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)

Upvoted for "beard-seconds."

Sane units for someone's height are metres, not centimetres! :-)
Yeah, I also assumed that it was meters at first. That would have been a low guess.

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!

Have you seen the welcome thread?

(not a reply, putting my question here because there are so many 'I took it' comments that no one will ever see this if I just comment normally) I'm completely baffled by questions 26, 29, 33, 34, 35, 36, 37, 38, 39 on the iq test. (http://iqtest.dk) I think I must be missing something. Can anyone explain what the answers are and why?

Lurker, first time poster and done!

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!

I 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, by Wendy Cope. [EDITED to add: I hadn't seen Jandila's comment when I wrote mine, of course.]
I took the survey. Before, it was cool.
I took the survey before. It. Was. Cool!
Luckily 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.

(not a reply, putting my question here because there are so many 'I took it' comments that no one will ever see this if I just comment normally) I'm completely baffled by questions 26, 29, 33, 34, 35, 36, 37, 38, 39 on the iq test. (http://iqtest.dk) I think I must be missing something. Can anyone explain what the answers are and why?
I took screenshots of 34, 37, and 39 and I'm hoping to figure them out eventually if I stare at them hard enough.
Could you do the others? Are the answers obvious?
There are many online posts with solutions to each question on the test (some with better explanations). E.g., [1] and [2].
Okay, I now know that the answers to the questions I gave up with wouldn't have occurred to me even if I had thought about them for days, except possibly one of them.
A bit the reverse for me! I'm looking at them thinking 'how on earth did I not see that?', and feeling really stupid. I think if someone had said 'composition of functions' and 'motion in reading order' before the test I'd have got almost all the answers right. I think I had all the necessary tools and failed to see where to use them, which is a pretty good definition of 'idiot'. I bet you haven't come into contact with much of this sort of thing before, and I further bet that if you practised doing this type of test for a while then you'd start to find them very easy. I'd dispute the test's claim to be 'not culturally biased'. Obviously it doesn't require native-speaker English or literary knowledge, but equally obviously your score will depend heavily on how much you've been previously exposed to ideas about symmetries and abstract mathematics. On the other hand, it seems that you can probably learn all these ideas fairly quickly. So what your score settles down to after long practice may well be both interesting and not-culturally-biased. Some of the puzzles at the end of the test do seem to be tickling the limits of working memory.
As I said, IIRC such tests are only supposed to be accurate if you hadn't done them before. I mentioned that before, but how would you go about designing an IQ test even less culturally biased than that?
Sweet! Thanks Vincent, reading those pages has added 15 points to my IQ.
Having read the list of recipes for constructing these matrices, this reminds me of the structure of cryptic crosswords, but done with symbols. You've got the a similar list of possible tricks for the setter to use, and the same ability to combine tricks to make a harder question. You don't have the grid pattern, whereby solving one problem gives clues to the solutions of the others, so it would be more like trying to solve a list of crossword clues without a grid. If the analogy holds, then the ability to score on these things should be highly trainable, and your score at first would be a mix of how many you've done before and your ability to intuit the patterns used in construction, with a large random component, but later on it would sort of settle down to a "speed of mental Solomonoff induction". The classic cryptic is the one in the Times newspaper. Most people at first can only solve one or two clues, but with practice the time to solve gets lower and lower. There are people who can do it as quickly as they can write the answers in. Speed seems to top out after a couple of years of doing them, and it wouldn't surprise me at all if the final speed was a correlate of whatever we mean by intelligence. The other thing one might be interested in is the speed of improvement. They might be measuring different things.
The third thing to ask about is your speed the very first time you solve one. But that's harder to analyze, since it depends on whether you've tried to solve similar problems before.
Well, we should certainly be interested in the ability to solve new problems, especially since it looks like 'the bit of intelligence that we don't know how to program', and so a way of measuring it would be a wonderful thing. But I suspect that 'your speed the first time you try to do the Times crossword' is a fairly useless measure of that. If someone's never seen anything like it before, then their score is likely to be something like 2 completed clues after 1 hour, and I'd imagine the number of completed clues is only weakly related to how good they are at that sort of thing in general, and has a large random component. If they can solve the whole thing on their first attempt, then I'd imagine they were either an unparallelled genius or had done quite a lot of something similar before. For the Raven's matrices in the IQ test, your first ever score is likely to tell you a lot about how much attention you've previously paid to symmetries and patterns, which isn't necessarily related to either mental speed or creativity. It should pick out the mathematicians and artists, but it will probably also pick out people who are very interested in wallpaper.
I wonder if this critique can go further ... Let's say that what IQ tests such as RPM measured in the early 20th century is "pattern-fu"; and that pattern-fu has historically correlated with all sorts of nice things — business success, academic excellence, artistic significance, happiness in relationships, and so on. Well, that's fine, but once you start making policy decisions — hiring, college placement, military job assignment, eugenics, etc. — on the basis of pattern-fu, Campbell's law kicks in and weakens the correlation. You get people specializing and training pattern-fu, treating improving pattern-fu as causing nice things, without that causation actually being demonstrated.
I'd be amazed if that sort of thing wasn't happening, but you see the same sort of effect on all sorts of things which correlate, like spelling and grammar and success in studying. Presumably the hope with IQ tests would be that the amount of training you'd need to do to top out would be low compared to, say, learning English spelling. Allowing you to get a reliable, but not terribly costly, indicator of how good you'd become at all the other things with practice.

