2013 Survey Results


77


Thanks to everyone who took the 2013 Less Wrong Census/Survey. Extra thanks to Ozy, who helped me out with the data processing and statistics work, and to everyone who suggested questions.

This year's results are below. Some of them may make more sense in the context of the original survey questions, which can be seen here. Please do not try to take the survey as it is over and your results will not be counted.

Part I. Population

1636 people answered the survey.

Compare this to 1195 people last year, and 1090 people the year before that. It would seem the site is growing, but we do have to consider that each survey lasted a different amount of time; for example, last survey lasted 23 days, but this survey lasted 40.

However, almost everyone who takes the survey takes it in the first few weeks it is available. 1506 of the respondents answered within the first 23 days, proving that even if the survey ran the same length as last year's, there would still have been growth.
As we will see lower down, growth is smooth across all categories of users (lurkers, commenters, posters) EXCEPT people who have posted to Main, the number of which remains nearly the same from year to year.

We continue to have very high turnover - only 40% of respondents this year say they also took the survey last year.

II. Categorical Data

SEX:
Female: 161, 9.8%
Male: 1453, 88.8%
Other: 1, 0.1%
Did not answer: 21, 1.3%

[[Ozy is disappointed that we've lost 50% of our intersex readers.]]

GENDER:
F (cisgender): 140, 8.6%
F (transgender MtF): 20, 1.2%
M (cisgender): 1401, 85.6%
M (transgender FtM): 5, 0.3%
Other: 49, 3%
Did not answer: 21, 1.3%

SEXUAL ORIENTATION:
Asexual: 47, 2.9%
Bisexual: 188, 12.2%
Heterosexual: 1287, 78.7%
Homosexual: 45, 2.8%
Other: 39, 2.4%
Did not answer: 19, 1.2%

RELATIONSHIP STYLE:
Prefer monogamous: 829, 50.7%
Prefer polyamorous: 234, 14.3%
Other: 32, 2.0%
Uncertain/no preference: 520, 31.8%
Did not answer: 21, 1.3%

NUMBER OF CURRENT PARTNERS:
0: 797, 48.7%
1: 728, 44.5%
2: 66, 4.0%
3: 21, 1.3%
4: 1, .1%
6: 3, .2%
Did not answer: 20, 1.2%

RELATIONSHIP STATUS:
Married: 304, 18.6%
Relationship: 473, 28.9%
Single: 840, 51.3%

RELATIONSHIP GOALS:
Looking for more relationship partners: 617, 37.7%
Not looking for more relationship partners: 993, 60.7%
Did not answer: 26, 1.6%

HAVE YOU DATED SOMEONE YOU MET THROUGH THE LESS WRONG COMMUNITY?
Yes: 53, 3.3%
I didn't meet them through the community but they're part of the community now: 66, 4.0%
No: 1482, 90.5%
Did not answer: 35, 2.1%

COUNTRY:
United States: 895, 54.7%
United Kingdom: 144, 8.8%
Canada: 107, 6.5%
Australia: 69, 4.2%
Germany: 68, 4.2%
Finland: 35, 2.1%
Russia: 22, 1.3%
New Zealand: 20, 1.2%
Israel: 17, 1.0%
France: 16, 1.0%
Poland: 16, 1.0%

LESS WRONGERS PER CAPITA:
Finland: 1/154,685.
New Zealand: 1/221,650.
Canada: 1/325,981.
Australia: 1/328,659.
United States: 1/350,726
United Kingdom: 1/439,097
Israel: 1/465,176.
Germany: 1/1,204,264.
Poland: 1/2,408,750.
France: 1/4,106,250.
Russia: 1/6,522,727

RACE:
Asian (East Asian): 60, 3.7%
Asian (Indian subcontinent): 37, 2.3%
Black: 11, .7%
Middle Eastern: 9, .6%
White (Hispanic): 73, 4.5%
White (non-Hispanic): 1373, 83.9%
Other: 51, 3.1%
Did not answer: 22, 1.3%

WORK STATUS:
Academics (teaching): 77, 4.7%
For-profit work: 552, 33.7%
Government work: 55, 3.4%
Independently wealthy: 14, .9%
Non-profit work: 46, 2.8%
Self-employed: 103, 6.3%
Student: 661, 40.4%
Unemployed: 105, 6.4%
Did not answer: 23, 1.4%

