

Took the survey, and a lot of the extra credit. I need a karma infusion, stat!

I assumed it was okay to use a pen and paper for the CFAR questions. For a few of the questions, I found it helpful to write down the given information and some rough calculations.

Also, on the probability estimates, I pretty much tried to translate my gut feelings about things into a number. (Contrary to the sequence posts that explicitly advise us against doing that.) I haven't worked to get a rigorous probability estimates for most (if any) of the questions posed. I imagine a lot of people are in the same position, and the conclusions drawn from the data should take this into account.

[-][anonymous]9y 12

Also, on the probability estimates, I pretty much tried to translate my gut feelings about things into a number. (Contrary to the sequence posts that explicitly advise us against doing that.) I haven't worked to get a rigorous probability estimates for most (if any) of the questions posed.

Me too. In particular, in the ones about aliens, any calculation with reasonable (IMO) inputs would yield a number practically indistinguishable from 1, so I trusted my gut feelings instead as they would also consider confidence levels outside the argument.

8Davidmanheim9yIt seems strange to me that anyone would assume that it is normal to come up with reasonable estimates for some of the items asked. I have too little information, and feel that it's irresponsible to have/venture opinions when specifically ill-informed.
9[anonymous]9yWell, I guess that is the point. If they were questions to which all reasonable people, after five minutes of googling, would give more or less the same answers, the results wouldn't be terribly interesting.

Done. I did all of the extra credit except the Myers-Briggs. The IQ test was the most interesting but three or four questions towards the ends were frustratingly difficult and refused to yield their secrets to me; even now I can feel lingering annoyance at the fact that I eventually gave up on them instead of wrestling with them for longer. Oh well.

3WingedViper9ySame for me here. Most of them were surprisingly easy and some (about 3 or 4) were just plain bizarre.

took it. It's interesting to see how the questions change every time I take one of these.

I took the survey and all the optional questions. I love answering multiple choice questions.

7somervta9yI also love this.

Took it!

Did any one else have trouble copy-pasting the links?

I normally score insanely high on Openness to experience (says she of the massive amounts of really weird hobbies), but for this test, I scored really low on Openness. Must be feeling particularly close-minded today. Weird.

I also got really low openness on that test. I'm suspicious.

8[anonymous]9yLinks from Google Forms instructions often don't work, in my experience. They may work in some browsers but not others, and I am sure it does not help that I am often using an iPad for that sort of thing.
5[anonymous]9ySelecting the URL, right-clicking it, and picking “Open in a new tab” worked in my version of Firefox.

In Google Chrome on the Mac, the URL text would simply not stay selected. The moment I let go of the mouse after drag-selecting, the text would un-select, and the question's text field would be focused.

4maia9yHad the same problem using Chromium on Ubuntu. I hit Ctrl+C while still holding down the mouse, which worked after a couple of tries.
7MBlume9yYeah, wouldn't stay selected.
5Rubix9yI scored really low on everything - in fact, I got 4th percentile Agreeableness. Not over-correcting for self-importance is hard! ETA: I do actually have reason to believe that I'm not an extremely disagreeable person; I'm concerned that failing to acknowledge that or present those reasons made it look like I failed to consider that possibility.
5Nick_Tarleton9yI got similarly extreme results on C/E/A (not that I disagree with the direction) and lower-than-casually-expected O: link [http://www.outofservice.com/bigfive/results/?oR=0.75&cR=0.25&eR=0.062&aR=0.417&nR=0.562&y=1990&g=m] (Edited to add: Very amused by the Myers-Briggs question "Your actions are frequently influenced by emotions". Um....)
3[anonymous]9ythe results of the big five test were highly suspect to me as well.

I took the survey.

I took it, on a Saturday night, and scored 7 on Extroversion. Pardon me while I step out to go to a party.

Took the survey. Does the "Do you intend to have children" question refer to the immediate future, or in your lifetime?

I interpreted that question as "in your lifetime".

6[anonymous]9yMe too.

Took it.

I took the survey.

As per ancient tradition (apparently) - give me karma

I took it!

Took the survey. Does the god question include simulators? I answered under the assumption that it did not.

I assumed the same, based on the definition of "god" as "supernatural" and the definition of "supernatural" as "involving ontologically basic mental entities."

(Oh, and for anyone who hasn't read the relevant post, the survey is quoting this.)

8gwern9yI'm pretty sure it doesn't. At least, if it does I have no idea what the 'ontologically basic mental events' qualifiers were about...
3BlazeOrangeDeer9yI think it meant "not made of smaller parts", for example ghosts would be disembodied consciousnesses not made of any atoms. I thought this was incredibly unlikely.
3Eugine_Nier9yI honestly considered answering "Mu" to the questions that mentioned 'ontologically basic mental events' since I don't think "ontologically basic" is a meaningful concept.
5tgb9yI, for one, answered assuming that it does include simulators. I do not know what ontologically basic mental events are and didn't bother to look it up.


Pretense for posting here:

How are the redwood tree questions relevant, don't they mostly test trivia knowledge?

Anchoring, thus random number generator a question earlier.

6tgb9yI think I messed this part up; random.org was down when I took it so I skipped that question and the next, then answered my best guess for redwood height, then realized that I could just make a random number by other means (python), and used that instead. I realized afterwards that it was probably about anchoring, but there was no obvious way to undo that section. Oh well; I was off by more than a factor of 2 regardless, despite having visited redwood national park.
3Kawoomba9yAh, I see. So this question (CFAR 6) ... ... just serves to reinforce the anchoring effect, I take it. All a setup for CFAR question 7 then, "best guess about the height of the tallest redwood tree in the world (in feet)?" If that is so, then unfortunately for people who get a random number close to the actual height of that redwood tree, and who also have some background information on redwood trees, the anchoring effect would be impossible to tell apart from actually knowing (within bounds) the answer. A number that is purposefully far off may have discriminated knowledge versus anchoring better, e.g. by using a random number from 500 to 1500 instead.

Took it. And I answered all the extra-credit questions that were applicable to me.

Took the survey, and all the extra questions.

Took the survey; doing all the extra tests for the last few extra questions was fairly interesting, not having done many personality tests or taken online IQ tests before.

Two questions, as I take the survey:

  1. What does "spiritual" mean, in the context of "Atheist [but | and not] spiritual"?
  2. I genuinely have no idea whether I'd prefer low or high redistribution of wealth. What do I tick for my political opinion?
6RobinZ9yAccording to this Google result [http://www.beliefnet.com/Entertainment/Books/2002/07/Spiritual-But-Not-Religious.aspx] , "spiritual" in this context seems to allude to a kind of private, iconoclastic, mystical religion, as opposed to public, creedal, classical religions like most sects of Christianity. I hope that helps.
5arborealhominid9yI had both of these questions as well. I've always been confused about the word "spiritual," as some people seem to use it to mean "having feelings of awe or reverence that are cognitively similar to those expressed in religious worship" while others use it to mean "actually believing in spirits." I consider myself spiritual by the first definition, but not the second. On the survey, I described myself as "atheist but spiritual," but now I'm not sure this was the most accurate description, since it falsely implies that I believe in the supernatural. As far as redistribution of wealth goes, I don't know what you should mark. I chose "Libertarian" because I am rather distrustful of centralized government, and redistribution of wealth generally depends on some sort of centralization. But I know very little about what sort of consequences redistribution of wealth would actually have, so my views on the subject are quite tentative. (I recall hearing somewhere that the Scandinavian countries scored highest on a survey of self-reported happiness, which would suggest that redistribution of wealth at least doesn't prevent a society from being largely happy. If anyone can confirm or deny this, I would much appreciate it.)
3[anonymous]9yI took "spiritual" to mean in this context that you don't believe in ontologically basic mental entities, but still embrace feelings of wonder, majesty, euphoria, etc. typically associated with religions when contemplating/experiencing the natural world. Do you not have a preference for low/high redistribution of wealth because you haven't studied enough economics, or because you have studied economics and haven't found a satisfying answer? (Alternatively, trying to answer this one question might just not be worth your time. If that's the case, I'd leave it blank. Or if you're otherwise choosing between two positions, flip a coin)

Just took the survey. Out of curiosity, why is it ancient tradition to upvote for this?

During the part of the survey where you describe your gender and sexual orientation, I thought it might be a good idea to have another question asking to rate your libido on a numbered scale. Perhaps also another question asking your romantic disposition, as it is possible to be asexual but not aromantic.

Out of curiosity, why is it ancient tradition to upvote for this?

The underlying reasons are set forth in the Sequences, as you'd expect. :)

No. Stop. The only reason necessary is because we want more of that behavior, right?

You're entirely correct. And if you read that post, you'll see why your reply is funny. :)

5Decius9yThe behavior of posting comments to the effect that we have taken the survey?
3adamisom9yYes. Haha... Obviously it's not the target behavior, but I, at least, assume that almost everyone who has commented to that effect has actually done it.
3FourFire9yYes I was wanting for a libido rate question too.
[-][anonymous]9y 48

I took the survey! Including some but not all of the extra credit.

Took it, did most of the extra credit questions. I think that a mixture of already being familiar with the test, and being used to consciously correcting for some bias about self perception may have thrown off my personality stuff.

Well... that was a tense couple of hours (damn long survey) I answered every question except for the last.

Took the survey. Called it a day at the "unreasonable" extra credit questions.

[-][anonymous]9y 48


Took the survey. Feels like I only very recently took the last one.

Took the survey and all extra questions bar IQ test.

I took the survey and participated in the complementary karma orgy!

Took it. Nothing like a census/survey to make you feel like part of a community.


Advisory: RANDOM.ORG will be temporarily unavailable on Sunday 2012-11-04 due to a system upgrade.

Also, in retrospect, I misremembered my own age. It's been ... a busy year.

Took the survey.

I took the survey.

I am curious to know whether CFAR questions #2 and #4 are supposed to have a "right" answer.

I'm the CFAR person who is responsible for those questions, and I'll explain them and report on the results after the survey is closed. Until then... no comment.