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)

Well, 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!

Welcome ^_^

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.

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.

It 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.
Well, 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.
Well, no-one can update on evidence without a prior, so I just assumed if I was ill-informed I was being asked for a prior.

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.

Same for me here. Most of them were surprisingly easy and some (about 3 or 4) were just plain bizarre.
Fbzr bs gurz (r.t. gur bar jvgu gvp-gnp-gbr tevqf jvgu pebffrf, pvepyrf naq gevnatyrf) V sbhaq fb qribvq bs nal nccnerag ybtvp gung V jbhyqa'g or greevoyl fhecevfrq vs gurl jrer npghnyyl trarengrq ng enaqbz fb gung abg-fb-fzneg crbcyr jbhyq jnfgr cyragl bs gvzr gurl pbhyq fcraq ba bgure dhrfgvbaf vafgrnq.
V guvax gung bar znl unir orra fbzr inevrgl bs gevanel nqqvgvba/fhogenpgvba/naq/be/kbe glcr bcrengvba. V tnir hc nsgre 20 zvahgrf bs gelvat (gur svefg 38 jrer nyy cerggl fgenvtugsbejneq, ohg gung bar tbg zr).

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.

I 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.

Links 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.
Selecting 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.

Had the same problem using Chromium on Ubuntu. I hit Ctrl+C while still holding down the mouse, which worked after a couple of tries.
Also Chrome on Windows.
Yeah, I ended up just selecting to the end of the question: then it stayed selected. I would delete the extra words after copy paste. Obsolete point now probably, but worth looking into for next year.
Yeah, wouldn't stay selected.
I 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.
I got similarly extreme results on C/E/A (not that I disagree with the direction) and lower-than-casually-expected O: link (Edited to add: Very amused by the Myers-Briggs question "Your actions are frequently influenced by emotions". Um....)
I feel that my extroversion and agreeableness depend on who I'm with; the test scores were slightly higher than what I'd expect for when I am with average people and somewhat lower than I'd expect for when I am with people who I usually hang around with. (Both Big Five tests I took said I was below median extroversion, but the Myers-Briggs one says I'm E.) My conscientiousness score was somewhat less than I expected (okay, I do tend to procrastinate a lot, but when I do decide to take something as a matter of life and death, I fuckin' take it as a matter of life and death), and my neuroticism score was substantially lower than I expected (which strongly disfavours one of my latest hypotheses about the reasons of my lack of romantic success).
I got 1th (1st?) percentile on agreeableness, and I disagree! (yes that sounds like High Fallacy) Infact all of my Big Five scores were quite low barring N which was a nicely high number.
the results of the big five test were highly suspect to me as well.
Oh golly, now I feel bad for using my OCEAN score from a recent test rather than re-taking it. This one was atypical? Sorry for adding noise to the data.
I had recently taken both this one (linked to from here) and the same one as was in the survey, and the scores for all traits were within 6 percentiles of each other. (Stability is the opposite of neuroticism so I should compare N to 100-S, right?)
I took both of those too, and for openness I got 74th percentile on the one you linked and 9th percentile on the one in the survey.
To tell the whole story, I took the shorter test (the one in the survey) right after reading the results of the longer test, so priming effect might have caused the results to be closer that they would have been if I had taken the two tests several days apart.
I reused my scores too. That shouldn't be a problem unless the linked test is weird...
Same here on O. I feel like the Openness questions featured a bizarrely high proportion of claims to the effect of "I am a brilliant and original thinker," and despite my attraction to weird ideas (I'm posting here, after all) I don't think I have the evidence to back up an assertion like that.
My suspicion is that the openness questions in that test are geared toward people who are also Myers-Briggs S's; I also predict that LWers will be almost entirely N's (50% confidence interval: at least 85% N), and so score significantly less openness.