PROFESSION:
Art: 27, 1.7%
Biology: 26, 1.6%
Business: 44, 2.7%
Computers (AI): 47, 2.9%
Computers (other academic computer science): 107, 6.5%
Computers (practical): 505, 30.9%
Engineering: 128, 7.8%
Finance/economics: 92, 5.6%
Law: 36, 2.2%
Mathematics: 139, 8.5%
Medicine: 31, 1.9%
Neuroscience: 13, .8%
Philosophy: 41, 2.5%
Physics: 92, 5.6%
Psychology: 34, 2.1%
Statistics: 23, 1.4%
Other hard science: 31, 1.9%
Other social science: 43, 2.6%
Other: 139, 8.5%
Did not answer: 38, 2.3%

DEGREE:
None: 84, 5.1%
High school: 444, 27.1%
2 year degree: 68, 4.2%
Bachelor's: 554, 33.9%
Master's: 323, 19.7%
MD/JD/other professional degree: 31, 2.0%
PhD.: 90, 5.5%
Other: 22, 1.3%
Did not answer: 19, 1.2%

POLITICAL:
Communist: 11, .7%
Conservative: 64, 3.9%
Liberal: 580, 35.5%
Libertarian: 437, 26.7%
Socialist: 502, 30.7%
Did not answer: 42, 2.6%

COMPLEX POLITICAL WITH WRITE-IN:
Anarchist: 52, 3.2%
Conservative: 16, 1.0%
Futarchist: 42, 2.6%
Left-libertarian: 142, 8.7%
Liberal: 5
Moderate: 53, 3.2%
Pragmatist: 110, 6.7%
Progressive: 206, 12.6%
Reactionary: 40, 2.4%
Social democrat: 154, 9.5%
Socialist: 135, 8.2%
Did not answer: 26.2%

[[All answers with more than 1% of the Less Wrong population included. Other answers which made Ozy giggle included "are any of you kings?! why do you CARE?!", "Exclusionary: you are entitled to an opinion on nuclear power when you know how much of your power is nuclear", "having-well-founded-opinions-is-really-hard-ist", "kleptocrat", "pirate", and "SPECIAL FUCKING SNOWFLAKE."]]

AMERICAN PARTY AFFILIATION:
Democratic Party: 226, 13.8%
Libertarian Party: 31, 1.9%
Republican Party: 58, 3.5%
Other third party: 19, 1.2%
Not registered: 447, 27.3%
Did not answer or non-American: 856, 52.3%

VOTING:
Yes: 936, 57.2%
No: 450, 27.5%
My country doesn't hold elections: 2, 0.1%
Did not answer: 249, 15.2%

RELIGIOUS VIEWS:
Agnostic: 165, 10.1%
Atheist and not spiritual: 1163, 71.1%
Atheist but spiritual: 132, 8.1%
Deist/pantheist/etc.: 36, 2.2%
Lukewarm theist: 53, 3.2%
Committed theist 64, 3.9%

RELIGIOUS DENOMINATION (IF THEIST):
Buddhist: 22, 1.3%
Christian (Catholic): 44, 2.7%
Christian (Protestant): 56, 3.4%
Jewish: 31, 1.9%
Mixed/Other: 21, 1.3%
Unitarian Universalist or similar: 25, 1.5%

[[This includes all religions with more than 1% of Less Wrongers. Minority religions include Dzogchen, Daoism, various sorts of Paganism, Simulationist, a very confused secular humanist, Kopmist, Discordian, and a Cultus Deorum Romanum practitioner whom Ozy wants to be friends with.]]

FAMILY RELIGION:
Agnostic: 129, 11.6%
Atheist and not spiritual: 225, 13.8%
Atheist but spiritual: 73, 4.5%
Committed theist: 423, 25.9%
Deist/pantheist, etc.: 42, 2.6%
Lukewarm theist: 563, 34.4%
Mixed/other: 97, 5.9%
Did not answer: 24, 1.5%

RELIGIOUS BACKGROUND:
Bahai: 3, 0.2%
Buddhist: 13, .8%
Christian (Catholic): 418, 25.6%
Christian (Mormon): 38, 2.3%
Christian (Protestant): 631, 38.4%
Christian (Quaker): 7, 0.4%
Christian (Unitarian Universalist or similar): 32, 2.0%
Christian (other non-Protestant): 99, 6.1%
Christian (unknown): 3, 0.2%
Eckankar: 1, 0.1%
Hindu: 29, 1.8%
Jewish: 136, 8.3%
Muslim: 12, 0.7%
Native American Spiritualist: 1, 0.1%
Mixed/Other: 85, 5.3%
Sikhism: 1, 0.1%
Traditional Chinese: 11, .7%
Wiccan: 1, 0.1%
None: 8, 0.4%
Did not answer: 107, 6.7%

MORAL VIEWS:
Accept/lean towards consequentialism: 1049, 64.1%
Accept/lean towards deontology: 77, 4.7%
Accept/lean towards virtue ethics: 197, 12.0%
Other/no answer: 276, 16.9%
Did not answer: 37, 2.3%