4[anonymous]9yROT13ing the following due to Unnamed's concerns [http://lesswrong.com/lw/f9l/2012_less_wrong_censussurvey_now_open/7r1f] (do not decode unless you've already taken the survey): Va Dhrfgvba Gjb, V'z cerggl fher gur “zber zbarl yngre” nafjre vf fhccbfrq gb or gur evtug nafjre sbe zbfg nqhygf, ohg V pna vzntvar cyragl bs fvghngvbaf jurer gur “yrff zbarl evtug abj” nafjre jbhyq znxr zber frafr, r.t. n grrantre yvivat jvgu gurve cneragf jub'f nyzbfg eha bhg bs cbpxrg zbarl guvf jrrx. V fhttrfg pbagebyyvat sbe jurgure gur erfcbaqrag'f nafjre gb gur “Vapbzr” dhrfgvba jnf cbfvgvir jura nanylfvat guvf. Va Dhrfgvba Sbhe, jvgu Qeht O gur cngvrag jbhyq unir gjb uhaqerq svsgl srjre qbyynef ohg gjragl srjre urnqnpurf, fb gur dhrfgvba vf jurgure n ybj-vapbzr crefba fubhyq or jvyyvat gb cnl gjryir qbyynef naq n unys gb cerirag n urnqnpur. Hayrff jubrire jebgr gur dhrfgvba unq va zvaq n eryngviryl uvtu guerfubyq sbe jung pbhagf nf “ybj vapbzr”, V'q fnl gung gurl fubhyqa'g naq gung Qeht O vf orggre.

Zl guvaxvat ba gur qeht dhrfgvba jnf gung gur urnqnpurf frrzrq fb qrovyvgngvat gung gurl jbhyq or ceriragvat fbzrbar sebz jbexvat. Juvyr O vf boivbhfyl gur zbfg rssvpvrag, N fgvyy fnirf 20 urnqnpurf cre lrne. V pbasrff gung V qvqa'g npghnyyl qb gur zngu ng gur gvzr, ohg rira vs ur'f jbexvat ng zvavzhz jntr (va gur HF), vg fgvyy znxrf frafr gb ohl N: guerr ubhe zvtenvarf, gvzrf gjragl urnqnpurf cre lrne gvzrf frira qbyynef naq gjragl svir pragf cre ubhe (zvavzhz jntr) pbzrf bhg gb or sbhe uhaqerq naq guvegl svir qbyynef, juvpu vf nyzbfg gjvpr nf zhpu nf gur qvssrerapr va pbfg.

4[anonymous]9yJryy, abg nyy gur urnqnpurf jbhyq bpphe qhevat jbex ubhef; fbzr bs gurz jbhyq bpphe qhevat gvzr fur jnfa'g tbvat gb jbex naljnl, fhpu nf riravatf naq jrrxraqf. Fb lbh jbhyq unir gb pbafvqre ubj zhpu fur inyhrf yrvfher gvzr, gbb. Gur nccebkvzngvba gung gvzr vf shatvoyr vf cnegvphyneyl cbbe sbe ybj-vapbzr crbcyr, nf cbvagrq bhg (naq va fbzr zber frevbhf cynpr gbb, ohg V qba'g erzrzore jurer evtug abj).
4Kaj_Sotala9yV gubhtug gur dhrfgvba jnf naablvat naq pbagevirq, nf vg znxrf ab frafr gb unir zr gel gb jrvtu gur qvfhgvyvgl bs gur cngvrag'f cnlvat if. fhssrevat jura V pbhyq whfg unir nfxrq uvz. Gung fnvq, gur zvtenvarf fbhaqrq dhvgr uryyvfu, naq V svtherq gung vs gur cngvrag jnf fb cbbe gung gur qvssrerapr va cevpr jbhyq unir orra n ernyyl urnil oheqra ba uvf svanaprf, gur qrfpevcgvba jbhyq unir hfrq fbzr zber rkgerzr jbeq guna whfg "ybj-vapbzr". Fb V jrag jvgu gur zbfg rkcrafvir bcgvba.
4[anonymous]9yBa gur bgure unaq, V unq gnxra “ybj-vapbzr” gb or n rhcurzvfz sbe ‘vaqvtrag’, fb V jrag jvgu O. Gurl fubhyqa'g unir zvkrq n dhnyvgngvir jbeq yvxr gung jvgu dhnagvgngvir qngn nobhg cevprf naq ahzore bs urnqnpurf.
3maia9yVg vf qrsvavgryl pbagevirq, naq frrzrq yvxr n jrveq 'engvbanyvgl' dhrfgvba, orpnhfr vg nccrnef gb ernyyl whfg or nobhg genqrbssf onfrq ba gur cngvrag'f cersreraprf. Ohg, gubhtu V qba'g xabj gur 'evtug' nafjre, V fhfcrpg vg zvtug unir gb qb jvgu guvf ovnf, ubjrire: uggc://ra.jvxvcrqvn.bet/jvxv/Qrpbl_rssrpg
4MixedNuts9yGur dhrfgvba fnlf gur cngvrag vf vapncnpvgngrq ol rnpu zvtenvar urnqnpur sbe guerr ubhef. Gur HF zvavzhz jntr vf $7.25. Guvf jbexf bhg gb gjragl-gjb qbyynef cre zvtenvar urnqnpur, orsber gnxvat vagb nppbhag gung gubfr fhpx vafnaryl. Gur cngvrag znl or cbbere guna gung be hanoyr gb jbex (zber), gubhtu. Vs V jrer gur qbpgbe V'q bssre gur pubvpr orgjrra N naq O, abg zragvba P orpnhfr bs gur rssrpg guvf dhrfgvba grfgf, naq erpbzzraq N vs nfxrq.
4pengvado9yV erwrpg gung rkprcgvba. Gurer vf ab "guvf jrrx" va "eha bhg bs cbpxrg zbarl". Vs lbh'er ehaavat bhg, gura bar jrrx jnfa'g n ybat rabhtu cynaavat ubevmba. V xabj zbfg crbcyr yvir jvgu n onax onynapr arne mreb, ohg zbfg crbcyr ner vafnar. Vs lbh qba'g unir rabhtu bs n ohssre gb cerirag lbh sebz fhqqrayl orvat oebxr, gura lbh'er yvivat orlbaq lbhe zrnaf. Naq vs lbh jnag gb vapernfr lbhe zrnaf, gura gnxr gur "zber zbarl yngre". Gur bayl jnl gur rkprcgvba jbhyq jbex vf vs lbh'er pbasvqrag gung lbh'yy arire or guvf pnfu-fgenccrq ntnva.
3William_Quixote9yNot affiliated with CFAR, but in my view V’z abg fher vs gur crefba jub jebgr gur dhrfgvba unf unq erny pynffvp zvtenvarf be abg. Sbe nalbar jub unf rire unq zvtenvarf, gur dhrfgvba unf na hanzovthbhf evtug nafjre.

Sbe nalbar ng nyy, gur dhrfgvba unf na hanzovthbhf evtug nafjre, naq vg vf: Lbh fubhyq gryy gur cngvrag nobhg qehtf N naq O naq yrg gurz qrpvqr ubj gb znxr gur genqrbss orgjrra zbarl naq cnva/gvzr/vapbairavrapr. Hasbeghangryl guvf jnfa'g bar bs gur bcgvbaf.

4[anonymous]9yRira vs gurl yvir ba yrff guna gjryir uhaqerq svsgl-svir qbyynef cre lrne, yvxr unys gur jbeyq'f cbchyngvba [http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2082385/We-1--You-need-34k-income-global-elite--half-worlds-richest-live-U-S.html] ?

Survey taken while it was in stealth mode. Good to know it's officially out now!

A funny thing about the calibration question. Last year I gave myself (IIRC) a 35% probability of having the right answer within the interval asked, and got the answer right. This year I missed by two decades, at 55% confidence. Surprisingly that's actually progress - the Brier score tells me this year's is a better result than last year's.

Took it.

My browser was unable to copy/past most of the links which led to less than initially intended participation on my part. For instance, I took the big 5 quiz because the address was easy to glance at and type into another tab but didn't take other surveys/tests in the bonus question sections because i didn't feel like tabbing back and forth to get the web address correct.

My first census at LW is done. I gave up on the questions requiring to answer other surveys before, apart from the political compass one which I already did. Looking forward for the results.

I took the survey. I did Political Compass for the first time, and I found its questions and results rather baffling. Political Compass themselves admit it is culturally biased and mainly for western democracies.

9Eugine_Nier9yThat's the thing about traditionalism. A lot of it depends on which tradition you're from.

Took it - I hadn't taken an IQ test before, and I found it interesting (and, for the final few questions, quite difficult).

Took survey, not yet contributed to the site, had lurked a lot over the past few months.

I took the survey. Skipped out at the "unreasonably long" section. Will it handle things properly if I return to it another day?

Note, if you ask me question that I can look up in two seconds flat, and the next question is "without checking sources, assess the probability of the last answer being correct" then I'm not sure you're going to get the results you're looking for. I consider the Internet as part of my partly trustable memory that I reference when I want to achieve success in the world I.e. all the time - but its not clear that's a commonly held opinion.

6RobinZ9yAs a general rule, when taking surveys to test your knowledge, I believe you are supposed to not look up anything unless specifically instructed. It's like crossword puzzles in that way.
4DuncanF9yAh. I took the explicit rules for section 7 and my natural tendencies and didn't pick up on the intent for section 8 until it was too late.
[-][anonymous]9y 44

Took the survey! :)

Thank you Yvain!

Took it and laughed several times.

Took the survey. Somehow I've managed to lose a decent chunk of IQ over the past 15 years...

6[anonymous]9yIIRC, some tests are designed to have a standard deviation of 24 rather than 15; perhaps the test you took 15 years ago was one of those, so that a 148 on that scale would correspond to a 130 on this one.
4KrisC9yIQ does normalize with increasing age.
4faul_sname9yAlso normalizes with decreasing age. [http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Regression_toward_the_mean]
[-][anonymous]9y 43

I managed to keep myself up after several days of sleep deprivation to complete all that I could but the very last part.

[This comment is no longer endorsed by its author]Reply

I answered every question, and enjoyed doing so. Thank you for putting this together. (c:

Took it. I think the example of 0.5 being interpreted as 0.5% and not as 50% anchored me a bit, but don't see a way to circumvent it.

7beoShaffer9y.X will be interpreted as 0.X% and not as X0% ?

The "income" question doesn't state pre- or post-tax — you should say you intend one or the other.

Also individual versus household. I went with individual.

I interpreted the question as pre-tax, individual income.

8Kaj_Sotala9yCurious: I automatically assume all such questions to be pre-tax, as is the convention around here. Are there regions where post-tax is the default?

Took it!

I am impressed with Yvain's thoroughness overall in drafting this survey.