I am a massive N on the meyers briggs astrology test, yes I scored 96% for openness on the big-5. I suspect our responses to questions like "I am an original thinker" have a lot to do with our social context. Right now, the people I run into day to day are fairly representative of the general population with little to skew toward toward the intellectual or original other than "people who hold down decent jobs, or did so until they retired". It doesn't take a great lack of humility to realize that compared to most of these people, I am a brilliant and original thinker. OTOH, it's not like I'm Feynman or something. If I were working somewhere that filtered strongly for intelligence, like a hot tech startup or academe and had done so for long enough, I would probably feel relatively average and very focused on how to bridge the gap between me and those at the level or two above, vs. a dim awareness of the vast intellectual and originality gap between my associates and the typical person.

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".

Me too.
Well crap. I didn't.
That's why I had proposed to split "Yes" into "Yes, soon" and "Yes, eventually".

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.)

I'm pretty sure it doesn't. At least, if it does I have no idea what the 'ontologically basic mental events' qualifiers were about...
I 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.
For some types of entities it's not clear what that means. For example, are particles made of wave functions, or are wave functions made of particles.
I honestly considered answering "Mu" to the questions that mentioned 'ontologically basic mental events' since I don't think "ontologically basic" is a meaningful concept.
In a similar vein, I think the one about religious views should list ignosticism (and apatheism, for that matter).
I, 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.

I 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.
Ah, 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.
I think part of the point is to make it manifestly obvious that the number is not related to the question. One of the famous early anchoring experiments had subjects watch a wheel pick a random number, and then guess how many African countries are represented in the UN.
I think using a random number gives samples with low- and high-anchoring, and statistical trickery allows them to distinguish, especially since the sample size will be relatively large. (One way would be: group the samples based on random number (e.g. 0-333, 333-666, 666-999), then do a standard ANOVA with those groups as the factors.)
What I would do is compute a linear (or otherwise) regression between random number and height guessed. It would have also helped to have a control group to answer the question without anchoring, to determine what sort of background information people have, but that's not strictly necessary.
I would only do that with respondents from the US -- having to convert from metres to feet is likely to weaken the anchoring effect for respondents from elsewhere.
Of course, I'm a respondent from the US and I answered the question by converting from meters. So this approach isn't foolproof.
For anyone whose number is close to the correct answer, and who chooses a number in the vicinity as his/her own answer, the information whether that answer was picked because of anchoring effects or because of being an expert in dendrology is lost. The sample size is probably large enough to still have reasonable predictive power without these cases, but the problem could have been circumvented by e.g. providing biased numbers, both too low and too high. Any statistical trickery can only lead to a prediction about how likely people in the above scenario are to choose their answer based on anchoring versus based on knowledge, but that is using information from the other samples to speculate about the causal factors of our special cases, our special cases from above wouldn't have added any information gain. Saying "From the data, I can speculate that person A who chose a number close to the correct result and close to his random number did so because of anchoring / knowing the answer" doesn't add to the strength of your result, it's like saying that "Hypothetically, if a person A chose a number close to the correct result and close to his random number, I would expect that he would do so for reason X".