CHILDREN
0: 1414, 86.4%
1: 77, 4.7%
2: 90, 5.5%
3: 25, 1.5%
4: 7, 0.4%
5: 1, 0.1%
6: 2, 0.1%
Did not answer: 20, 1.2%

MORE CHILDREN:
Have no children, don't want any: 506, 31.3%
Have no children, uncertain if want them: 472, 29.2%
Have no children, want children: 431, 26.7%
Have no children, didn't answer: 5, 0.3%
Have children, don't want more: 124, 7.6%
Have children, uncertain if want more: 25, 1.5%
Have children, want more: 53, 3.2%

HANDEDNESS:
Right: 1256, 76.6%
Left: 145, 9.5%
Ambidextrous: 36, 2.2%
Not sure: 7, 0.4%
Did not answer: 182, 11.1%

LESS WRONG USE:
Lurker (no account): 584, 35.7%
Lurker (account) 221, 13.5%
Poster (comment, no post): 495, 30.3%
Poster (Discussion, not Main): 221, 12.9%
Poster (Main): 103, 6.3%

SEQUENCES:
Never knew they existed: 119, 7.3%
Knew they existed, didn't look at them: 48, 2.9%
~25% of the Sequences: 200, 12.2%
~50% of the Sequences: 271, 16.6%
~75% of the Sequences: 225, 13.8%
All the Sequences: 419, 25.6%
Did not answer: 24, 1.5%

MEETUPS:
No: 1134, 69.3%
Yes, once or a few times: 307, 18.8%
Yes, regularly: 159, 9.7%

HPMOR:
No: 272, 16.6%
Started it, haven't finished: 255, 15.6%
Yes, all of it: 912, 55.7%

CFAR WORKSHOP ATTENDANCE:
Yes, a full workshop: 105, 6.4%
A class but not a full-day workshop: 40, 2.4%
No: 1446, 88.3%
Did not answer: 46, 2.8%

PHYSICAL INTERACTION WITH LW COMMUNITY:
Yes, all the time: 94, 5.7%
Yes, sometimes: 179, 10.9%
No: 1316, 80.4%
Did not answer: 48, 2.9%

VEGETARIAN:
No: 1201, 73.4%
Yes: 213, 13.0%
Did not answer: 223, 13.6%

SPACED REPETITION:
Never heard of them: 363, 22.2%
No,  but I've heard of them: 495, 30.2%
Yes, in the past: 328, 20%
Yes, currently: 219, 13.4%
Did not answer: 232, 14.2%

HAVE YOU TAKEN PREVIOUS INCARNATIONS OF THE LESS WRONG SURVEY?
Yes: 638, 39.0%
No: 784, 47.9%
Did not answer: 215, 13.1%

PRIMARY LANGUAGE:
English: 1009, 67.8%
German: 58, 3.6%
Finnish: 29, 1.8%
Russian: 25, 1.6%
French: 17, 1.0%
Dutch: 16, 1.0%
Did not answer: 15.2%

[[This includes all answers that more than 1% of respondents chose. Other languages include Urdu, both Czech and Slovakian, Latvian, and Love.]]

ENTREPRENEUR:
I don't want to start my own business: 617, 37.7%
I am considering starting my own business: 474, 29.0%
I plan to start my own business: 113, 6.9%
I've already started my own business: 156, 9.5%
Did not answer: 277, 16.9%

EFFECTIVE ALTRUIST:
Yes: 468, 28.6%
No: 883, 53.9%
Did not answer: 286, 17.5%

WHO ARE YOU LIVING WITH?
Alone: 348, 21.3%
With family: 420, 25.7%
With partner/spouse: 400, 24.4%
With roommates: 450, 27.5%
Did not answer: 19, 1.3%

DO YOU GIVE BLOOD?
No: 646, 39.5%
No, only because I'm not allowed: 157, 9.6%
Yes, 609, 37.2%
Did not answer: 225, 13.7%

GLOBAL CATASTROPHIC RISK:
Pandemic (bioengineered): 374, 22.8%
Environmental collapse including global warming: 251, 15.3%
Unfriendly AI: 233, 14.2%
Nuclear war: 210, 12.8%
Pandemic (natural) 145, 8.8%
Economic/political collapse: 175, 1, 10.7%
Asteroid strike: 65, 3.9%
Nanotech/grey goo: 57, 3.5%
Didn't answer: 99, 6.0%

CRYONICS STATUS:
Never thought about it / don't understand it: 69, 4.2%
No, and don't want to: 414, 25.3%
No, still considering: 636, 38.9%
No, would like to: 265, 16.2%
No, would like to, but it's unavailable: 119, 7.3%
Yes: 66, 4.0%
Didn't answer: 68, 4.2%

