Less Wrong is a community blog devoted to refining the art of human rationality. Please visit our About page for more information.

2013 Less Wrong Census/Survey

78 Post author: Yvain 22 November 2013 09:26AM

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.

It also contains a chance at winning a MONETARY REWARD at the bottom. You do not need to fill in all the extra credit questions to get the MONETARY REWARD, just make an honest stab at as much of the survey as you can.

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

Last year there was some concern that the survey period was too short, or too uncertain. This year the survey will remain open until 23:59 PST December 31st 2013, so as long as you make time to take it sometime this year, you should be fine. Many people put it off last year and then forgot about it, so why not take it right now while you are reading this post?

Okay! Enough preliminaries! Time to take the...


2013 Less Wrong Census/Survey


Thanks to everyone who suggested questions and ideas for the 2013 Less Wrong Census/Survey. I regret I was unable to take all of your suggestions into account, because of some limitations in Google Docs, concern about survey length, and contradictions/duplications among suggestions. I think I got most of them in, and others can wait until next year.

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.

Comments (616)

Comment author: timujin 22 November 2013 03:43:44PM *  59 points [-]

Surveyed. Having everyone participate in a Prisoner's Dillema is extremely ingenious.

Edit: Hey, guys, stop upvoting this! You have already falsified my answer to survey's karma question by an order of magnitude!

Edit much later: The lesswrong community is now proved evil.

Edit much more later: Bwahaha, I expected that... Thanks for the karma and stuff...

Comment author: Viliam_Bur 22 November 2013 09:11:27AM 58 points [-]

Taken. It was relatively quick; the questions were easy. Thanks for improving the survey!

Two notes: The question about mental illness has no "None" answers; thus you cannot distinguish between people who had none, and people who didn't answer the question. The question about income did not make clear whether it's pre-tax or post-tax.

Comment author: Nominull 22 November 2013 05:56:12AM 55 points [-]

Are you planning to do any analysis on what traits are associated with defection? That could get ugly fast.

(I took the survey)

Comment author: Kinsei 22 November 2013 03:13:40PM 11 points [-]

Well, remember that that's a zero sum game within the community since it's coming out of Yvain's pocket. I was going to reflexivly cooperate, then I remembered that I was cooperating in transfering money from someone who was nice enough to create this survey, to people who were only nice enough to answer.

Comment author: roystgnr 22 November 2013 06:02:25AM 54 points [-]

I took the survey. My apologies for not doing so in every previous year I've been here, and for not finding time for the extra questions this year.

The race question should probably use checkboxes (2^N answers) rather than radio boxes (N answers). Biracial people aren't that uncommon.

Living "with family" is slightly ambiguous; I almost selected it instead of "with partner/spouse" since our kids are living with us, but I suspected that wasn't the intended meaning.

Comment author: tut 22 November 2013 01:17:45PM 9 points [-]

The race question should probably use checkboxes (2^N answers) rather than radio boxes (N answers)

Same with the diagnoses question. But I don't think that Yvain's software deals well with checkboxes. They seem to have much more radiobuttons this year.

Comment author: Dr_Manhattan 22 November 2013 03:33:52AM 44 points [-]

dude, no "jewish" religious background? seems like a serious omission unless my priors are all screwed up.

Comment author: Yvain 22 November 2013 03:37:33AM 19 points [-]

I'm sorry. I'm not sure how that happened. Must have accidentally gotten deleted when I was adding in the Eastern Orthodox stuff. The question has been fixed and "Jewish" is now an option.

Comment author: DanArmak 22 November 2013 09:50:22AM *  41 points [-]

Notes taken while I answered.

What is your family's religious background, as of the last time your family practiced a religion?

We're Ashkenazi Jews, but AFAIK the last time any ancestor of mine practiced a religion was in my great-grandparents' generation. (And then only because I knew only one of them personallyh, so it's reasonable to assume at least one of the others could have been religious.) I get that every human is descended from religious ones, but conflating this datapoint with someone whose actual parents practiced a religion once seems wrong.


For some of these my confidence was so low that I didn't answer. For some questions, there are also semantic quibbles that would affect the answer:

  • Supernatural: AFAIK there is no agreed-on definition of "supernatural" events other than "physically impossible" ones which of course have a probability of 0 (epsilon). OTOH, if you specify "events that the average human observer would use the word 'supernatural' to describe", the probability is very high.
  • Anti-Agathics: what counts as reaching an age of 1000 years? Humans with a few patched organs and genes? Cyborgs? Uploads with 1000 subjective years of experience?
  • Simulation: this is complicated by ontological differences: whether, when universe A is simulated in universe B, this somehow contributes to B's "realness" measure, or actually creates B. Is existence of a universe a binary predicate? I answered as if it is.