Yay! Test taken including all extra questions

Easy and entertaining. Done!

Ì took it. ALL of it.

Took it and decided to de-lurk for the first time. (Hello!) I found the experience rather humbling.

I also de-lurked for the first time to take the survey!

I'm too intimidated to post anything else. :(

8[anonymous]9yI suggest starting from the welcome thread [http://lesswrong.com/lw/do9/welcome_to_less_wrong_july_2012/]. :-)
[-][anonymous]9y 40

Survey: taken.

I finished the survey! Including the Unreasonably Long and Complicated part which i admit took even longer than i expected.

[-][anonymous]9y 39

Took the survey, completed all applicable questions. I'm surprised at how many de-lurkers are a direct consequence of this survey. Welcome, everyone :)

I really enjoyed taking the survey. Akrasia! Hope we weren't testing the RNG site. Since it was down I used a more local randomizer.

Done. All of it!

(Also, first LW comment: check.)

6beoShaffer9yHi kannd, welcome to less wrong. You might want to take a look at the welcome thread [http://lesswrong.com/lw/90l/welcome_to_less_wrong_2012/], especially if you haven't read much LW yet.

I took the first survey. Everything seemed great! Thanks a lot Yvain. Unfortunately, I couldn't do the last extra questions. Sorry :( The results should be interesting...

Hello all! Test taken, first post / de-lurking complete. I really enjoy the site and the discussions, and will contribute fairly soon...

Why do I get the feeling that you will tease me about the discrepancy between my probability estimates on aliens in the milky way contra the rest of the universe?

That's actually probably my favorite single question: when I first took the survey I went 'universe: dunno, maybe 60%, Milky Way: eh, 30%.....wait a second aren't there more than 2 galaxies‽'

5gjm9y(Nice interrobang.) There's only something wrong with holding both "Pr(intelligent life in Milky Way) non-negligible" and "Pr(intelligent life in observable universe) not-almost-1" if the events "life in galaxy 1", "life in galaxy 2", etc., are independent or approximately so. So if you assign substantial probability to propositions like "intelligent life basically can't actually emerge naturally at all, but we were put here by a god" or "subtle variations in the laws of physics across the universe mean that our galaxy is suitable for intelligent life but most others aren't" then you can consistently give such answers. I can't think of any reason for the right sort of intergalactic correlation that's likely to be thought probable by many LWers, though.
6jooyous9yI found that section SO hard to answer without wishful thinking getting in the way. So I just left them all blank. I WANT smart alien friends! =/

Took it.

I was about to kick myself for not checking last year's answers to all the probability questions (I don't feel I've received much new information or insights that should cause me to change my mind, so I felt I should have averaged my current subjective estimate with last year's).

But then I found that my subjective estimates were remarkably stable! (with possible slight drift towards 50%). Not sure what to make of that. Was going to post answers here to illustrate but wasn't sure if that violated protocol because of anchoring. (People should really take the survey before reading any of the comments in any case).

P.S. I took the survey.

Took the survey; Did everything but the IQ test. I recognized some of the questions, and I decided I didn't have an extra 40 minutes to spare.

Took it. Note for people on iOS device--iqtest.dk requires Flash, and doesn't tell you what's wrong if you load it on an iPhone /iPad/iPod.

Took it.

Thanks for the test Yvain! I did all of it and wasted too much time in the surveys (didn't want to fill in with an existing one in case of calibration errors. In addition to everyone else's comments, I personally didn't find any of the quizzes problematic, got a similar Big Five score to usual, and actually got 10 points more in my IQ test than my self-reported IQ. Looking forward to the results!

Does "your country" refer to the country you were born in, are a citizen of, or are currently residing in?

Also: Took it. Karma me gentlemen :D

5adamisom9yI'm hoping that this survey reveals that it is incorrect to refer to us LessWrongers as "gentlemen" ... And yes, you may take that either way. After all, there were questions on both our gender and our # of sexual partners.
4[anonymous]9yIt says, That should coincide with the country you're a citizen of except in exceptional circumstances.
5Giles9yI don't really consider nationality to be part of my self identity - I'm not sure how unusual I am in this regard. I'd suggest changing next year's survey to include "what country are you in right now" (unambiguous so hopefully less noisy) plus another question about national identity which would permit non-state or non-officially recognized nations as answers and also permit none/not sure. Essentially giving nationality the same treatment already given to sex/gender.
4MixedNuts9yDisagree. "What country do you most identify with" covers people who care about nationality, immigrants who care about the land they live in even if they aren't citizens, children of immigrants who identify most with their parents' origin country even if they don't live there and aren't citizens, expats who reject cultural assimilation, would-be immigrants that can't permanently live in their country of choice but have assimilated, angsty movie characters who are torn between two or more countries and make compromises, people who don't give a hoot but can't ignore where their culture comes from, or where they have ties, or where they were raised, or where they pay taxes. "What country are you in" covers native or assimilated members of a culture who are not vacationing abroad, expats visiting their home country, and you.
3[anonymous]9yI'm starting to think that different people interpret “identify” in different ways, also from discussion in the Call For Critiques/Questions thread. If I'm asked whether I'm male or female, I answer I'm male, with no hesitation whatsoever. This is what I'd call “identifying as male”. OTOH this doesn't mean that I'm proud of being male, that I endorse maleness (whatever that would mean), that I think males are more awesome than females¹ or even that I try to conform to any cultural stereotype of maleness solely because it's a cultural stereotype of maleness.² ISTM that certain people understand “identify” this latter way. “What country do you currently live in” would be better IMO; with your version, someone who happens to be on holiday abroad when taking the test would have to give a somewhat irrelevant answer, whereas “currently” could be interpreted more broadly as I did for the employment question [http://lesswrong.com/lw/f9l/2012_less_wrong_censussurvey_now_open/7r65]. Or if you really want to operationalize it, “in what country would it be the most convenient for you to attend a LW meetup in the next few months”. -------------------------------------------------------------------------------- 1. In fact, I find the majority of males to be pretty boring. 2. Indeed, my latest Facebook status was “I wish Facebook had a way to automatically hide all posts about football (soccer)” (but in Italian), and it has been liked by 11 females and 3 males so far.

Took the survey!

Took it. The autism test makes it seem like it is easy for people to get more or less autistic with time. I would have scored much higher 10 years ago.

I took the survey too. I can haz karma plz? Kthxbye.

I took it and threw in on the ground!

Took the survey. I've accidentally submitted unfinished one, before answering to all the questions I wanted to answer. Please ignore that submission.

[-][anonymous]9y 35

I took the survey, and I answered the first extra credit question, but not the others. When I realized it would take THAT long (I hadn't yet scrolled down to reveal each Extra Credit Question was going to be as long as the first), I thought it would take too much time.

Thanks for doing this once again Yvain.

Edit: survey taken.

All done. Can I has points please?

[-][anonymous]9y 35

Did it.

The political question was dumb. why can't I pick "FAI" or "rational consequentialist".

I really liked the CFAR questions. MORE OF THOSE.

The political compass questions were very ADBOC and generally meaningless. Apparently I'm left libertarian, whatever that means.

The Big 5 test was suspect on some things. Am I really lowest quartile conscientiousness and agreeableness? I defy the data.

The iq test was fun and challenging. Got 133, which is also what I've gotten on previous iq tests.

The autism test was utterly without interpretation. What does 18 mean?

EDIT: sorry I'm being so negative, a good survey overall. Maybe this is where the low agreeableness comes from.

8Nornagest9yThe Political Compass isn't that great for handling nuanced opinions. It mostly seems to test agreement with partisan slogans, some of them quite far out of date, and the wording subtly favors the libertarian interpretation in a lot of cases; as such it's a decent metric of ideological affiliation, especially if you're somewhere on the libertarian spectrum, but it gets a lot noisier as soon as you start forming your own opinions. The tendency to use absolute phrasing ("must", "every", etc.) is especially problematic for a consequentialist. If this is normed like the last autism-spectrum test I saw, the cutoff point for autistic tendencies (bearing in mind the usual caveats about Internet self-testing) is somewhere in the low to mid-20s. Lower means you're more likely to be considered neurotypical along that spectrum, higher means an autism (or, historically, AS) diagnosis is more likely.
3tetsuo559yHow to read the autism score was explained on the test page itself. quote: "Psychologist Simon Baron-Cohen and his colleagues at Cambridge's Autism Research Centre have created the Autism-Spectrum Quotient, or AQ, as a measure of the extent of autistic traits in adults. In the first major trial using the test, the average score in the control group was 16.4. Eighty percent of those diagnosed with autism or a related disorder scored 32 or higher. The test is not a means for making a diagnosis, however, and many who score above 32 and even meet the diagnostic criteria for mild autism or Asperger's report no difficulty functioning in their everyday lives." So a score above 32 means you are highly likely of being autistic.
8beoShaffer9yI noticed that my conscientiousness and agreeableness score were significantly lower than the last time I took the big five test (slightly before I really got into LW). I don't have solid evidence, and it does seem a bit convenient, but what I think is happening (please take a second to recall your subjective experience of taking the test before reading further). Despite what the test says, most of the questions do have "right" (or at least socially desirable) answers and LWers are better than the population used to norm the test at avoiding self-serving biases in their answers. Do you remember conscious thinking of biases while taking the test and/or have you developed habits meant to make you less prone to having self severing biases to begin with?
8[anonymous]9yI noticed self-serving a bit on the first few questions and adjusted. I definitely remember thinking of biases.
9beoShaffer9yMost tests (I think including this one) are normed on people who (mostly) don't do that. Thus I'd expect it to under rate your positive qualities.
3Nornagest9yI wasn't consciously keeping biases in mind and I don't think I've consciously developed habits to ameliorate them, although I've probably gotten better at recognizing and avoiding them anyway. I scored higher on Agreeableness and Conscientiousness than the last time I took a Big 5 test, by almost a quartile each. If I had to guess, I'd probably ascribe this to improving my social life over the last year or so, although my participation in LW would be hard to disentangle from that.
3Kindly9yWe'll find out what it means when we have an average of all the other LW results.

Longtime lurker that finally signed up in July. All questions except for the last ones with the tests. (did the IQ test though)

Took the survey.