NEWCOMB'S PROBLEM:
Don't understand/prefer not to answer: 92, 5.6%
Not sure: 103, 6.3%
One box: 1036, 63.3%
Two box: 119, 7.3%
Did not answer: 287, 17.5%

GENOMICS:
Yes: 177, 10.8%
No: 1219, 74.5%
Did not answer: 241, 14.7%

REFERRAL TYPE:
Been here since it started in the Overcoming Bias days: 285, 17.4%
Referred by a friend: 241, 14.7%
Referred by a search engine: 148, 9.0%
Referred by HPMOR: 400, 24.4%
Referred by a link on another blog: 373, 22.8%
Referred by a school course: 1, .1%
Other: 160, 9.8%
Did not answer: 29, 1.9%

REFERRAL SOURCE:
Common Sense Atheism: 33
Slate Star Codex: 20
Hacker News: 18
Reddit: 18
TVTropes: 13
Y Combinator: 11
Gwern: 9
RationalWiki: 8
Marginal Revolution: 7
Unequally Yoked: 6
Armed and Dangerous: 5
Shtetl Optimized: 5
Econlog: 4
StumbleUpon: 4
Yudkowsky.net: 4
Accelerating Future: 3
Stares at the World: 3
xkcd: 3
David Brin: 2
Freethoughtblogs: 2
Felicifia: 2
Givewell: 2
hatrack.com: 2
HPMOR: 2
Patri Friedman: 2
Popehat: 2
Overcoming Bias: 2
Scientiststhesis: 2
Scott Young: 2
Stardestroyer.net: 2
TalkOrigins: 2
Tumblr: 2

[[This includes all sources with  more than one referral; needless to say there was a long tail]]

III. Numeric Data

(in the form mean + stdev (1st quartile, 2nd quartile, 3rd quartile) [n = number responding]))

Age: 27.4 + 8.5 (22, 25, 31) [n = 1558]
Height: 176.6 cm + 16.6 (173, 178, 183) [n = 1267]

Karma Score: 504 + 2085 (0, 0, 100) [n = 1438]
Time in community: 2.62 years + 1.84 (1, 2, 4) [n = 1443]
Time on LW: 13.25 minutes/day + 20.97 (2, 10, 15) [n = 1457]

IQ: 138.2 + 13.6 (130, 138, 145) [n = 506]
SAT out of 1600: 1474 + 114 (1410, 1490, 1560) [n = 411]
SAT out of 2400: 2207 + 161 (2130, 2240, 2330) [n = 333]
ACT out of 36: 32.8 + 2.5 (32, 33, 35) [n = 265]

P(Aliens in observable universe): 74.3 + 32.7 (60, 90, 99) [n = 1496]
P(Aliens in Milky Way): 44.9 + 38.2 (5, 40, 85) [n = 1482]
P(Supernatural): 7.7 + 22 (0E-9, .000055, 1) [n = 1484]
P(God): 9.1 + 22.9 (0E-11, .01, 3) [n = 1490]
P(Religion): 5.6 + 19.6 (0E-11, 0E-11, .5) [n = 1497]
P(Cryonics): 22.8 + 28 (2, 10, 33) [n = 1500]  
P(AntiAgathics): 27.6 + 31.2 (2, 10, 50) [n = 1493]
P(Simulation): 24.1 + 28.9 (1, 10, 50) [n = 1400]
P(ManyWorlds): 50 + 29.8 (25, 50, 75) [n = 1373]
P(Warming): 80.7 + 25.2 (75, 90, 98) [n = 1509]
P(Global catastrophic risk): 72.9 + 25.41 (60, 80, 95) [n = 1502]
Singularity year: 1.67E +11 + 4.089E+12 (2060, 2090, 2150) [n = 1195]

[[Of course, this question was hopelessly screwed up by people who insisted on filling the whole answer field with 9s, or other such nonsense. I went back and eliminated all outliers - answers with more than 4 digits or answers in the past - which changed the results to: 2150 + 226 (2060, 2089, 2150)]]

Yearly Income: $73,226 +423,310 (10,000, 37,000, 80,000) [n = 910]
Yearly Charity: $1181.16 + 6037.77 (0, 50, 400) [n = 1231]
Yearly Charity to MIRI/CFAR: $307.18 + 4205.37 (0, 0, 0) [n = 1191]
Yearly Charity to X-risk (excluding MIRI or CFAR): $6.34 + 55.89 (0, 0, 0) [n = 1150]

Number of Languages: 1.49 + .8 (1, 1, 2) [n = 1345]
Older Siblings: 0.5 + 0.9 (0, 0, 1) [n = 1366]
Time Online/Week: 42.7 hours + 24.8 (25, 40, 60) [n = 1292]
Time Watching TV/Week: 4.2 hours + 5.7 (0, 2, 5) [n = 1316]

[[The next nine questions ask respondents to rate how favorable they are to the political idea or movement above on a scale of 1 to 5, with 1 being "not at all favorable" and 5 being "very favorable". You can see the exact wordings of the questions on the survey.]]