Type of global catastrophic risk: although I chose the most probable, there wasn't a large difference in estimated probability for the top few leading dangers.

about how often do you read or hear about another plausible-seeming technique

At first I thought "every few days". But then I realized these techniques almost never work out or are unsupported by evidence, and so it would be wrong to call them plausible-seeming. So I recalibrated and answered much more rarely.

Then I saw the next questions asked how often I tried the technique and how often it actually worked. But I already choose not to try them most of the time because I expect not to succeed. So I let my previous answer stand. I hope this was as intended.

CFAR bonus questions:

You are a certain kind of person

Are these questions claiming that I, DanArmak, am this kind of person who can change; or that everyone can change? The answers would be very different. I assumed the latter, but it would be nice to have confirmation.

Other nitpicks: a certain kind on which dimension? Some aspects of personality are much harder to change than others.

What is the measure of "true" change? By the means available to us today, we can't change into truly nonhuman intelligences, so does that mean our "kind" cannot be changed? And the answers to the questions will change over time as technology creates new more effective interventions.

And: does "basic things" mean "fundamental things" or "minor insignificant things"? Normally I would assume "fundamental things", but then it seems identical to the previous question.

On a personal note, this set of questions struck me as incompatible after answering the previous sets. They seem to deliberately probe my irrational biases and cached beliefs, and I felt I couldn't answer them while I was deliberately thinking reflectively and asking myself why I believed the answers I was giving.

How would you describe your opinion on immigration?

The politics of immigration in Israel are totally different from those of the US (and I expect this holds for many other countries too in their different ways). I didn't answer because I was afraid of biasing the poll, and it would have been nice to get more guidance in the question.

Comment author: Kaj_Sotala 22 November 2013 09:01:33AM 41 points [-]


The occupation thing could have been a checkbox, for us who are e.g. both students and doing for-profit work.

The income question could have used a clarification of whether it was pre- or post-tax. (I assumed pre-.)

Comment author: Irgy 22 November 2013 05:24:40AM 38 points [-]

I found myself geuinely confused by the question "You are a certain kind of person, and there's not much that can be done either way to really change that" - not by the general vagueness of the statement (which I assume is all part of the fun) but by a very specific issue, the word "you". Is it "you" as in me? Or "you" as in "one", i.e. a hypothetical person essentially referring to everyone? I interpreted it the first way then changed my mind after reading the subsequent questions which seemed to be more clearly using it the second way.

Comment author: Unnamed 22 November 2013 08:58:17AM *  14 points [-]

(Dan from CFAR here) - That question (and the 3 similar ones) came from a standard psychology scale. I think the question is intentionally ambiguous between "you in particular" and "people in general" - the longer version of the scale includes some questions that are explicitly about each, and some others that are vaguely in the middle. They're meant to capture people's relatively intuitive impressions.

You can find more information about the questions by googling, although (as with the calibration question) it's better if that information doesn't show up in the recent comments feed, since scales like this one are often less valid measures for people who know what they're intended to measure.

Comment author: Gvaerg 22 November 2013 11:26:24AM 37 points [-]

Took the survey. Can't wait for the results.

Comment author: polymathwannabe 22 November 2013 05:56:24PM 32 points [-]

Answered the entire survey (except questions for U.S. residents). I can't see why Newcomb's problem is a problem. Getting $1,001,000 by two-boxing is an outcome that just never happens, given Omega's perfect prediction abilities. You should one-box.

Comment author: MichaelAnissimov 22 November 2013 06:22:40PM 31 points [-]


Comment author: Keller 22 November 2013 05:39:51PM 29 points [-]

I worry that I harmed the results by mentioning that I have meditated for cognitive benefit reasons, without a way to note that it wasn't to deal with Akrasia. I wanted to answer truthfully, but at the same time the truthful answer was misleading.

Comment author: Zubon 23 November 2013 01:17:02AM 27 points [-]

I hereby take part in the tradition and note that the tradition makes the following moot for relatively low levels of karma. You may round off your karma score if you want to be less identifiable. If your karma score is 15000 or above, you may put 15000 if you want to be less identifiable.

Income question: needs to specify individual or household. You may also want to specify sources, such as whether to include government aid, only include income from wages, or separate boxes for different categories of income.

I have done professional survey design and am available to assist with reviewing the phrasing of questions for surveys, here or on other projects.