[-][anonymous]9y 35

Taken. Comments:

In the “More Children” question, I interpreted “planning” very broadly -- I definitely want to have children some day, but not in the next few years. And I'm assuming that finding a girlfriend (which I'm kinda working on) counts as the first step in the “plan”. ;-)

In the “Work Status” question, I interpreted “currently” broadly -- I graduated last month, and know I've been accepted for a PhD even though I'm not officially starting until later this month, so I didn't pick “Unemployed” even though I technically am right now, because that would only mean that you opened the survey in the wrong month.

As usually, in the “Political” question I'm nearly totally disregarding the labels and mostly disregarding the examples, focusing on the descriptions instead.

In the “Religious Views” question, what do apatheism and ignosticism (essentially fancy words for ‘don't care’ and ‘don't understand’ respectively) count as? I'm assuming as “Agnostic” (essentially a fancy word for ‘don't know’).

In “Moral Views”, I'm counting rule consequentialism as a form of consequentialism, rather than as a form of deontology.

iqtest.dk does count as a “respectable test”, right?

“you may do so using... (read more)

In the “More Children” question, I interpreted “planning” very broadly -- I definitely want to have children some day, but not in the next few years. And I'm assuming that finding a girlfriend (which I'm kinda working on) counts as the first step in the “plan”. ;-)

Dear Diary, Today I found a girlfriend. I will now commence Phase 2 of my master plan to reproduce.

Took it, now give me karma.

Took the survey and actually liked it :)

I took the survey, and I am posting for the first time. Thank you for such an intriguing community, everyone.

For the hospital question, although I felt very good about the answer from my own mathematics background, I decided to create a Perl script to check one trial, then ran the script in an environment a great many times to produce a distribution. Here is the single trial script. (You will spoil the answer by executing this script, obviously.)

Took all of them.

Minor points on survey phrasing...

P(Global catastrophic risk) should be P(Not Global catastrophic risk)

You say in part 7 that research is allowed, but don't say that research is disallowed in part 8, calibration year.

In the true prisoner's dilemma article, it doesn't appear to give any information about the cognitive algorithms the opponent is running. For this reason I answered noncommittally, and I'm not sure how useful the question is for distinguishing people with CDTish versus TDTish intuitions.

Similarly in torture versus dust specks I answered not sure, not so much due to moral uncertainty but because the problem is underspecified. What's the baseline? Is everybody's life perfect except for the torture or dust specks specified, or is the distribution more like today's world with a broad range of experiences ranging from basically OK to torture?

I might have given an inflated answer for "Hours on the Internet", as I'm on the computer and the computer is on the Internet but it doesn't necessarily mean I'm actively using the Internet at all times.

I now have the whole set of Myers-Briggs letters. Something tells me this test is noisy.

You might want to look at North Americans and others separately for the redwood questions, to see if domain knowledge affects anchoring.

9RobinZ9yPerhaps a domain-knowledge question could be included in a future iteration of the survey. "North America" is a pretty big place, after all, and a Marylander is unlikely to know as much about redwoods as a Californian. Perhaps a set of options might be along the lines of: * I knew the answer to the question. * I knew the answer to one or more related questions, on which I based my estimate. * I once knew the answer to this or a related question. * I had no prior relevant knowledge. * Other (because you always forget an option when making a list like this.)
9MixedNuts9yI'm thinking of less knowledge than that; having seen redwoods at all (even on TV) and knowing they can get really big is knowledge, relative to "It's a kind of tree, right?".
3RobinZ9yOoh, right. That could be captured by "one or more related questions", but it wouldn't be obvious to me that it was, were I answering the question. I certainly didn't know that Mount Elbrus was the highest in Europe three days ago - I imagine that would be analogous.
3[anonymous]9yWell, that's because certain people define the borders of Europe so that Mount Elbrus is in Asia, and Mont Blanc is the highest in Europe.

Took the survey.

Have been lurking for a few years now; did the survey and most of the extra questions.

I took the survey and answered everything through the political compass.

Done it all!

With all those personality tests and surveys it took me a bit more than an hour, but it was quite interesting (particularly CFAR questions) so I won't complain, much. :)

Do casual sex partners count under the "Number of Current Partners" question?

The instructions tell me that higher numbers are for "polyamorous relationships" which makes it seem like a monogamous person who has multiple casual sex partners should answer 0 for that question.

7Zubon9yThat is about the excluded middle I was thinking of on those questions. Reference Dan Savage's term "monogamish." This community seems more likely than average to have unusual degrees of relationships. I was also wondering about "preferred" relationship style. I know several who would prefer polyamory in theory but in practice have never had it work out well in practice. Granted, I know several who have never had monogamy work out well in practice and more who have discovered that they were not in fact in strictly monogamous relationships.
5Scott Alexander9yGood question. I'm going with "no".

Took the whole thing, waiting till I get a good night's sleep to do the IQ test and hit submit.

For those who couldn't select or copy the links like me, here they are to click on:

6drnickbone9yThanks very much for these links... I didn't complete the surveys on first read through, owing to failure of equipment (iPad) to follow the links, and lack of time. But encouraged by others here who persevered and completed the whole lot, I have followed up on them since. Not sure if I can amend the census now, but reporting here as I was mildly surprised by some of the results. Political Compass = Left Libertarian. Somewhere near Gandhi, Nelson Mandela and Dalai Lama apparently, with almost all Western politicians to the authoritarian right of me. Probably explains why I can't stand any of them! Big Five Personality Test = High O, High C, Moderate E, Moderately-Low A, High N. IQ Test = 133, after finally getting the Flash to work (didn't work on iPad, and skipped/auto-inserted wrong answer for every other question on Android phone). Not sure about this one; the result was some way lower than my last measurement, though that was in childhood. Checking some of the related links, the top score appears to be "above 145" even if you get every question right, which seems strange (some of the end questions looked really impossible). Meyers Briggs = INTJ (all moderate). More or less what I expected; last did this twenty years ago and came out INTP. Autism Test = 17, very near mean of control group.

Took the survey.

I took it, and answered many of the "extra credit" questions (though not all of them).

Taken it. Suggestion [if it's possible to change] - we should add the option to unanswer an answered question. Right now you can change your answer from A to B, but not from A to non-A and non-B.

Just took my second survey. Been lurking a while now, this is my first comment.

Done... I've been away from LW for a few months due to Other Life Stuff... but happy to fill in another survey.

Lurker for the past couple years, posting for the first time. I took it, including a good chunk of the extra credit questions.

I just found this site, but this was an interesting survey and between that and the intelligence of conversation about it in the comments convinced me to sign up and read more on here.

Also, I did most of the questions, but I'm on an iPad and the iq test didn't load for me, so I'll do it on a computer later.

Hi JDM, welcome to less wrong. You might want to take a look at the welcome thread.

I am continually amused by how much nuance the contrarians of LW want in these questions. Even I thought the simulation question was ill-posed & wanted a "mu" answer.

Politics is always nearly hopeless, short of asking people to write a 14-page essay on their particular chimera of left-libertarian whig marxism, or whatever.

5Sarokrae9yUpvoted for "left-libertarian whig marxism"
3RichardKennaway9yThat's Ken MacLeod, isn't it?
4simplicio9yDon't tell me that that ideology, which I invented specifically to sound ridiculous, is actually HELD by somebody!
3RichardKennaway9yThe phrase he uses himself is "libertarian Trotskyist", but I don't think I can insert so much as a cigarette paper between that and "left-libertarian whig marxism". But no doubt the real left-libertarian whig marxists would castigate him as a splitter. He's a writer of hard SF; this [http://kenmacleod.blogspot.co.uk/] is his blog.

I took it, but I skipped the IQ question, because the last time I took an IQ test I was, like, 12 years old.

Is there some reputable online IQ test that I can take today ?

[-][anonymous]9y 17

see the unreasonably long bonus questions section. http://iqtest.dk

On my chrome 22 in Ubuntu, the 'links' were neither links nor selectable (whenever I selected one, it would immediately unselect it), which made accessing any of those questions rather annoying. I ended up opening the survey in FireFox to get the links.

4faul_sname9yKeeping it selected and ctrl-c/cmd-c ing it works.
4simplicio9yI had this problem too but discovered that if I clicked on the link, then started typing the URL, Chrome knew where I was going.

I accidentally hit the enter key before I was done and my answers were submitted. I'm dumb.

8MBlume9yYou get 14 points anyway! ^_^

In accordance with ancient tradition, I took the survey.

Took the survey. It was quite interesting! I'll be curious to see what the results look like . . . .

Took the survey on my iPhone so could only fill out half the answers. Politics questions were hilarious. Official delurk.

I took the survey, and the extra credit, and the pretext to delurk.

I took the survey and answered every question. Like many others here, I found that the iqtest.dk result was distinctly lower than any other estimate of my IQ I've had. I was miles out on the calibration date question. There was one probability question -- I forget which -- for which it was extremely not-obvious whether you were supposed to enter a percentage or a probability.

I took the survey :) thanks for running it again!

6fortyeridania9yYes, thanks.

I took all of it!

Whew, that was long! (Not that I wasn't warned.)

Incidentally, communism as invented has little in common with communism as practiced in the Soviet Union. Whether the former is possible (for humans) is debatable.

Took the survey.

Did anyone else find the IQ questions to be either boringly easy or impossibly hard? I don't think I answered anything that required more than 15s of thought.

6bsterrett9yI found that leaving a question and coming back to it was much more helpful than trying to focus on it. There were several questions that I made no progress on for a few minutes, but I could immediately solve them upon returning to them.
4[anonymous]9yThere were a couple I answered after several minutes of thought.

Obligatory "took the survey" post.

[-][anonymous]9y 31

Took it.

If you're using Chrome, the Big 5 site is much more tolerable if you open console and run this line of javascript:

for(i in document.all) document.all[i].style['background-color'] = '#fff';

That sets the background color to white for everything instead of their hideous color scheme.


Only cost me an hour of my time!

(Minus, of course, the two additional hours spent staring at a corner, crying and lamenting my various emotional insecurities brought up by the IQ and personality tests)

Been there, done that survey...

I'm curious about the results.

I took the survey

Survey: Completed, no problems. Dithered quite a bit when asked what my position was on the true Prisoners dilemma. And I keep consistently overshooting the estimation dates by 100 years (almost precisely, on the previous survey I overshot by 105 years, this time overshot by 120ish). I've started getting more involved in the community over the past 3 months.

5Baruta079yJust took the IQ test for fun, wasn't even trying hard for half of it, still got a 102
3shminux9yHow does it feel to be almost exactly average?