Abortion: 4.4 + 1 (4, 5, 5) [n = 1350]
Immigration: 4.1 + 1 (3, 4, 5) [n = 1322]
Basic Income: 3.8 + 1.2 (3, 4, 5) [n = 1289]
Taxes: 3.1 + 1.3 (2, 3, 4) [n = 1296]
Feminism: 3.8 + 1.2 (3, 4, 5) [n = 1329]
Social Justice: 3.6 + 1.3 (3, 4, 5) [n = 1263]
Minimum Wage: 3.2 + 1.4 (2, 3, 4) [n = 1290]
Great Stagnation: 2.3 + 1 (2, 2, 3) [n = 1273]
Human Biodiversity: 2.7 + 1.2 (2, 3, 4) [n = 1305]

IV. Bivariate Correlations

Ozy ran bivariate correlations between all the numerical data and recorded all correlations that were significant at the .001 level in order to maximize the chance that these are genuine results. The format is variable/variable: Pearson correlation (n). Yvain is not hugely on board with the idea of running correlations between everything and seeing what sticks, but will grudgingly publish the results because of the very high bar for significance (p < .001 on ~800 correlations suggests < 1 spurious result) and because he doesn't want to have to do it himself.

Less Political:
SAT score (1600)/SAT score (2400): .835 (56)
Charity/MIRI and CFAR donations: .730 (1193)
SAT score out of 2400/ACT score: .673 (111)
SAT score out of 1600/ACT score: .544 (102)
Number of children/age: .507 (1607)
P(Cryonics)/P(AntiAgathics): .489 (1515)
SAT score out of 1600/IQ: .369 (173)
MIRI and CFAR donations/XRisk donations: .284 (1178)
Number of children/ACT score: -.279 (269)
Income/charity: .269 (884)
Charity/Xrisk charity: .262 (1161)
P(Cryonics)/P(Simulation): .256 (1419)
P(AntiAgathics)/P(Simulation): .253 (1418)
Number of current partners/age: .238 (1607) 
Number of children/SAT score (2400): -.223 (345)
Number of current partners/number of children: .205 (1612)
SAT score out of 1600/age: -.194 (422)
Charity/age: .175 (1259)
Time on Less Wrong/IQ: -.164 (492)
P(Warming)/P(GlobalCatastrophicRisk): .156 (1522)
Number of current partners/IQ: .155 (521)
P(Simulation)/age: -.153 (1420)
Immigration/P(ManyWorlds): .150 (1195)
Income/age: .150 (930)
P(Cryonics)/age: -.148 (1521)
Income/children: .145 (931)
P(God)/P(Simulation): .142 (1409)
Number of children/P(Aliens): .140 (1523)
P(AntiAgathics)/Hours Online: .138 (1277)
Number of current partners/karma score: .137 (1470)
Abortion/P(ManyWorlds): .122 (1215)
Feminism/Xrisk charity donations: -.122 (1104)
P(AntiAgathics)/P(ManyWorlds) .118 (1381)
P(Cryonics)/P(ManyWorlds): .117 (1387)
Karma score/Great Stagnation: .114 (1202)
Hours online/P(simulation): .114 (1199)
P(Cryonics)/Hours Online: .113 (1279)
P(AntiAgathics)/Great Stagnation: -.111 (1259)
Basic income/hours online: .111 (1200)
P(GlobalCatastrophicRisk)/Great Stagnation: -.110 (1270)
Age/X risk charity donations: .109 (1176)
P(AntiAgathics)/P(GlobalCatastrophicRisk): -.109 (1513)
Time on Less Wrong/age: -.108 (1491)
P(AntiAgathics)/Human Biodiversity: .104 (1286)
Immigration/Hours Online: .104 (1226)
P(Simulation)/P(GlobalCatastrophicRisk): -.103 (1421)
P(Supernatural)/height: -.101 (1232)
P(GlobalCatastrophicRisk)/height: .101 (1249)
Number of children/hours online: -.099 (1321)
P(AntiAgathics)/age: -.097 (1514)
Karma score/time on LW: .096 (1404)

This year for the first time P(Aliens) and P(Aliens2) are entirely uncorrelated with each other. Time in Community, Time on LW, and IQ are not correlated with anything particularly interesting, suggesting all three fail to change people's views.