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?
According to this Google result, "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.
I 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.)
I 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)
Notice that other people answering my question had different interpretations. I left it blank. Because I haven't studied economics beyond the Wikipedia level, and systems with large numbers of humans involved are really, really complicated. Why so many democratic citizens feel qualified to intuit their way to an opinion is beyond me.
Systematic human irrationality? If learning about economics is something worthwhile for you, then I recommend picking up a good macroeconomics textbook and working through it. A good 101 textbook will outline simple but useful models that can help us understand the economy. (This is like how statistical mechanics can help us understand thermodynamic systems without knowing information about each individual particle.) Alternatively, there should be open online courses from MIT, Harvard, etc. if that is more your style.
For 2. - you could fill out the political compass survey (it comes up later in the survey under "unreasonably long and complicated questions"). Alternatively you could pick the political labels that you think might apply to you and then choose one at random.
That one didn't seem to have slanted questions at all. (e.g. "It is regrettable that many personal fortunes are made by people who simply manipulate money and contribute nothing to their society.").
For 1, I took it as meaning having a belief in some form of soul, afterlife, or karma.
But I absolutely believe in karma. I guess that makes me spiritual. The things you find out about yourself eh?
even if you interpret karma as reddit/lw karma, or social consequences, "absolutely" is too much. don't bet your house on it.
I mean LW karma (plus I'm a Redditor too) - from my study of human societies, I believe my remark is called a "joke" - though I admit some people are bad at making jokes :p
I'd say, having the alief that, as IIRC someone on LW put it (I can't recall the exact wording and the search engine doesn't seem to help me), you are a timeless optimization process of which your current incarnation is a mere approximation.
That's not spiritual.

Took it.

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. :)

The behavior of posting comments to the effect that we have taken the survey?
Yes. 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.
Yes I was wanting for a libido rate question too.

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.




I am amused that the "I'm done" comments seem to be random karma generators.

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!

The best kind! (except not really)


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.

Karma me!

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.

ROT13ing the following due to Unnamed's concerns (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.