It looks like I wasn't the only one who had difficulty selecting the links, and so had to type them in manually.

Yvain or a mod- Can we get all the links from the survey pasted into the body of the OP so that those of us who couldn't select them have an easier access mode than manual copying?

9fortyeridania9yI couldn't select the links either.
4Divide9yIf you use X11 you'll find that even though the selection clears just after releasing the mouse button, it's been nonetheless placed in the selection buffer (so you can middle-button it somewhere).
4Raoul5899yEven if I could have selected the links I wouldn't have tried it, because you just know that clicking on something like that will open a new page and delete all of your entered data.

Took most of it. I pressed enter accidentally after the charity questions. I would like to fill out the remainder. Is there a way I can do that without messing up the data?

Took the IQ test. Humbling. Score 110.

IQ test in high school, 156. SAT 793/800 verbal, 783/800 math. Cal Tech. Yatta yatta. But that was many years ago. It's pretty obvious what happened. Timed test. I only finished, in the time, about 2/3 - 3/4 of the questions, maybe a bit more, I didn't keep count. (I skipped questions that weren't popping up right away, thinking I'd come back. Didn't have time.)

I'm 68 years old. I used to be able to hold a conversation on the phone and read a book at the same time, about something completely different. That disappeared when I was in my late 40s. The test requires, for the more difficult problems, testing many different hypotheses, if a clear pattern doesn't pop up immediately. It's almost certain that this takes more time for me now than when I was younger.

This almost certainly impacts my communication skills, for starters.

Took the vast majority. The OCEAN test seemed mostly wrong, the IQ seemed low (big shock, right? Shouldn't have raced through, I guess), and my Myers-Briggs was ENFJ, which is just bizarre.

Also, I've commented a few times, never posted.

I took the survey.

One thing I was unsure about: the appropriate answer to the question “Referrals: How did you find out about Less Wrong?”. I answered “Referred by a link on another blog”. But I actually investigated and discovered Less Wrong after seeing a bunch of links to it on Hacker News. Hacker News is really a link aggregation site or social news site, not a blog. But I thought that that answer was better than choosing “Other” and writing in “link from an aggregation site”.

CFAR Question 1: not constructively.

CFAR Question 6: what kind of archaic unit is 'feet'? I was able to answer by remembering that 3 feet ~= 1 meter.

Income: before or after tax? I answered after taxes, which for me is 65% of the income before taxes.

I took the survey, but, like others, I was unable to answer the American-style school questions.

I took the IQ test in the extra questions section. I clicked "submit" long before the time ran out, even when I knew I was essentially guessing on some of the questions, because I had gotten sick of the damn thing. My score came back a 122, which pissed me off because I'm fairly sure my real IQ is higher than that.

Then I realized this may be a good metaphor for my life. In the future, when asked my IQ, I'll respond, "I don't know, but my lack-of-patience-adjusted IQ is about 120."

i typed my age then hit return which submitted the form with only one answer. so then i filled it in again. you'll want to ignore that first entry. dinner arrived as i did that so that was a couple of hours ago now. age is 39 if that helps.

I wonder whether there are visible conversion effects on the redwood question for native metric users? Estimates slightly on the short side and neatly divisible by three because the quick and dirty meter -> feet conversion is multiplying by three?

5Scott Alexander9ySeems easy to test for once the results are out: sort people into metric/non-metric groups by the "country" question and compare results.
4dbaupp9yAnd the anchoring effect of the random number changes.
4FourFire9yMy answer would be affected.
3[anonymous]9yI rounded my guess to the nearest hundred, to cancel that effect.

I took the survey.

Guys, you are seriously need to start using metric system or at least include the necessary number in the meters. Going to Google twice in order to calculate the relevant numbers was... frustrating.

(By the way, I have never donated to any charity before, but I sworn in a grand manner that it will be in the list of the first five things I will do with my PayPal account when I get one)

Took the survey. Was tired to take the IQ test. Thanks for the opportunity.

Taken, though I had to skip the IQ test because it wasn't screen reader accessible (flash, with some text labels but no accessible controls, not that flash in general is particularly accessible).

Survey taken.

Problem: You might want to specify "this year's survey" in the following line, otherwise people may think that having taken a previous year's survey means they do not need to take this year's survey to be counted:

Everyone who took the survey before, your responses are still saved and you don't have to take it again.

I too have taken the survey, it's been some time since I commented.

Took the survey, plus the IQ test out of curiosity, I'd never had my IQ tested before.

Along similar reasoning, do we know how well the iqtest.dk test correlates with non-internet tests of IQ? Getting a number is cool, knowing it was generated by a process fundamentally different than rand(100,160) would be even better

5Cakoluchiam9yI strongly suspect that a lot of the members of LessWrong have had a non-internet IQ test and will have entered their scores on the census. Those who also took the extra credit internet test and entered their scores to that as well could serve as a sample group for us to make just such an analysis. Granted, we are likely a biased sample of the population (I suspect a median of somewhere around 125 for both tests), but data is data.
4jeremysalwen9yFrom what I could read on the iqtest page, it seemed that they didn't do any correction for self-selection bias, but rather calculated scores as if they had a representative sample. Based on this I would guess that the internet IQ test will underestimate your score (p=0.7)

I just took the survey, making this my first post that someone will read!

Took the survey. Delurking for the first time. I'm planning on posting to the welcome thread in a few days, when I'm less busy. Did most of the test except the IQ test, since I didn't have another forty minutes to spare.

I appreciate the expansiveness of the sex and gender options. It's nice to see some recognition of the complexities.

I was surprised at my intensely introverted results, other big five tests usually put me between average and moderately introverted. Nothing else noticably unusual, though.

I did everything except the IQ test. I took that test before and retook it until I figured out how to solve all the problems. I could not recall what I got on it the first time. Strangely in the survey I said staying anonymous is important to me and then I created an account with my real name.

[-][anonymous]9y 25

Done with the entire thing. :)

I took the survey! Karma, please!

Never done an IQ test before. I thought it was fun! Now I want to take one of the legitimate ones.

After having read all of the Sequences, I suppose its time I actually registered. I did the survey. Here are the cogno-stats:

Big Five O80 C83 E79 A83 N9 IQ 122 Myers-Briggs E33 N88 T1 J33 Autism 15

I'm doing my PhD in the genetics of epilepsy (so a neurogenetics background is implied). Is anyone familiar with data on the reliability of the various cogno-metrics that are out there?

(Aside: political metrics L/R:-2.25 A/L:-3.54, pretty centrist on most issues, just make them based on actual data and I'll change my view in a femtosecond)

I study computer engineering (which is about arranging transistors on silicon to make computer hardware). I checked "Computers (other academic, computer science)," rather than "Engineering," even though computer engineering is not computer science, because I thought that category was more specific than engineering, and less specific than the category including only computer science.

But this was kind of unclear.

On the question "Given that no label can completely describe a person's political views, with which of these labels do you MOST identify?"

I am probably halfway between liberal and libertarian. So I flipped a coin and picked liberal.

For the calibration IQ question, I could have given my probability that my real IQ was higher than the median IQ here. But then you wouldn't be able to check it against anything to determine my calibration, because I have never taken a real IQ test and left the field blank. Maybe you should put a different question instead of that calibration one?

For the Hours Writing question, it says schoolwork counts. Does code count, if written for schoolwork? I guessed no. Do answers to problems from textbooks that are kind of hal... (read more)

[-][anonymous]9y 10

The "Anonymity" question should be broken into two. It doesn't give you an option for "It would be easy to find my real name, and I am unhappy about that."

Yes. In my case, the best answer would be: “It would be non-trivial but still relatively easy for someone who doesn't know me in meatspace to find out my full name and my Facebook profile from what I write on LW, but I can't think of why anyone could be bothered to do that and even if it happened it wouldn't bother me in the slightest. It would bother me if certain people who do know me in meatspace read some of the things I write on LW knowing army1987 is me, and it would be nearly obvious for anyone who knows me in meatspace that army1987 is me, but I think it's pretty unlikely for one of those people to stumble upon LW so I'm not too worried.”

Am I the only person who answered "100" on the cryonics question because "revived at some point in the future" was indefinite enough that a Boltzmann brain-like scenario inevitably occurring eventually seemed reasonable?

Also, I did all the extra credit questions. At twos in the morning.

[-][anonymous]9y 15

I assumed it was supposed to mean ‘revived in a way that wouldn't have been possible if the patient hadn't been cryopreserved’.

3shminux9yNot if the Universe is too small, or it ends first, or if there is a flaw in the BB model, or if we are in a simulation preventing BB, or... In other words, nothing is 100% and BB least of all.

Completed every last question.

Also, I've noticed that on different IQ tests (real ones, not fake ones) my scores vary by as much as 40 points. Hmm.

Done. I think a lot of these questions are really fascinating, including user-submitted questions. I'm especially interested to see if we can do any better at avoiding anchoring than the general public.

I took it.

For the P(Warming) question, you might get people answering different versions of the question on this. For example, my personal evaluation of the probability of warming and that humans are a major cause is very, very high, but my evaluation of the probability that humans are the primary cause is much lower.

Survey completed!

In your base, answering your survey.

Notes (might not want to read unless you've already taken the survey):

V'ir nggraqrq na bayvar zrrghc naq qvqa'g xabj jung gb fnl gb gur zrrghc dhrfgvba, fb V fnvq 'ab'. Fvathynevgl dhrfgvba unf cbffvoyr napubevat rssrpg; tybony png. evfx dhrfgvba zragvbaf gur lrne 2100 evtug orsber vg. Eri. Onlrf pnyvoengvba nafjre fubhyq znlor zragvba jurgure gb hfr crepragntrf be cebonovyvgvrf.

All done! Surprised since my IQ's apparently dropped roughly 20 points in the last 2 years. But everyone knows the internet is reliable when it comes to that. Eagerly awaiting results, when can we expect them to appear on the site?

Also, please do not upvote this comment, as I want my karma to reflect when I've thought something insightful, and only taking a survey to recieve it does not properly reflect this. "By ancient tradition" makes that the most cultish thing I've ever heard lesswrong.

... Maybe topped by "we're a cult" or something of that effect, but still.

Also, please do not upvote this comment, as I want my karma to reflect when I've thought something insightful, and only taking a survey to recieve it does not properly reflect this. "By ancient tradition" makes that the most cultish thing I've ever heard lesswrong.