Results we find amusing: high-IQ and high-karma people have more romantic partners, suggesting that those are attractive traits. There is definitely a Cryonics/Antiagathics/Simulation/Many Worlds cluster of weird beliefs, which younger people and people who spend more time online are slightly more likely to have - weirdly, that cluster seems slightly less likely to believe in global catastrophic risk. Older people and people with more children have more romantic partners (it'd be interesting to see if that holds true for the polyamorous). People who believe in anti-agathics and global catastrophic risk are less likely to believe in a great stagnation (presumably because both of the above rely on inventions). People who spend more time on Less Wrong have lower IQs. Height is, bizarrely, correlated with belief in the supernatural and global catastrophic risk.

All political viewpoints are correlated with each other in pretty much exactly the way one would expect. They are also correlated with one's level of belief in God, the supernatural, and religion. There are minor correlations with some of the beliefs and number of partners (presumably because polyamory), number of children, and number of languages spoken. We are doing terribly at avoiding Blue/Green politics, people.

More Political:
P(Supernatural)/P(God): .736 (1496)
P(Supernatural)/P(Religion): .667 (1492)
Minimum wage/taxes: .649 (1299)
P(God)/P(Religion): .631 (1496)
Feminism/social justice: .619 (1293)
Social justice/minimum wage: .508 (1262)
P(Supernatural)/abortion: -.469 (1309)
Taxes/basic income: .463 (1285)
P(God)/abortion: -.461 (1310)
Social justice/taxes: .456 (1267)
P(Religion)/abortion: -.413
Basic income/minimum wage: .392 (1283)
Feminism/taxes: .391 (1318)
Feminism/minimum wage: .391 (1312)
Feminism/human biodiversity: -.365 (1331)
Immigration/feminism: .355 (1336)
P(Warming)/taxes: .340 (1292)
Basic income/social justice: .311 (1270)
Immigration/social justice: .307 (1275)
P(Warming)/feminism: .294 (1323)
Immigration/human biodiversity: -.292 (1313)
P(Warming)/basic income: .290 (1287)
Social justice/human biodiversity: -.289 (1281)
Basic income/feminism: .284 (1313)
Human biodiversity/minimum wage: -.273 (1293)
P(Warming)/social justice: .271 (1261)
P(Warming)/minimum wage: .262 (1284)
Human biodiversity/taxes: -.251 (1270).
Abortion/feminism: .239 (1356)
Abortion/social justice: .220 (1292)
P(Warming)/immigration: .215 (1315)
Abortion/immigration: .211 (1353)
P(Warming)/abortion: .192 (1340)
Immigration/taxes: .186 (1322)
Basic income/taxes: .174 (1249)
Abortion/taxes: .170 (1328)
Abortion/minimum wage: .169 (1317)
P(warming)/human biodiversity: -.168 (1301)
Abortion/basic income: .168 (1314)
Immigration/Great Stagnation: -.163 (1281)
P(God)/feminism: -.159 (1294)
P(Supernatural)/feminism: -.158 (1292)
Human biodiversity/Great Stagnation: .152 (1287)
Social justice/Great Stagnation: -.135 (1242)
Number of languages/taxes: -.133 (1242)
P(God)/P(Warming): -.132 (1491)
P(Supernatural)/immigration: -.131 (1284)
P(Religion)immigration: -.129 (1296)
P(God)/immigration: -.127 (1286)
P(Supernatural)/P(Warming): -.125 (1487)
P(Supernatural)/social justice: -.125 (1227)
P(God)/taxes: -.145
Minimum wage/Great Stagnation: -124 (1269)
Immigration/minimum wage: .122 (1308)
Great Stagnation/taxes: -.121 (1270)
P(Religion)/P(Warming): -.113 (1505)
P(Supernatural)/taxes: -.113 (1265)
Feminism/Great Stagnation: -.112 (1295)
Number of children/abortion: -.112 (1386)
P(Religion)/basic income: -.108 (1296)
Number of current partners/feminism: .108 (1364)
Basic income/human biodiversity: -.106 (1301)
P(God)/Basic Income: -.105 (1255)
Number of current partners/basic income: .105 (1320)
Human biodiversity/number of languages: .103 (1253)
Number of children/basic income: -.099 (1322)
Number of children/P(Warming): -.091 (1535)

V. Hypothesis Testing

A. Do people in the effective altruism movement donate more money to charity? Do they donate a higher percent of their income to charity? Are they just generally more altruistic people?

