Practical rationality questionnaire

byAnnaSalamon10y16th Apr 200928 comments


EDIT, 4/18:  I'm closing the survey.  I'll post analysis and a better anonymized version of the raw data in a day or so.  236 people responded; thanks very much to all who did.

For survey participants curious about the calibration questions, the answers are:

Number of republics the USSR broke up into, following the output of the cold war: 15.

The year in which the global population reached 1 billion: 1804.

The average percentage of a watermelon's weight that comes from water: 92.


The old post:

There has been much discussion of the extent to which rationality is or isn’t practically useful.  There have also been many calls for better empirical evidence.

In an attempt to produce empirical evidence for or against rationality’s usefulness for LW-ers, I have here a rationality questionnaire.  It takes about 15 minutes to complete, according to myself and to Katja Grace, who kindly helped me with it.  I tried to hug the query of “Are there OB/LW-like techniques, or similar techniques, that actually help LW-ers achieve their goals?”   This isn’t a test -- we’re not measuring individuals’ rationality -- we’re just looking for correlations and noisy indicators that may nevertheless tell us give us useful info in aggeragate, when used on groups.

Fill in the survey -- by following

this survey link [Survey is now closed.  Though the link will still let you see the questions.]

-- and know your next 15 minutes will contribute to science, truth, rationality, and the future practical successes of LW-ers.  =)  (... at least as far as expected value is concerned, if you assign some probablity to this data being useful.)

ADDED:  Please hold off on discussing the implications of different responses for a day or two, until the rate of survey-completions dies down.  Unless you're sure your discussion won't prejudice others' answers.