Upvoted specifically for the second paragraph, specifically because it was insightful.

3[anonymous]9yYour survey data is valuable to the Less Wrong community, upvoting your comment is how you get credited for it.
3[anonymous]9yLast time it took about a month, IIRC. But that is something insightful. So now I have a paradox here... Should I upvote or not?

Took it minus the three personality tests and minus the very last few questions. I still know my IQ from a former test and I had my NEO-FFI results already stored somewhere but couldn't find the right hard-drive quick enough. Autism... don't think I would score very high on that but my fallible intuition says lesswrong seems like quite the paradise for autistic personalities.

Sincerely curious about the results :)

I also guessed the size of the biggest redwood tree incredibly well :) By converting my guesstimate in meters to some form of archaic measurement only used by cavemen and Americans. What's up with that?

5RobinZ9yOnly officially used by Liberia, Burma/Myanmar, and the United States - quite a lot of people in the UK defy the mandate of their governments and continue using traditional measurements.
8Peterdjones9yDespite what the Daily Mail [http://www.urbandictionary.com/define.php?term=little%20englander] would have you think, "The Units of Measurement Regulations 1995 require that all measuring devices used in trade or retail be capable of displaying measurements for most products in both metric and imperial quantities" (WP, emph. added). Moreover, "many imperial units [are] still legally mandated for some application; draught beer must be sold in pints,[31] road-sign distances must be in yards and miles,[32] length and width (but not weight) restrictions must be in feet and inches on road signs (although an equivalent in metres may be shown as well),[32] and road speed limits must be in miles per hour,[32"
5DaFranker9yAFAIK, very few scientists anywhere in the world (except USA) use "traditional" measurements, so I was also surprised that non-SI units would be used in a LessWrong survey. It's not a big issue for me, but the additional complications in converting units (and the non-standard cross-unit conversions within the imperial system too) do distract from more important matters IMO. That's kind of the whole point of the SI, apart from striving for more accuracy in the measurements.
4Vaniver9yMy experience is that most scientists (in the US) use SI units in the lab, and the imperial units everywhere else. Water boils at 100 degrees, and it's 98 degrees outside.
5wedrifid9yThis reads as if it is intended to be a contradiction of the grandparent. This is odd because it actually strengthens the grandparent's claim. US scientists were already outright excluded from the claim so your additional testimony just enhances (!USA) to (!USA || USA && LAB). Pardon me if I misread the intended message (the other interpretation is that the comment is a misleading non-sequitur.) Following the 'sharing anecdotal impression' line my experience is that scientists use SI units in the lab as well as elsewhere. Exceptions, with respect to "feet" in particular are for approximations of (human) height or when talking to people over 50 years old. Fahrenheit is never used but can be parsed and translated from foreign sources in much the same way that Cuneiform can be translated if absolutely necessary.
3Vaniver9yI was adding anecdotal evidence about US scientists, which I somehow missed were excluded from the claim. Thanks for pointing out the oddity.
3wedrifid9ynod. It was easy to miss, I only saw it on second read myself. Before that I had only typed my own Australian anecdotal perspective.

Next year the survey should include an option to explain why your IQ is actually higher than was measured.

4Divide9yI dunno, on my test it came up higher than expected (and higher than the result of a pro test they gave me in primary school once).
3Kindly9yI guess this year we can assume that everybody had such an explanation, and imagine the best possible version of it, sight unseen.
3RobinZ9yDibs on "I took the survey really late at night and I was tired"!

Done! I only estimated my amount of time in the community, though, which may lead to an amusing disagreement with last year's survey.

Done, except for the very last part and the IQ questions (I have never taken a proper test).

Took the survey.

I hope this question isn't used the way I worry it will be used:

CFAR Question 3

A certain town is served by two hospitals. In the larger hospital, about 45 babies are born each day. In the smaller one, about 15 babies are born each day. Although the overall proportion of girls is about 50%, the actual proportion at either hospital may be greater or less on any day. At the end of a year, which hospital will have the greater number of days on which more than 60% of the babies born were girls?

This question was easy for me to answer by pattern-matching to the Law of Small Numbers, as outlined in Thinking, Fast and Slow. If I hadn't read that, it's hard to say whether I would have reasoned it out correctly. So if many respondents answer this question correctly, I hope that the survey authors don't claim evidence that LW readers are better at statistical reasoning -- it'd be more accurate to say that LW readers are more likely to have seen this very particular question before.

(I could, naturally, be assuming too much about the intents of the survey authors.)

9MixedNuts9yIntuitive answer: Picture a horizontal line and points scattered around it. If there are many points, the line will be dark and there'll be a cloud around it. If there are few points, you'll get a vague shape and it won't be easy to tell where the line originally was. Rigorous answer: print [ len(filter(lambda x: x > 0.6 *per_day, [ sum([ randint(0,1) for birth in range(0, per_day) ]) for day in range(0, 365) ])) for per_day in (15, 45) ] Thoughtful answer: Why would I bother thinking? Fetch me an apple. Edit: For copulation's sake, whose kneecaps do I have to break to make Markdown leave my indentation the Christian Underworld alone, and who wrote those filthy blatant lies masquerading as comment formatting help?

For another intuitive answer, try lower values of 15, like 1.

The Python code works better, on my machine, if I add the line "from random import randint" at the top.

3Emile9yThere may be a more convenient method, but using non-breaking spaces ( ) works. print [ len(filter(lambda x: x > 0.6 *per_day, [ sum([ randint(0,1) for birth in range(0, per_day) ]) for day in range(0, 365) ])) for per_day in (15, 45) ]
3FAWS9ydoes prefacing with 4 extra spaces work? EDIT: Apparently not. Very likely a bug then.
3[anonymous]9yThe usual kludge is to replace spaces with full stops.
9gwern9yI don't understand the distinction you are making here. If you can answer correctly more statistical questions, how is that not being 'better at statistical reasoning'? Every area of thought draws heavily on memorization and caching.

If you can answer correctly more statistical questions, how is that not being 'better at statistical reasoning'?

Those are related abilities, but there's being able to answer specific questions and then there's being able to apply what you've learned more generally. For me, this particular question triggered more "aha! I've seen this one before!" than it triggered statistical thought. A correct answer to the question might give you a smidgen of information on whether the answerer can reason about statistics, but it probably gives you a lot more information about whether the answerer has seen the question before.

One superficial example of dealing with this problem is how, in my college discrete math class, the professor gave us a problem involving placing pigeons in holes, with the solution having nothing to do with the pigeonhole principle. Even better than obfuscating a problem, of course, is stating a novel one that exercises the skills you're testing for.

6[anonymous]9yBTW, I had seen the CFAR Question 1 before.

Took the whole survey. My preferred political label of (Radical) Centrist survived all explicit radio buttons.

Survey taken: check! Account finally registered: check, please!

I was off by 50%ish on the two estimation questions, but I forgive myself Bayes' age since I really know nothing about history in "space-of-time" context. The redwood tree on the other hand was a geometry problem for me, more than anything else, and I misjudged its incline by half a degree.

5Cakoluchiam9yAlso, just spent an hour I should have spent sleeping upvoting all the comments that explicitly mentioned taking the test, and a few that were just insightful. (yelling) Curse you squid-god of time, for reawakening the sleeping demon that is my love for census, long forgotten in the archives of naturalization! (/yelling)

I answered everything but the personality test links, I will take them when I have more free time.

Completed. Huzzah! I feel like a participating member of the community.

[-][anonymous]9y 22


I took most of the survey, except for the (aptly named) “Unreasonably Long and Complicated Questions” at the end.

I Took the survey and all the extra questions. I could not answer the USA centric school test results, we have a similar system in my country but they cannot be easily converted to eachother.

I'm glad to finally have a BigFive and IQ test that people somewhat agree on using.

I just took it but I'd like to make a few points:

At the end of a year, which hospital will have the greater number of days on which more than 60% of the babies born were girls?

Is it asking about the total number of babies born at the day or babies born at each hospital?

Redwood question.

Please, use meters next time.

[-][anonymous]9y 11

Redwood question.

Please, use meters next time.

Better still, ask a question for which everyone in the world would natively use the same units.

Took basically all of the survey except for the extra IQ tests. Thanks, Yvain! Looking forward to seeing the results.

[-][anonymous]9y 21

Fear me for I answered all the questions and took all the auxillary tests!

I took the survey, and did all of the extra credit work too!

That IQ test seemed really silly, but I've never taken one before, so who knows?

Just taken - my first LessWrong census!

Interesting questions, though as a committed Bayesian I was very embarrassed that I couldn't even remember which century he was born! Guessed at about 20% chance of my estimate being within 20 years of the true date which it wasn't. So I was wrong, but at least right that I was wrong. I suppose that is "less wrong"?

Done. Finished most of it, stalled for days waiting for time to do the extra credit, noticed I was doing that, submitted. I'll look forward to the results.

Took it, lurker who just broke ones position on not posting on the net. Had to skip last questions and tests thou, going to try them next..

Did it a few days ago, only just noticed the karma.


P(Supernatural) What is the probability that supernatural events, defined as those involving ontologically basic mental entities, have occurred since the beginning of the universe?

What if you believed in, say, angels or ghosts that used powers from outside the matrix?

3DaFranker9yI assumed that those aren't counted. They don't sound really ontologically basic, just "hard to access". We can-in-principle break outside the box, and we are-in-principle causally linked to outside-the-matrix powers, or something like that.

Is income before or after taxes?

9Scott Alexander9yBefore.

On "having" children: should we be counting that as birth, raising, what you think of as "yours," something else? I am thinking of sperm donors, surrogate mothers, children given up for adoption, and adoptive parents. If I am the biological parent of X offspring and raise Y of them, should I be reporting X or X-Y? And if I have step/adopted/foster children, +Z? "Raise" might be bad too, as there are people who have (biological or not) children they think of as "theirs" without custody or visitation.

The count might be fuzzier than intended. I would expect upward bias.

Back in grade school, I took several real-life IQ tests and usually scored in the high 130's to low 140's. I'd heard of Raven's Progressive Matrices, but this was the first time I'd taken that type of test. It was quite humbling. I got 122 on iqtest.dk. From what I've heard in #lesswrong, most people score low on this test.

I opened the test again in a different browser, VPN'd from a different country. It gave the same questions. That means your subsequent tests aren't valid. You already knew many of the answers. Worse, you knew which questions had stumped you before. You were probably thinking about those questions before you started the test a second or third time.