1265 people told us how much they give to charity; of those, 450 gave nothing. On average, effective altruists (n = 412) donated $2503 to charity, and other people (n = 853) donated $523  - obviously a significant result. Effective altruists gave on average $800 to MIRI or CFAR, whereas others gave $53. Effective altruists gave on average $16 to other x-risk related charities; others gave only $2.

In order to calculate percent donated I divided charity donations by income in the 947  people helpful enough to give me both numbers. Of those 947, 602 donated nothing to charity, and so had a percent donated of 0. At the other extreme, three  people donated 50% of their (substantial) incomes to charity, and 55 people donated at least 10%. I don't want to draw any conclusions about the community from this because the people who provided both their income numbers and their charity numbers are a highly self-selected sample.

303 effective altruists donated, on average, 3.5% of their income to charity, compared to 645 others who donated, on average, 1% of their income to charity. A small but significant (p < .001) victory for the effective altruism movement.

But are they more compassionate people in general? After throwing out the people who said they wanted to give blood but couldn't for one or another reason, I got 1255 survey respondents giving me an unambiguous answer (yes or no) about whether they'd ever given blood. I found that 51% of effective altruists had given blood compared to 47% of others - a difference which did not reach statistical significance.

Finally, at the end of the survey I had a question offering respondents a chance to cooperate (raising the value of a potential monetary prize to be given out by raffle to a random respondent) or defect (decreasing the value of the prize, but increasing their own chance of winning the raffle). 73% of effective altruists cooperated compared to 70% of others - an insignificant difference.

Conclusion: effective altruists give more money to charity, both absolutely and as a percent of income, but are no more likely (or perhaps only slightly more likely) to be compassionate in other ways.

B. Can we finally resolve this IQ controversy that comes up every year?

The story so far - our first survey in 2009 found an average IQ of 146. Everyone said this was stupid, no community could possibly have that high an average IQ, it was just people lying and/or reporting results from horrible Internet IQ tests.
Although IQ fell somewhat the next few years - to 140 in 2011 and 139 in 2012 - people continued to complain. So in 2012 we started asking for SAT and ACT scores, which are known to correlate well with IQ and are much harder to get wrong. These scores confirmed the 139 IQ result on the 2012 test. But people still objected that something must be up.

This year our IQ has fallen further to 138 (no Flynn Effect for us!) but for the first time we asked people to describe the IQ test they used to get the number. So I took a subset of the people with the most unimpeachable IQ tests - ones taken after the age of 15 (when IQ is more stable), and from a seemingly reputable source. I counted a source as reputable either if it name-dropped a specific scientifically validated IQ test (like WAIS or Raven's Progressive Matrices), if it was performed by a reputable institution (a school, a hospital, or a psychologist), or if it was a Mensa exam proctored by a Mensa official.

This subgroup of 101 people with very reputable IQ tests had an average IQ of 139 - exactly the same as the average among survey respondents as a whole.

I don't know for sure that Mensa is on the level, so I tried again deleting everyone who took a Mensa test - leaving just the people who could name-drop a well-known test or who knew it was administered by a psychologist in an official setting. This caused a precipitous drop all the way down to 138.

The IQ numbers have time and time again answered every challenge raised against them and should be presumed accurate.

C. Can we predict who does or doesn't cooperate on prisoner's dilemmas?

As mentioned above, I included a prisoner's dilemma type question in the survey, offering people the chance to make a little money by screwing all the other survey respondents over.

Tendency to cooperate on the prisoner's dilemma was most highly correlated with items in the general leftist political cluster identified by Ozy above. It was most notable for support for feminism, with which it had a correlation of .15, significant at the p < .01 level, and minimum wage, with which it had a correlation of .09, also significant at p < .01. It was also significantly correlated with belief that other people would cooperate on the same question.

I compared two possible explanations for this result. First, leftists are starry-eyed idealists who believe everyone can just get along - therefore, they expected other people to cooperate more, which made them want to cooperate more. Or, second, most Less Wrongers are white, male, and upper class, meaning that support for leftist values - which often favor nonwhites, women, and the lower class - is itself a symbol of self-sacrifce and altruism which one would expect to correlate with a question testing self-sacrifice and altruism.

I tested the "starry-eyed idealist" hypothesis by checking whether leftists were more likely to believe other people would cooperate. They were not - the correlation was not significant at any level.

I tested the "self-sacrifice" hypothesis by testing whether the feminism correlation went away in women. For women, supporting feminism is presumably not a sign of willingness to self-sacrifice to help an out-group, so we would expect the correlation to disappear.

In the all-female sample, the correlation between feminism and PD cooperation shrunk from .15 to a puny .04, whereas the correlation between the minimum wage and PD was previously .09 and stayed exactly the same at .09. This provides some small level of support for the hypothesis that the leftist correlation with PD cooperation represents a willingness to self-sacrifice in a population who are not themselves helped by leftist values.