Jryy, 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).
V 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.
Ba 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.
Gurer znl or n qvssrerapr va pbzzba hfntr orgjrra gur HF naq Vgnyl.
Gur yvgreny genafyngvba bs “ybj vapbzr” vfa'g irel pbzzba va Vgnyvna (rkprcg va arjfcncref/GI arjf, juvpu V ernq/jngpu irel fryqbz gurfr qnlf, jurer V guvax vg zrnaf fbzrguvat nccebkvzngryl yvxr ‘obggbz dhvagvyr va Vgnyl’ ohg V'z abg fher).
Jryy, gung'f ybjre guna gur obggbz dhvagvyr va gur HF, rfcrpvnyyl gurfr qnlf.
Vg 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
Nterrq. Lrnu, gung znxrf frafr.
2Said Achmiz
V nterr gung univat gur qbpgbe qrpvqr (orgjrra N naq O, lrf), engure guna whfg nfx gur cngvrag, frrzf cbvagyrff. Vg'f n znggre bs gur cngvrag'f cersreraprf. Nf n fvqr abgr, V qba'g guvax jr pna nffhzr gung gur qvfhgvyvgl gb gur cngvrag bs gur urnqnpurf vf fvzcyl rdhny gb gur vapbzr ybfg.
Qbrfa'g frrz jebat gb fnl gung vg'f ng yrnfg gur vapbzr ybfg, gubhtu, juvpu vf nyy lbh arrq gb bireqrgrezvar na nafjre.
2Said Achmiz
Gb bireqrgrezvar gur nafjre? Qb rkcynva! Abgr gung gur vapbzr pnyphyngvba nffhzrf gung n guerr ubhe urnqnpur erfhygf va gur crefba jbexvat guerr ubhef yrff guna ur bgurejvfr jbhyq; guvf vf uneqyl n whfgvsvrq nffhzcgvba. Creuncf gur urnqnpurf ner qvfgevohgrq enaqbzyl guebhtubhg gur qnl, va juvpu pnfr gurl znl qrgenpg sebz jbex, sebz yrvfher gvzr, sebz fyrrc... be creuncf ur zbfgyl trgf gurz jura ur pbzrf ubzr sebz jbex (zl zbgure unf unq fhpu rkcrevraprf). V guvax fbzr inevnag bs fhpu fvghngvbaf (naq gur erfhygvat ybj inyhr cynprq ba crefbany fhssrevat) znl rkcynva gur nggvghqr gung ybj-vapbzr crbcyr (ng yrnfg, gubfr fhpu nf V nz npdhnvagrq jvgu, zlfrys vapyhqrq) gnxr gbjneq zrqvpny rkcraqvgherf.
Lrf, gung gbb. V'ir arire unq n frevbhf urnqnpur qhevat bssvpr ubhef va jrrxqnlf gung V pna erzrzore (hayrff V nyfb unq fbzr bgure vyyarff fhpu nf n syh), cebonoyl nf n erfhyg bs gur snpg gung V qevax ybgf bs fghss jvgu pnssrvar qhevat gubfr gvzrf naq irel yvggyr qhevat bgure gvzrf, naq jnf fhopbafpvbhfyl Trarenyvmvat Sebz Bar Rknzcyr.
Gur 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.
Lrf, gung'f jung V jbhyq npghnyyl qb, gbb. Cbffvoyl V'q rkcyvpvgyl gryy ure gung vs fur jbhyq cnl gjryir qbyynef svsgl gb nibvq bar urnqnpur fur fubhyq pubbfr N naq bgurejvfr fur fubhyq pubbfr O. Lbh xabj jul P vf gurer? V ubarfgyl qba'g unir n pyhr; V nffhzrq gung rvgure vg jnf n glcb be gurl jrer grfgvat jurgure jr jrer cnlvat nggragvba. V pna'g vzntvar nal ernfba jungfbrire jul nalobql jub unf npghnyyl ernq gur dhrfgvba jbhyq cersre P gb O.
uggc://ra.jvxvcrqvn.bet/jvxv/Qrpbl_rssrpg Rkvfgf va nzbron synibe! uggc://efco.eblnyfbpvrglchoyvfuvat.bet/pbagrag/rneyl/2010/08/05/efco.2010.1045.shyy.ugzy
V 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.
Be znlor vs sbe fbzr ernfba lbh qb arrq gung zbarl evtug abj (fnl, lbh jnag gb ohl n gvpxrg sbe n pbapreg be fbzrguvat).
Fher, vs lbh jba'g or zvffvat na rdhnyyl tbbq bccbeghavgl gb ghea qbyynef vagb hgvybaf arkg gvzr lbh eha bhg. Urapr V fnvq "guvf pnfu-fgenccrq".
Not 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.