Comment author: PeterisP 23 November 2013 07:12:53AM 10 points [-]

Income question needs to be explicit about if it's pre-tax or post-tax, since it's a huge difference, and the "default measurement" differs between cultures, in some places "I earn X" means pre-tax and in some places it means post-tax.

Comment author: gwillen 24 November 2013 01:03:16AM *  25 points [-]


Thanks for putting this together.

Perceived flaws:

Percentages are probably not the best way to elicit well-calibrated guesses about very probable or very improbable events. (The difference between 1/1,000 and 1/1,000,000 is a lot bigger in reality than it looks, when you put them both between 0 and 1 on a scale of 0 to 100.)

Computing P(Many Worlds) requires assuming that the phrase "Many Worlds" refers to a specific set of concrete predictions about the nature universe, which admit the possibility of truth or falsity. I tend to disagree with that presumption.

P(Anti-Agathics) seems, from the name, not to be intended to include cryonics, but does seem to include it in the actual text. I predict paradoxical answers in which people give P(Cryonics) > P(Anti-Agathics), even though cryonics is a way of allowing a person alive today to reach the age of 1000 years.

P(Simulation) may or may not actually be a well-defined question. If, as some people are surely visualizing while answering it, there are aliens somewhere hovering over a computer terminal with us running on it, certainly the answer is 'yes'. Whatever the reality, it seems likely to be a lot stranger than that. Eliezer's own "Finale of the Ultimate Meta Mega Crossover" describes a scenario (admittedly fanciful) in which one would be hard pressed to answer the "simulation" question with a simple yes or no.

Comment author: knb 23 November 2013 04:41:06PM 25 points [-]

Took it. It's a good survey with a lot of interesting questions.

Comment author: Jayson_Virissimo 22 November 2013 09:49:58PM *  25 points [-]

Done. There were a few questions that were iffy, but overall I think this year's survey was a significant improvement from previous versions. Thanks Yvain for doing this.

Comment author: Dan_Moore 25 November 2013 03:33:15PM *  24 points [-]

I completed the survey & had to look up the normative ethics choices (again). Also cisgender. I cooperated with the prisoner's dilemma puzzle & estimated that a majority of respondents would also do so, given the modest prize amount.

Also, based on my estimate of a year in Newton's life in last year's survey, I widened my confidence intervals.

Comment author: bgaesop 22 November 2013 09:31:29AM 24 points [-]

Several of these questions are poorly phrased. For instance, the supernatural and god questions, as phrased, imply that the god chance should be less than the chance of supernatural anything existing. However, I think (and would like to be able to express) that there is a very small (0), chance of ghosts or wizards, but only a small (1) chance of there being some sort of intelligent being which created the universe-for instance, the simulation hypothesis, which I would consider a subset of the god hypothesis.

Comment author: lmm 25 November 2013 08:16:47PM 23 points [-]

Took the survey, including all questions. Hope it is not discarded for contradictory elements.

Comment author: jpet 25 November 2013 08:03:52PM 23 points [-]

Took it. Comments:

  • Hopefully you have a way to filter out accidental duplicates (i.e. a hidden random ID field or some such), because I submitted the form by accident several times while filling it out. (I was doing it from my phone, and basically any slightly missed touch on the UI resulted in accidental submission).

  • Multiple choice questions should always have a "none" option of some kind, because once you select a radio button option there's no way to deselect it. Most of them did but not all.

  • I answered "God" with a significant probability because the way the definitions is phrased, I would say it includes whoever is running the simulation if the simulation hypothesis is true. I'm sure many people interpreted it differently. I'd suggest making this distinction explicit one way or the other next time.

Comment author: JacekLach 22 November 2013 09:02:10PM 19 points [-]

I'm confused by the CFAR questions, in particular the last four. Are they using you as 'the person filling out this survey' or the general you as in a person? "You can always change basic things about the kind of person you are" sounds like the general you. "You are a certain kind of person, and there's not much that can be done either way to really change that" sounds like the specific you.


Comment author: gjm 22 November 2013 02:54:03AM 51 points [-]

I have taken the survey (and answered, to a good approximation, all the questions).

Note that if you take the survey and comment here immediately after, Yvain can probably identify which survey is yours. If this possibility troubles you, you may wish to delay. On the other hand, empirically it seems that earlier comments get more karma.

I conjecture that more than 5% of entrants will experience a substantial temptation to give SQUEAMISH OSSIFRAGE as their passphrase at the end. The purpose of this paragraph is to remark that (1) if you, the reader, are so tempted then that is evidence that I am right, and (2) if so then giving in to the temptation is probably a bad idea.