(on the other hand, neither leftists nor cooperators were more likely to give money to charity, so if this is true it's a very selective form of self-sacrifice)

VI. Monetary Prize

1389 people answered the prize question at the bottom. 71.6% of these [n = 995] cooperated; 28.4% [n = 394] defected.
The prize goes to a person whose two word phrase begins with "eponymous". If this person posts below (or PMs or emails me) the second word in their phrase, I will give them $60 * 71.6%, or about $43. I can pay to a PayPal account, a charity of their choice that takes online donations, or a snail-mail address via check.

VII. Calibration Questions

The population of Europe, according to designated arbiter Wikipedia, is 739 million people.

People were really really bad at giving their answers in millions. I got numbers anywhere from 3 (really? three million people in Europe?) to 3 billion (3 million billion people = 3 quadrillion). I assume some people thought they were answering in billions, others in thousands, and other people thought they were giving a straight answer in number of individuals.

My original plan was to just adjust these to make them fit, but this quickly encountered some pitfalls. Suppose someone wrote 1 million (as one person did). Could I fairly guess they meant 100 million, even though there's really no way to guess that from the text itself? 1 billion? Maybe they just thought there were really one million people in Europe?

If I was too aggressive correcting these, everyone would get close to the right answer not because they were smart, but because I had corrected their answers. If I wasn't aggressive enough, I would end up with some guy who answered 3 quadrillion Europeans totally distorting the mean.

I ended up deleting 40 answers that suggested there were less than ten million or more than eight billion Europeans, on the grounds that people probably weren't really that far off so it was probably some kind of data entry error, and correcting everyone who entered a reasonable answer in individuals to answer in millions as the question asked.

The remaining 1457 people who can either follow simple directions or at least fail to follow them in a predictable way estimated an average European population in millions of 601 + 35.6 (380, 500, 750).

Respondents were told to aim for within 10% of the real value, which means they wanted between 665 million and 812 million. 18.7% of people [n = 272] got within that window.

I divided people up into calibration brackets of [0,5], [6,15], [16, 25] and so on. The following are what percent of people in each bracket were right.

[0,5]: 7.7%
[6,15]: 12.4%
[16,25]: 15.1%
[26,35]: 18.4%
[36,45]: 20.6%
[46,55]: 15.4%
[56,65]: 16.5%
[66,75]: 21.2%
[76,85]: 36.4%
[86,95]: 48.6%
[96,100]: 100%

Among people who should know better (those who have read all or most of the Sequences and have > 500 karma, a group of 162 people)

[0,5]: 0
[6,15]: 17.4%
[16,25]: 25.6%
[26,35]: 16.7%
[36,45]: 26.7%
[46,55]: 25%
[56,65]: 0%
[66,75]: 8.3%
[76,85]: 40%
[86,95]: 66.6%
[96,100]: 66.6%

Clearly, the people who should know better don't.

This graph represents your performance relative to ideal performance. Dipping below the blue ideal line represents overconfidence; rising above it represents underconfidence. With few exceptions you were very overconfident. Note that there were so few "elite" LWers at certain levels that the graph becomes very noisy and probably isn't representing much; that huge drop at 60 represents like two or three people. The orange "typical LWer" line is much more robust.

There is one other question that gets at the same idea of overconfidence. 651 people were willing to give valid 90% confidence interval on what percent of people would cooperate (this is my fault; I only added this question about halfway through the survey once I realized it would be interesting to investigate). I deleted four for giving extremely high outliers like 9999% which threw off the results, leaving 647 valid answers. The average confidence interval was [28.3, 72.0], which just BARELY contains the correct answer of 71.6%. Of the 647 of you, only 346 (53.5%) gave 90% confidence intervals that included the correct answer!

Last year I complained about horrible performance on calibration questions, but we all decided it was probably just a fluke caused by a particularly weird question. This year's results suggest that was no fluke and that we haven't even learned to overcome the one bias that we can measure super-well and which is most easily trained away. Disappointment!

VIII. Public Data

There's still a lot more to be done with this survey. User:Unnamed has promised to analyze the "Extra Credit: CFAR Questions" section (not included in this post), but so far no one has looked at the "Extra Credit: Questions From Sarah" section, which I didn't really know what to do with. And of course this is most complete survey yet for seeking classic findings like "People who disagree with me about politics are stupid and evil".

1480 people - over 90% of the total - kindly allowed me to make their survey data public. I have included all their information except the timestamp (which would make tracking pretty easy) including their secret passphrases (by far the most interesting part of this exercise was seeing what unusual two word phrases people could come up with on short notice).