5[anonymous]9yI got 135... Was I the only one who realized I could go back to previous questions, or something?
4RichardKennaway9yDoes anyone know what IQ it gives to a perfect set of answers? Its picture of a bell curve superimposed on a scale tops out at about 140.
4[anonymous]9ySee this comment of mine [http://lesswrong.com/lw/f9l/2012_less_wrong_censussurvey_now_open/7r6g].
[-][anonymous]9y 19

Survey taken.

Done, except for the unreasonably long extra credit section, mostly due to not having time to take the tests now and not knowing when I could possibly manage to do it in the future.

Good work Yvain, it's been a pleasure to take the survey, and it will be a plesure to see the results.

[-][anonymous]9y 19

I wonder if I am the only one who thought that this "Get a random three digit number (000-999) from goo.gl/x45un" question was in fact a hidden rationality test, sort of "are you irrational enough to follow a shortened url that can lead everywhere, including a potentially dangerous or at least annoying website" and skipped it.

My prior for Yvain to be a good guy was high enough for me to take the risk (though I had briefly the same thought of yours).

6ChristianKl9yBy the same rationalisation it could also be a test for paranoia. If you trust lesswrong to avoid referering you to a dangerous website than you should also trust Yvain to do the same.
5Unnamed9yThe link goes to random.org [http://www.random.org/integers/?num=1&min=0&max=999&col=1&base=10] and is exactly what it says. If you generated your own random number from the same range that is fine.
5Larks9yI generated my own random integer and then worried that the intent had been for us to select from a biased sample.
4Douglas_Reay9yNo, you're not. So I googled the URL, and was linked to your comment. :-) I also considered that it might be a compliance test, going actually to a site that appears to produce a random number but infact gives everyone the same number, as a check for whether the person followed the instructions or whether they just made a number up, to save time following the link.
3Kawoomba9yHeh, paranoia. I generated the random number using different means.

Been a lurker for a relatively short time, took the survey.

I had some concerns over the extra credit questions and one thing in particular that prompted me to respond. I agree it seems there was meant to be no right answer to a couple of the questions, and the babies in the hospital was at least a clear statistical problem. I also had an admittedly whimsical objection to the lack of details on one question, thanks to the level of specificity seen in riddles, puzzles, and so on here, and maybe due to a programmer background thinking of pointers and assignments. The first CFAR question should have specified to start something like there are three people in a room. Then it's clear there's not a person looking at himself in a mirror, or more than three people with some having the same first name, or creatively a statue or painting, with one human looking at the artwork which is facing another human. (Would be a good one with Lisa implying the Mona Lisa, but connotations of names shouldn't be relevant)

However, what I was really curious about was the redwood question. Surprisingly, I knew the answer pretty much exactly and later noticed the complaints about using feet as a unit... (read more)

Done. I hope this data help LW/CFAR.

Huh, I got the date almost right - sadly, the date of death.

Took the survey. All of it. :) EDIT:huh, completely missed the point in the doctor Q. I figured it was not my place to tell him what to do, but offer him all the possibilities and let the patient choose( he will be paying for it). Otherwise you are just guessing what the patient wants. EDIT2: rot13: Abj gung v qvq fbzr pnyphyngvbaf v guvax v xabj n ybg bs crbcyr gung jbhyq ybir gb rnea 4$ na ubhe whfg univat n zvtenvar.8 gb 10 u n qnl, 5 qnlf n jrrx, pbzrf bhg gb 800$ n zbagu.(juvfgyr). jbj. Npghnyyl v jbhyq abg zvaq fhpu n wbo. Fb v thrff vg pbzrf qbja gb jurer lbh ner yvivat. Jurer v yvir, zbfg snzvyl'f bs 4 trg ba jvgu yrff zbarl. Nobhg 550$ n zbagu.

[-][anonymous]9y 18

Done and done. And this makes for my very first comment. The first of many.

If the right thing to do is the consequentialist thing to do, and an outcome turns out bad, but it was still the best choice with the information one knew at the time, would that be consequentialism or virtue ethics?

edit: Ok, I completed the survey and just guessed. Would still like to know the answer though.

7RobinZ9yIt sounds like rule consequentialism [http://plato.stanford.edu/entries/consequentialism-rule/] to me - the ultimate arbiter of good and evil remains the consequences, but instead of determining rectitude by calculating the consequences of the action, you calculate the consequences of the decision method. Basically, to use a blackjack metaphor, the rule consequentialist says someone who doubles-down when they have two tens showing is playing badly, even if they get an ace ... unless they've been counting cards and already know that the next card is an ace.

I did all of it yesterday minus the IQ test, BigFive and Autism due to lack of time and being too tired. Will take those three today.

Overall, the survey was more fun than I expected.

Any reason you removed the opinion on basilisk moderation question that was in the earlier one that initially went up? I'd have been interested in community opinion on that.

3[anonymous]9y“Kind of want to avoid beating a dead basilisk. [http://lesswrong.com/lw/f0r/2012_less_wrong_census_survey_call_for/7nob]” (I guess that's because doing that might piss off EY and that would be bad.) Also, I guess the answers would be very strongly correlated with those to the “Troll Toll” question anyway.

Took it.

I wish there were more questions! Non-jokingly, I wish there were more questions about FAI, MWI, and other complex content things. I want more people to pick my brain and tell me if I'm consistent.

Nice job writing the survey - fun times. I kind of want to hand it out to my non-LW friends, but I don't want to corrupt the data.

Did it. Was enjoyable for me!

I liked this survey, but there was one minor annoyance: the "when will the Singularity happen?" question. "Singularity" in which sense? I decided to run with the weak version of the "event horizon" (Vernor Vinge) claim, but the question could have been clearer.

[-][anonymous]9y 16

Took it.

Glad the religion question specified revealed religion. Lao-Zhuang Daoism is objectively true, but not revealed (and only true because it makes no assertions).

Answered everything, including the extra credit questions, except for the official IQ question and the question concerning income (I'm a student in highschool and I don't have paid work, although I do volunteer).

I also hope that the what the quiz means by "progressive" is also what I mean by "progressive".

Anyhow, excited to see the results!

I took a survey.

DONE, sweet fancy moses. No flash on tablet=no IQ test for me :/

It suffers the usual problems of tests, among which are that test-taking is itself a skill.

That said, I don't think re-taking the test produces a valid result - a lot of the time I spent on the test was figuring out the rules of the puzzles as much as solving them. The problematic nature of the initial result is a reflection of the weakness of the test, as you noted, but re-taking the test simply introduces a new suite of problems.

[-][anonymous]9y 15

Taken, de lurked, most everything done because I was bored and curious. I hadn't felt like registering an account for a while because I don't know if I have much to add, but I figured.... you know, fuck it. I ought to have stuff to ask and I can always get another account if this one embarrasses me in the future.

V pna'g ernyyl qrpvqr onfrq ba gur vasbezngvba, ohg V jbhyq or yvxryl cvpx qeht N vs gur cngvrag jnf na rzcyblrr orvat cnvq nalguvat pybfr gb zvavzhz jntr. Vs bayl unys bs gur gjragl urnqnpurf ner zvffrq jbexqnlf gurer fgvyy jbhyq or uhaqerqf bs qbyynef bs ybfg jntrf vs zl ebhtu pnyphyngvbaf jrer frafvoyr. V jnf jnl bss ba gur gerr dhrfgvba. JUL V gubhtug gerrf pbhyq tebj rvtug uhaqerq srrg be zber, onssyrf zr, abj gung V guvax nobhg vg. Vg jnf whfg n pnpurq "snpg" V "yrnearq" va zl puvyqubbq, naq V unir ab vqrn jurer.

The political compass survey just made me think how little I've actually thought about politics. I kept saying "What? I don't know!" so I skipped that one.

One thing concerns me.... How the hell does IQ drop 20 points over four years without my having a concussion or stroke or something? I have at times subjected myself to gnarly sleep deprivation. Maybe my ADD is worse. Maybe the higher score reflects verbal aptitude. (And if so, should that count towards "true iq"?) Can anyone tell me what seems to them the most likely?

Definitely have a lot of research to do


Hi everybody! =]

5gwern9yIQ tests aren't all the same and can be a case of apples and oranges. I doubt you're comparing your iqtest.dk score to a previous iqtest.dk score 4 years ago, are you?
2[anonymous]9yMaybe you should rot13 the second paragraph, in case someone accidentally reads it before taking the survey.
4[anonymous]9yOkay, sorry, I guess I forgot

Took it.

Doing the Political Compass survey reminded me of what an awful survey it is. Most of the questions cannot be given a truthful "agree or disagree" answer without serious qualification, so the only way to take the survey is to figure out for each question which side will you be interpreted as cheering/booing the most with each answer, and choose which side to cheer/boo.

Done. I, too, took the bait to come out of long-time-lurker status and post after this. :)

Took the entire survey and all extra credit questions in one go; minus ACT, SAT2400 and Respectable(tm) IQ scores since I don't have them, and </=140 character LW description because I was starting to get tired after the 40 min. IQ test.

So much fun! I'm very curious to see the results.

Survey:Completed. Extra credit as well!


As last year, I would prefer different wording on the P(religion) question. "More or less" is so vague as to allow for a lot of very different answers depending on how I interpret it, and I didn't even properly consider the "revealed" distinction noted in a comment here.

I appreciate the update on the singularity estimate for those of us whose P(singularity) is between epsilon and 50+epsilon.

I still wonder if we can tease out the differences between current logistical/political problems and the actual effectiveness of the science on the cryonics question. Once again I gave an extremely low probability even though I would give a reasonable (10-30%) probability that the science itself is sound or will be at some point in the near future. Or perhaps it is your intention to let a segment of the population here fall into a conjunctiveness trap?

On the CFAR migraine treatment question I thought as follows:

Gur pbeerpg nafjre jbhyq qrcraq ba jung lbh xarj nobhg gur crefba. Sbe nalbar noyr gb cebprff naq haqrefgnaq gur hgvyvgl genqrbssf naq jub jnf fhssvpvragyl ybj vapbzr gung O pbhyq pbaprvinoyl or n orggre pubvfr, V jbhyq tvir gurz obgu bcgvba N naq O naq rkcyn... (read more)

I was 26 years off on Bayes' birth and 21 feet off on the tallest redwood.