Comment author: Iksorod 22 November 2013 06:18:51AM 48 points [-]

Survey taken. The very last question made me laugh out loud. It also proved to me that this is truly my type of community.

Comment author: TheOtherDave 22 November 2013 04:23:51AM 48 points [-]

Surveyed. Left several questions blank.

Incidentally, while I answered the "akrasia" questions about mental illnesses, therapy, etc. as best I could, it's perhaps worth noting that most of my answers related to a period of my life after suffering traumatic brain injury that significantly impaired my cognitive function, and therefore might be skewing the results... or maybe not, depending on what the questions were trying to get at

Comment author: SaidAchmiz 22 November 2013 03:55:42AM 48 points [-]

I took the survey.

However, this question confused me:

Time in Community How long, in years, have you been in the Overcoming Bias/Less Wrong community? Enter periods less than 1 year in decimal, eg "0.5" for six months (hint: if you've been here since the start of the community in November 2007, put 6 years)"

(emphasis mine)

The wording confused me; I almost put "6 years" instead of "6" because of it.

Also, I was sorely tempted to respond that I do not read instructions and am going to ruin everything, and then answer the rest of that section, including the test question, correctly. I successfully resisted that temptation, of which fact I am proud.

Comment author: somervta 22 November 2013 04:38:23AM 47 points [-]

Taken, Answering all questions. I answered the last question (Co-operate or Defect) only after coming back and reading the comments, but I think I forgot to put in my passphrase so it doesn't really matter.

Comment author: [deleted] 22 November 2013 03:19:01AM 47 points [-]


Nice to see the reactionaries got their bone thrown to them on the politics section.

Comment author: TaVSt 22 November 2013 04:14:15AM 46 points [-]

Finally decided to register for an account here. That reward structure will be fun to watch.

Comment author: Bayeslisk 22 November 2013 04:02:50AM 46 points [-]

Surveyed. Put a humorous pair of Lojban lujvo as a passphrase. I cooperated, knowing that regardless, I was unlikely to win no matter what strategy I pursued, and that priming myself by forcing myself to cooperate now would possibly make me unknowingly want to cooperate in the future to my benefit.

Comment author: iceman 22 November 2013 05:09:39AM 45 points [-]

Survey Taken.

Comment author: lalaithion 22 November 2013 03:50:33AM 45 points [-]

I can't wait to see the Cooperate/Defect ratio. I, for one, chose to cooperate.

Comment author: shminux 22 November 2013 05:52:18AM 44 points [-]

Done. I'm glad there was nothing about Schrodinger this time around.

Comment author: Vaniver 22 November 2013 05:11:36AM 44 points [-]

Oh wow, you really cut down on the extra credit questions this time- no links to external tests! Not sure if I like that or not; in particular, now we only have one IQ source to look at. But oh well.

(I took the survey.)

Comment author: Vivificient 22 November 2013 03:05:23AM 44 points [-]

I have never posted on LW before, but this seems like a fine first time to do so.

I am really very curious to see the results of the real world cooperate/defect choice at the bottom of the test.

Comment author: Joshua_Blaine 22 November 2013 01:48:25PM 43 points [-]

Survey taken.

I found the Europe question awesome because I, incredibly luckily, had checked Europe's total population for a Fermi estimate just yesterday, so I got to feel like a high accuracy, highly calibrated badass. Of course, that also means it's not good data for things that I learned greater than ~1 day ago.

Comment author: witzvo 22 November 2013 04:43:40AM 43 points [-]


Comment author: Rangi 22 November 2013 10:23:43AM 42 points [-]

Made an account here to comment that I filled out the survey, and to make future participation more likely.

Comment author: jkaufman 22 November 2013 01:50:52PM *  41 points [-]


The IQ question should, like with the SAT/ACT, make it clear you should leave it blank if you've not been tested. And the same with the follow-up in calibration.

Comment author: radical_negative_one 22 November 2013 10:43:40AM *  41 points [-]

Survey completed in full. Begging for karma as per ancient custom.

I choose DEFECT because presumably the money is coming out of CFAR's pocket and I assume they can use the money better than whichever random person wins the raffle. If I win, I commit to requesting it be given as an anonymous donation to CFAR.

EDIT: Having been persuaded my Yvain and Vaniver, I reverse my position and intend to spend the prize on myself. Unfortunately I've already defected and now it's too late to not be an asshole! Sorry about that. Only the slightly higher chance of winning can soothe my feelings of guilt.