V jbhyq unir cvpxrq gung bar gbb.
V cvpxrq gur frpbaq qeht, orpnhfr V nffhzrq gung zl tbny jnf gb zvavzvmr urnqnpurf, abg gb bcgvzvmr pbfg/urnqnpur erqhpgvba. Gurer'f n tbbq punapr gung n ybj-vapbzr cngvrag fvzcyl jbhyq abg or noyr gb nssbeq gur zber rkcrafvir qeht, ab znggre ubj zhpu zber rssvpvrag vg jnf va gur ybat grez. Gung fnvq, lrf, cerfragvat gur cngvrag jvgu n pubvpr vf pyrneyl n orggre bcgvba.
Lrnu, nterr gung vs lbh pna tvir gur cngvrag gur pubvpr gurer vf ab ernfba gb gnxr vg njnl sebz gurz.
Rira vs gurl yvir ba yrff guna gjryir uhaqerq svsgl-svir qbyynef cre lrne, yvxr unys gur jbeyq'f cbchyngvba?
Vs lbh yvir va gung yvggyr, arvgure vf nssbeqnoyr. V yvir ba sbhe qvtvgf HFQ cre lrne naq V cvpxrq gur zbfg rkcrafvir bcgvba, univat unq ybgf bs gebhoyr jvgu zvtenvarf. Znxr bs gung jung lbh jvyy.
0Said Achmiz
V nz dhvgr flzcngurgvp gb guvf fragvzrag (frr zl pbzzrag urer), ohg V srry gur arrq gb cynl qrivy'f nqibpngr urer: ubj ynetr jbhyq gur qvssrerapr va cevpr unir gb or sbe gur pubvpr gb ab ybatre or boivbhf? P.S. Should we edit these posts to de-rot13 them after the survey closes (for the benefit of future people reading them)?
Sbe zr, gur cevpr qvssrerapr jbhyq unir gb or ba gur beqre bs n gubhfnaq qbyynef n lrne be fb, naq nobhg bar guveq gb bar unys bs gung gb n zvavzhz-jntr Nzrevpna. Sbe n ybj-vapbzr crefba ryfrjurer va gur jbeyq, gur nafjre jbhyq or qvssrerag. Va trareny, gjragl zvtenvarf gvzrf 3 ubhef cre zvtenvar gvzrf gur znetvany ubheyl inyhr bs abg univat n zvtenvar.a Either way, I think. It's not that hard to de-rot13 them. I'm sure someone has written a browser extension that makes it even more trivial than the already easy rot13.com (and if not, I can write one).

Took it.

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.


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.

That'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).

Addendum: I don't recall seeing the question about the "troll toll" when I took the survey; my response would be that V snibe vg, ohg thneqrqyl.
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.) And while I was trying harder on the second and third attempts (as a result of realizing 'oh, I guess most of these actually are easy to everyone else, not just me, so I shouldn't be so leisurely'), I wasn't superbly focused on any--for example, I became distracted on the third attempt with something in another tab for more than 10 minutes before remembering it. All I'm saying is I'm dubious of this IQ test.

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.

I got 135... Was I the only one who realized I could go back to previous questions, or something?
Does 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.
I got 138, and I'm fairly certain I got one question wrong. I don't think it tops out at 140.
See this comment of mine.
SD was 15 and the tests were geared for high-IQ people. I've taken tests meant for average people and gotten hilarious results (163).
Errr... Did you notice that on iqtest.dk you were allowed to skip to earlier and later questions by clicking on the numbers on the left? The first time I took that test, about a year ago, I didn't, so I wasted plenty of time on certain difficult questions before giving up.
Yes, I noticed I could skip around. I mostly did the questions in order, since they got progressively harder. Still, I ran out of time and had to guess on the last two.

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.

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 questions, which took a very small part of the 40 minutes anyway -- I did score 9 points higher than last year but I had a headache (and hadn't realized I could go back to previous questions) back then so that sounds about right).
Also, I failed to answer quite a few questions when I got 110, thinking I'd be penalized for wrong answers... Apparently I failed at reading the directions which state you should answer all of them facepalm
I reported my first try answer (which also seemed unrealistically low to me). I think on balance it might be best for everyone to just report their first try answer accepting the test is normed low and then for macro analysis it can be adjusted / compared with another test like SAT scores
Calibration for other people looking at this comment: I took the test and got 10 points higher than my self-reported IQ. I think it picks up on a different kind of reasoning than the usual type of IQ test!