After one month and 120 responses, I'm considering this poll closed. The results are:

1) The third one: 21%
2) The fifth one: 15%
3) The second one: 14%
4) The first one: 32%
5) The fourth one: 18%

A chi-squared test says that these results are non-uniform, with a p-value of 0.02.

The correct answer, #5 "the fourth one", was chosen by 18% of respondents. The most common answer was #4, "the first one".

This poll idea was taken from a gamefaqs poll which was linked on LW last year. The results of that poll (which had a much larger sample size) were:

1) The third one: 17%
2) The first one: 24%
3) The last one: 21%
4) The second one: 26%
5) The fourth one: 11%

My hypothesis about that poll was:

The first option is most salient, by virtue of being first. Level 0 players will tend to choose option 1. Level 1 players will realize that this is what level 0 players will do, so they will tend to choose option 2 ("the first one"). Level 2 players will realize that this is what level 1 players will do, so they will tend to choose option 4 ("the second one"). Level 3 players will realize that this is what level 2 players will do, so they will tend to choose option 5 ("the fourth one"). Apparently there are lots of level 1 & 2 players, but very few level 3 players.

That hypothesis predicts that the most common responses on the LW poll would be the level 1 response, #4 "the first one", and the level 2 response, #5 "the fourth one". The data provide partial confirmation of this hypothesis; in terms of levels the most common responses to the LW poll were:

32% Level 1 (#4 "the first one")
21% Level 0 (#1 "the third one")
18% Level 2 (#5 "the fourth one")
15% Level 3 (#2 "the fifth one")
14% Level 4 (#3 "the second one")

And for the gamefaqs poll:
26% Level 2 (#4 "the second one")
24% Level 1 (#2 "the first one")
21% Level 4 (#3 "the last one")
17% Level 0 (#1 "the third one")
11% Level 3 (#5 "the fourth one")

Less Wrong Polls in Comments

by jimrandomh 1 min read19th Sep 2012310 comments


You can now write Less Wrong comments that contain polls! John Simon picked up and finished some code I had written back in 2010 but never finished, and our admins Wesley Moore and Matt Fallshaw have deployed it. You can use it right now, so let's give it some testing here in this thread.

The polls work through the existing Markdown comment formatting, similar to the syntax used for links. Full documentation is in the wiki; the short version is that you can write comments like this:

What is your favorite color? [poll]{Red}{Green}{Blue}{Other}

How long has it been your favorite color, in years? [poll:number]

Red is a nice color [poll:Agree....Disagree]

Will your favorite color change? [poll:probability]

To see the results of the poll, you have to vote (you can leave questions blank if you want). The results include a link to the raw poll data, including the usernames of people who submitted votes with the "Vote anonymously" box unchecked. After you submit the comment, if you go back and edit your comment all those poll tags will have turned into [pollid:123]. You can edit the rest of the comment without resetting the poll, but you can't change the options.

It works right now, but it's also new and could be buggy. Let's give it some testing; what have you always wanted to know about Less Wrongers?