Comment author: Yvain 22 November 2013 10:06:13PM 23 points [-]

The money is coming out of my pocket, it is not funging against any other charitable donations, and I am in favor of someone claiming the prize and using it to buy something nice that they like.

Comment author: Vaniver 22 November 2013 05:04:46PM 8 points [-]

presumably the money is coming out of CFAR's pocket

I think the money is coming out of Yvain's pocket, actually.

Comment author: Zian 27 November 2013 06:23:16AM 14 points [-]

I took the survey a few days ago and ran into trouble trying to answer the IQ test-related questions (IQ/SAT/ACT/etc.) because I would have to dig around for the answers to those questions and that required more effort than I wanted to spend on a survey.

The instructions for entering percents was also a bit confusing.

Other than that, the survey was well designed. I really appreciated how clear you were about where it was OK to stop and that it was fine to leave things blank.

Comment author: Martin-2 26 November 2013 08:23:03PM 14 points [-]

Done. I hate to get karma without posting something insightful, so here's a song about how we didn't land on the moon.

Comment author: [deleted] 24 November 2013 05:22:12PM *  14 points [-]

I wanted an ADBOC answer to the HBD question. Lacking that, I answered the question about the belief (regardless of whether I endorse policies that people with the same belief typically endorse -- like I did for the AGW question), but given that (unlike the AGW question) it was in the politics section and that it mentioned a movement, I felt a bit uncomfortable doing that. Also, I interpreted "we" in the Great Stagnation question as "American", given that that's what the cited Wikipedia article says.

In the income question I only counted my PhD scholarship after taxes, and not the "reimbursement" of travel expenses (which often exceed the amount I actually spend while travelling) nor the private tutoring I've very occasionally done (I kind-of consider the money a gift in exchange of a favour).

I rounded my top-level contributions to Main and Discussion down to zero.

Comment author: dankane 22 November 2013 08:31:16AM 39 points [-]

Took the survey. Note: "average" is not a very precise term. For one, "average person" is probably a mediocre stand-in for "typical person" (since there isn't actually a commonly accepted way to take averages of people). Furthermore, questions like "How long, in approximate number of minutes, do you spend on Less Wrong in the average day?" are actually highly ambiguous. The arithmetic mean of times that I spend on Less Wrong over days is substantially different from the median time.

Comment author: JoachimSchipper 22 November 2013 07:44:09AM 39 points [-]


Also, spoiler: the reward is too small and unlikely for me to bother thinking through the ethics of defecting; in particular, I'm fairly insensitive to the multiplier for defecting at this price point. (Morality through indecisiveness?)

Comment author: Dreaded_Anomaly 22 November 2013 04:04:37AM 39 points [-]

Taken, answering all of the questions I was capable of answering. I will be very interested to see the results on some of the new questions. (The shifts on existing questions could also be interesting, but I don't expect much to change.)

Comment author: Antti_Yli-Krekola 22 November 2013 12:26:11PM 38 points [-]

Survey taken.

Comment author: rejuvyesh 22 November 2013 07:09:51AM *  38 points [-]

It seems that I only comment here when I take the survey and remain a lurker otherwise.

(Survey taken)

Comment author: Adele_L 22 November 2013 05:40:47AM 38 points [-]

Took the survey.

I'm interested in seeing what sort of interventions ended up working for people with akrasia.

Comment author: dougclow 28 November 2013 08:09:11AM 13 points [-]

I took the survey.

I, like many others, was very amused at the structure of the MONETARY AWARD.

I'm not sure it was an advisable move, though. There's an ongoing argument about the effect of rewards on intrinsic motivation. But few argue that incentives don't tend to incentivise the behaviour they reward, rather than the behaviour the rewarder would like to incentivise. In this instance, the structure of the reward appears to incentivise multiple submissions, which I'm pretty sure is not something we want to happen more.

In some contexts you could rely on most of the participants not understanding how to 'game' a reward system. Here, not so much, particularly since we'd expect the participants to know more game theory than a random sample of the population, and the survey even cues such participants to think about game theory just before they submit their response. Similarly, the expectation value of gaming the system is so low that one might hope people wouldn't bother - but again, this audience is likely to have a very high proportion of people who like playing games to win in ways that exercise their intelligence, regardless of monetary reward.

So I predict there will be substantially more multiple submissions this time compared to years with no monetary reward.

I'm not sure how to robustly detect this, though: all the simple techniques I know of are thwarted by using a Google Form. If the prediction is true, we'd expect more submissions this year than last year - but that's overdetermined since the survey will be open for longer and we also expect the community to have grown. The number of responses being down would be evidence against the prediction. A lot of duplicate or near-duplicate responses aren't necessarily diagnostic, though a significant increase compared to previous years would be pretty good evidence. The presence of many near-blank entries with very little but the passphrase filled in would also be very good evidence in favour of the prediction.