Also the first time I took the IQ test I accidentally hit the back button on my mouse, and didn't remember how much time I was supposed to have left, so I just went through everything and submitted right away. I'm not sure how much I would have gotten out of the last 5-10 minutes or whatever but it made me feel bad.

I felt like the Big 5 test rated me lower on Openness and Conscientiousness than I remember from tests in the past, but those are from long long ago. The Myers-Briggs rated me as more F and J than I expected (or less T and P) and I think the question framing is maybe bad for someone who lives in faulty emotional hardware in a mathematical universe.

I reproduced my results from all of the tests verbatim, regardless of whether I agreed with them; I noticed at least one comment of someone who did not, and I'm wondering how common people's responses to disagreement with personality tests was.

This survey is now closed. I am working on analysis and will have the results in a while. Please do not take it.

Also, you may now begin speculating with 95% confidence intervals on how many people took the survey this year.

3[anonymous]9yEr... From your blog: [numbers redacted]
2Alejandro19y95% confidence interval: orgjrra svir uhaqerq naq gjb gubhfnaq. 50% confidence interval: orgjrra rvtug uhaqerq naq sbhegrra uhaqerq. (Corrected from sbhegrra gubhfnaq, thanks to Vaniver).
2Vaniver9yI suspect that last gubhfnaq should be a uhaqerq.
2Alejandro19yIndeed, thank you.
2Vaniver9yIs there not a way to shut off the survey? My speculation: V jbhyq chg yrff guna svir creprag punapr ba yrff guna svir uhaqerq crbcyr gnxvat vg, naq yrff guna svir creprag punapr ba zber guna svir gubhfnaq crbcyr gnxvat vg. (Cbvag rfgvzngr sbe gur rkcrpgrq inyhr: rvtugrra uhaqerq.)
4Scott Alexander9yShutting off the survey makes it invisible, which means that people can't go back to see how a question was worded or something.
3[anonymous]9yThanks for the anchoring. Next time, please use rot-13. ;-)

Lurker, first time poster. Did all the extra credit. Time to research it all :)

Re: cryonics, assume the following:

1) Any Agent that reconstructs my mind from a plasticized or frozen brain is very smart and well-informed. It is working its way through a whole warehouse of similar 21st century brains, and can reconstruct vast swathes of my mind with generic any-human or any-human-who-grew-up-watching-Sesame-Street boilerplate. This gets boring after the first few hundred.

2) I'm of no practical use in the post-Singularity world, with my obsolete work skills and mismatching social and moral behavior.

3) Frozen-brain reconstruction starts late enough that nobody remains alive who knows and loves me personally.

In this scenario, I expect the compressed mind reconstructions are just stored in an archive for research/entertainment purposes. Why bother ever running the reconstruction long enough for it to subjectively "wake up"?

I think that we need to let go of the idea of immortality as a continuation of our present self. The most we can hope for is that far in the future, some hyper-intelligent Agent has our memories. And probably the memories of thousands of other dead people as well.

Cryonics is most like writing a really detailed autobiography for future people to read after we're dead. This still seems worthwhile to me, but it's not the same thing as there being a living Charlie Davies in the 23rd century.

I took the survey.

4Eugine_Nier9yBecause it's the right thing to do?
3CharlieDavies9yGood point. This website is dedicated to such an outcome right? If the future Agent fully revives dead people purely for selfish reasons, that might be worse than no revival at all. Reconstructed 21st-C minds might be most valuable as stock non-player-characters in RPG games. Their afterlife might consist of endlessly driving a cab in a 3-block circle, occasionally interrupted when a PC hops in and says "follow that car!", death in a fiery crash, followed by amnesia and reset. Is anyone working on legal rights for sentient software?

I took it and did all the extra credit questions except one because it would not be accurate for me.

I took it and did most of the bonus questions.

I took it. No SAT scores or classical IQ scores, didn't take Myer-Briggs (because it's stupid) or Autism (because freakin' hell, amateur psychology diagnosis on the 'net).

Took the survey, did most of the extra questions. IQ 122 apparently. I'm sceptical of what that actually means but it sounds quite good so next time someone asks me, that's what I'll say :)

Didn't do Myers-Briggs because I'm pretty sure it's bullshit.

Not too surprised to find that my political views are measurably left libertarian. Wasn't happy with a lot of the political policy questions though - most of them were phrased in a way that I wanted to answer "it depends" or "yes, BUT...", or even "mu".

5Cakoluchiam9yThat Myers-Briggs test was a lot less thorough than what I remember from a lot of the ones I took online back in TheSpark era. Though, part of me is kind of glad that each of the extra credit questions could be completed in under an hour.
2[anonymous]9yI've seen this a lot now; what does "mu" mean in this context; where does the term come from?
7VincentYu9yhttps://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mu_(negative) [https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mu_(negative\]) It was popularized by Hofstadter's GEB.

One suggestion: since IQ seems to be a big part in this survey and in LW, why not have an IQ test made for LW?

Making an IQ test is non-trival even before getting into the question of getting a good population to norm it against.

4[anonymous]9yI thought that IQ test was pretty good.

One cool thing we could do to check the accuracy of the Big Five scores, Conscientiousness specifically, for each user is their item non-response rate, per http://econlog.econlib.org/archives/2012/11/hedengrens_dog.html / http://dl.dropbox.com/u/6776620/Papers/The%20dog%20that%20didnt%20bark%2011-8-2012.pdf

If it checks out, that'd give a way to infer Conscientiousness scores of the respondents who didn't report their Big Five.

What would we do with this Conscientiousness data per survey respondent? Dunno. Off the top of my head, we could construct a baseball-like index of 'most under-valued LWers by comparing their IQ and Conscientiousness against their self-reported salary & age' :)

EDIT: The technique seems to completely fail when I try it on the survey: http://lesswrong.com/lw/fp5/2012_survey_results/7xl5

Kudos to the one who formulated the questions. I found them unusually easy to answer, at large.

I'm only puzzled at the lack of an umbrella option for the humanities in the question on profession. Were they meant to fall into the category of social sciences?

Took the survey + all the extra questions. I just noticed this thread today. In my opinion, it is underadvertised.

Concerning the IQ test, I've seen this one before and I know it's not reliable, because it is not based on a statistic and there's no reason to believe it's reliable in the first place. There are only two culture-fair free online IQ tests: JCTI and CFNSE. I am extremely curious to see the average score for LW.

Here's how to make sense out of your IQ score: http://www.iqcomparisonsite.com/iqtable.aspx

Took the survey, but I didn't have time to finish most of the extra credit questions. I liked how the survey really made me think over a lot of my positions more critically than I otherwise would have. It will be interesting to see if I change much next year.

[-][anonymous]9y 12

Took it.

I've been a bit confused by the relationships question. I'm currently seeing three people romantically on a semi-regular basis, so I put in 3, but I wouldn't say any of those relations qualify as "relationships", so I selected 'single'. I hope that's the preferred method.

Deeply amused by the section "Alternative Alternative Politics: Okay fine, knock yourself out identifying with as tiny and finely-grained a subcategory as you want" still missing my desired response. :-) (I put Other:Authoritarian as distinct from Totalitarian. My view of these is that the former concerns the power of the ruling body to hypothetically put its fingers in any given pie, while the latter concerns the propensity of the ruling body to have its fingers in a great many pies.)

The doctor recommending medicine one threw me. Why not offer more than one, explain that one gives the best bang for the buck, but also let them decide whether the $350 for 30 headaches is still worth it despite being an increased cost per headache prevented. I can easily imagine a rational scenario where 20 less headaches is still worth increased payment per headache prevented, especially if it costs you wages at your theoretical low-income job..

3Vaniver9yI suspect there are two points to that exercise, and am obscuring my guess with rot13 [http://rot13.com/]: Gur svefg vf gb znxr fher gung lbh ernyvmr gur qbzvangrq nygreangvir vf qbzvangrq, naq gura frpbaq vf gb grfg vs lbh npghnyyl eha gur ahzoref, be vs lbh ersyrpgviryl fnl "cbbe=varkcrafvir bcgvba." Jura V ena gurz (ivrjvat gur varkcrafvir gerngzrag nf gur onfryvar, abg ab gerngzrag, juvpu znxrf gur rkcrafvir gerngzrag yrff nggenpgvir) vg pnzr bhg gb sbhe qbyynef gb nibvq na ubhe bs univat n zvtenvar. Gung frrzf yvxr n irel purnc jnl gb ohl unccvarff sbe nalbar jub yvirf va gur qrirybcrq jbeyq, rira ba n ybj vapbzr. Juvyr vg'f fvk gvzrf nf rkcrafvir cre ubhe nf gur purnc bcgvba, vg fgvyy vf purnc rabhtu gb fgebatyl erpbzzraq. (Pbafvqre gur erirefny: jbhyq lbh gnxr ba n zvtenvar gb rnea sbhe qbyynef na ubhe?)
4thomblake9yThat sounds like my first job!

Certainly they do. A Marxist is someone who identifies with the doctrines expounded by Marx, a Trotskyist the same regarding Trotsky (let them fight among themselves over exactly what those doctrines are), a Whig (nowadays) is someone who interprets history as the march of progress towards the present enlightened dispensation, a libertarian is one who regards personal liberty as a fundamental value and government as no more than a very doubtful means of its protection, and "left" means generally favouring collective organisation and distribution ... (read more)

[-][anonymous]9y 9

Hmm. I got 110. And then because that's ridiculous, and I have an ego, I took it a second--and third--time, subsequently scoring 126 and 140. (I reported 125 on the survey because I know 110 isn't right.)

I'm pretty sure you're not supposed to do that -- IIRC tests are designed to give reasonably accurate results in absence of practice effects. I had taken this same test one year ago and I'm pretty sure I answered certain questions faster than I would have if I had never seen them before (though this effect was almost exclusively in the easy, early quest... (read more)

Sbe PSNE dhrfgvba sbhe, V'z fgnyyrq orpnhfr vg frrzf gb zr gung zl nafjre fubhyq qrcraq ba ubj ybj vapbzr gur cngvrag vf. Vs gur cngvrag vf rzcyblrq ng nyy, gur qvssrerapr bs fvkgl ubhef bs urnqnpurf vf cebonoyl jbegu zber guna n qvssrerapr bs gjb uhaqerq svsgl qbyynef. Vs gur cngvrag vf harzcyblrq, vg znl abg or.

6[anonymous]9yYou should rot13 that.
4Desrtopa9yGood point, edited.