(I used thinking about this as a way of distracting myself from thinking what the optimal questionnaire-stuffing C/D strategy would be, because I know that if I worked that out I would find it hard to resist implementing it. Now I think about it, this technique - think gamekeeper before you turn poacher - has saved me from all sorts of trouble over my lifespan.)

Comment author: [deleted] 23 November 2013 02:16:15PM *  13 points [-]

I was confused by what was meant with supernatural. I mean if you believe you live in a simulation of course things that are not constrained by the physical laws of our universe might occasionally show up in it. Preferred the ontologically basic mental entity formulation of previous polls.

Comment author: blacktrance 22 November 2013 05:50:01PM *  13 points [-]

I'm disappointed to see that most of my suggestions weren't used.

Comment author: Yvain 22 November 2013 09:58:45PM *  8 points [-]

I'm sorry. I couldn't put in checkboxes where you can choose as many as you want, because my software can't process them effectively. And I am reluctant to take suggestions about clarifying or adding more options to different questions as past experience has told me that no matter how fine the gradations are people always ask to have them finer. I took your suggestion about better divisions of Christianity and I thank you for making it.

Comment author: MixedNuts 22 November 2013 10:14:18AM 37 points [-]

Took the survey. Surprisingly short.

Comment author: Watercressed 22 November 2013 06:59:30AM 37 points [-]

Survey Taken

Comment author: gyokuro 22 November 2013 06:46:55AM 37 points [-]

Congratulations for putting the dilemma to test. That was the hardest survey I've taken since the 2012 one.

Comment author: beoShaffer 22 November 2013 06:08:18AM 37 points [-]

Took the survey and cooperated.

Comment author: scrafty 22 November 2013 05:51:06PM 36 points [-]

Survey taken. Defected since I'm neutral as to whether the money goes to Yvain or a random survey-taker, but would prefer the money going to me over either of those two.

Comment author: alexgieg 22 November 2013 04:59:29PM *  36 points [-]

I've taken the survey.

By the way, nice game at the end. I didn't do the math but it seemed evident that defecting was the logical choice (and by reading the comments below I was right). I cooperated anyway, it just felt right. So, defectors, I probably just made one of you a few hundredths of a cent richer! Lucky you! ;-)

Comment author: RowanE 22 November 2013 02:48:33PM 36 points [-]

I'm doing the survey while I should be in a lecture, and I just reached the akrasia questions.

Comment author: shinoteki 22 November 2013 12:35:39PM 36 points [-]

I took it.

Comment author: Kutta 22 November 2013 10:26:44AM 36 points [-]

Survey taken.

Comment author: MrMind 22 November 2013 09:37:57AM 36 points [-]

Cooperator here.

Comment author: luminosity 22 November 2013 08:07:45AM 36 points [-]

Taken the survey. Thanks for doing this, Yvain.

Comment author: adbge 22 November 2013 05:37:20PM 35 points [-]

Surveyed, requesting free internet points.

Comment author: Rubix 22 November 2013 05:28:10PM 35 points [-]

I took the survey.

Comment author: shirisaya 22 November 2013 05:13:38PM 35 points [-]

I completed every question on the survey that I could.

Comment author: ygert 22 November 2013 01:22:17PM 35 points [-]

Took the survey.

Comment author: tzok 22 November 2013 12:27:59PM 35 points [-]

I have taken the survey, also the extra part. Although I was never tested for IQ in professional way and since it was a question in the non-extra part, I assume that most LW readers were. Interesting observation (if true). Maybe it is a nationally dependent thing? This ad-hoc hypothesis can be validated by the survey if only enough people from enough countries take it

Comment author: Emily 22 November 2013 11:23:30AM 35 points [-]

I took the survey. Also just realised that my choice of pass phrase was really silly... I was trying to make it easy for myself to remember what the second word would be, but failed to observe that the first word could become public and therefore it would be sensible to choose something that wouldn't be obvious to just about anybody from knowing the first word! Ah well, in the unlikely event that I win the draw, whoever gets in first can have the prize, I guess...

Comment author: Kendra 22 November 2013 10:21:50AM 35 points [-]

Took it.

Could you add a question asking how many of their donations people gave to non-x-risk EA charities? The EA movement would appreciate the information!

Comment author: Kytael 22 November 2013 10:06:50AM 35 points [-]

taken. I did the whole thing! it actually wasn't that long.

Comment author: JackV 22 November 2013 09:57:30AM 35 points [-]

I took the survey.

I think most of my answers were the same as last year, although I think my estimates have improved a little, and my hours of internet have gone down, both of which I like.

Many of the questions are considerably cleaned up -- much thanks to Yvain and everyone else who helped. It's very good it has sensible responses for gender. And IIRC, the "family's religious background" was tidied up a bit. I wonder if anyone can answer "atheist" as religious background? I hesitated over the response, since the last religious observance I know of for sure was G being brought up catholic, but I honestly think living in a protestant (or at least, anglican) culture is a bigger influence on my parents cultural background, so I answered like that.

I have no idea what's going to happen in the raffle. I answered "cooperate" because I want to encourage cooperating in as many situations as possible, and don't really care about a slightly-increased chance of < $60.

Comment author: hylleddin 22 November 2013 09:49:47AM 35 points [-]

Surveyed. I liked the game.

If there are any naturalistic neopagans reading this, I'm curious how they answered the religion questions.

Comment author: Randaly 22 November 2013 09:08:29AM 35 points [-]


Comment author: Fartan 22 November 2013 08:48:15AM 35 points [-]


Comment author: David_Gerard 22 November 2013 08:37:55AM 35 points [-]


Comment author: Benito 22 November 2013 08:24:51AM 35 points [-]

Answered them all as best I could :^)

I left the 'Singularity' question blank because it was I'll-defined - I treated it like a question specifically on the IE, but anyhu, my Priors on that are totally wacky. I expect it to happen, but I have no knowledge of the time at all really.

Comment author: [deleted] 22 November 2013 08:15:15AM *  35 points [-]

Surveyed. Is it okay to answer commited theist/pastafarian? :)

Comment author: oooo 22 November 2013 08:05:31AM *  35 points [-]

Taken for the first time. 'Twas fun.

Comment author: hyporational 22 November 2013 07:48:59AM *  35 points [-]

Surveyed. Thank you.

Comment author: Sniffnoy 22 November 2013 07:08:26AM 35 points [-]

Took the survey.

Comment author: jazmt 26 November 2013 01:15:06AM 12 points [-]

I noticed a bunch of people saying that they will donate the money if they win. I find that a surprisingly irrational sentiment for lesswrong. Unless I am missing something, it seems people are ignoring the principle of the fungibility of money. It seems like the more rational thing to do would be to commit to donating 60$ whether or not you win. (If your current wealth level is a factor in your decision, such that you will only donate with the higher wealth level with the prize, then this can be modified to donating whether or not you win if you receive a windfall of 60$ from any source (your grandmother gives a generous birthday present, your coworker takes you out to lunch every day this week, you find money in the street, you get a surprisingly large bonus at work, your stocks increase more then expected etc))

Comment author: Brillyant 22 November 2013 04:59:10PM 34 points [-]


Comment author: JakeArgent 22 November 2013 04:47:59PM 34 points [-]

First survey and comment, and I liked it too! (Including the bonuses, especially the reward question :)

Comment author: palladias 22 November 2013 04:43:09PM 34 points [-]

Taken the survey!

Comment author: DeevGrape 22 November 2013 04:42:45PM 34 points [-]

I took the survey.

I realized while answering one of the questions that the comments that I make for free karma are one of my main interactions with the LW website.

Comment author: So8res 22 November 2013 04:39:40PM *  34 points [-]

Survey taken, answered all questions I could. This excluded the IQ question set. I've never taken an IQ test. I've never been offered an IQ test, nor considered taking one. Is that strange? The survey seemed pretty confident that I'd have measured my IQ.

Comment author: ephion 22 November 2013 03:41:04PM 34 points [-]

I took the survey! Great set of questions. I felt like it was rather well designed,

Comment author: Kawoomba 22 November 2013 03:29:15PM *  34 points [-]

It is done.

Short comments:

(Calibration Question) Without checking a source, please give your best guess for the current population of Europe in millions (according to Wikipedia's "Europe" article)

This is ambiguous! While strictly speaking "Europe" defaults to "the continent of Europe" spanning to the Ural, in common parlance "Europe" is used interchangeably with "European Union", similar to how you interpret "American student" in your very survey, a totum pro parte. Stahp with the totums pro parte for calibration questions, I beseech thee! (Of course I wouldn't have minded had I not given the correct answer for the European Union...)

(Akrasia: Elsewhat 1) Have you ever other things to improve your mental functioning?

Has Anyone Really Been Far Even as Decided to Use Even Go Want to do Look More Like?

(Human Biodiversity) (...) are in fact scientiically justified

Comment author: Mestroyer 22 November 2013 03:27:39PM 34 points [-]

Took it.

Comment author: [deleted] 22 November 2013 02:32:00PM 34 points [-]

I took the survey.

Comment author: ciphergoth 22 November 2013 12:32:28PM 34 points [-]

I surveyed.

COMPLAIN! I have one partner but I'm definitely not monogamous. Sorry :)

Comment author: Ronak 22 November 2013 10:05:01AM 34 points [-]

I took the survey - extra credit and everything!

Comment author: Tyrrell_McAllister 22 November 2013 03:27:28PM 33 points [-]

Suggestion: If you are upvoting people who took the survey, sort comments by "New" first so that late takers get their upvote.

Comment author: SteveReilly 22 November 2013 02:59:27PM 33 points [-]

I took the survey as well

Comment author: Cthulhoo 22 November 2013 02:42:28PM 33 points [-]

Survey taken, all of it!

Thanks Yvain, for all the time and work you put every year into this. Can't wait to see the results!

Comment author: Yahooey 22 November 2013 02:30:00PM 33 points [-]

I completed the survey.

Comment author: Cinnia 22 November 2013 02:24:46PM 33 points [-]

Second time taking the survey. I think a lot of my answers to the probability questions have changed in the last year — I think I've discovered more about myself and my beliefs since the first survey.

Comment author: CAE_Jones 22 November 2013 08:01:43AM 33 points [-]

I meant to skip some of the extra credit questions (the ones about the changeability of personality in particular), but wound up stuck answering one of them by software glitch on my computer (I couldn't uncheck it entirely, but at least tried to keep it from being noise).

Comment author: [deleted] 22 November 2013 07:45:57AM 33 points [-]

I finished and had fun even if parts of it made me feel dumb (I never thought about that calibration question before and am pretty sure I got it wildly wrong). The monetary reward at the end looks interesting but even in the unlikely case that I won I might have too much trouble claiming any kind of prize right now...

Comment author: V_V 24 November 2013 08:56:09PM 11 points [-]

What about being the ultimate defector and submitting multiple times to increase your chances of winning (and screwing up the survey results as a side effect)?

Comment author: Yvain 23 November 2013 06:55:52PM 11 points [-]

I just realized I forgot a very important question I really want to know the answer to!

"What is your 90% confidence interval for the percent of people you expect to answer 'cooperate' on the prize question?"

I've added this into the survey so that people who take it after this moment can answer. If you've taken the survey already, feel free to record your guess below (if you haven't taken the survey, don't read responses to this comment)

Comment author: Benquo 22 November 2013 02:25:02PM 31 points [-]

I took the survey.

I was within a factor of 2 on the Europe question, which is pretty good, I think.

As a general rule I "cooperate" on prisoner's dilemmas where the prize is of a trivial size, regardless of my opinion about the incentives and people involved. An interesting experiment might be to take people familiar with the prisoner's dilemma, flip the "cooperate" and "defect" incentives, and see if it makes a difference.

Comment author: BenLowell 22 November 2013 11:27:09AM 31 points [-]

If possible, I'm interested in how unique the passwords were.

Comment author: NancyLebovitz 22 November 2013 06:32:34PM 30 points [-]

I took the survey. Thanks for running it.

Should Muslim be divided into types?

I'm not sure what supernatural means for the more arcane simulation possibilities. I consider it likely that if we're simulated, it's from a universe with different physics.

I would rather see checkboxes for global catastrope, since it's hard to judge likelihood and I think the more interesting question is whether a person thinks any global catastrophe is likely.

Would it be worth having a text box for questions people would like to see on a future survey? I'm guessing that you wouldn't need to tabulate it,-- if you posted all the questions, I bet people here would identify the similar questions and sort them into topics.

Comment author: NoisyEmpire 22 November 2013 05:47:13PM 30 points [-]


Comment author: PedroCarvalho 22 November 2013 04:35:23PM 30 points [-]

Cool. Survey taken.

Comment author: KrisC 22 November 2013 04:20:37PM 30 points [-]

Survey complete.

Comment author: Steven_Bukal 22 November 2013 03:26:29PM 30 points [-]

Did the survey. Thanks, Yvain.

Comment author: Tyrrell_McAllister 22 November 2013 03:16:11PM 30 points [-]

Survey taken. Nearly all questions answered, except for the Akrasia ones, since I haven't implemented many formal practices to fight akrasia.

Comment author: Alicorn 22 November 2013 02:42:08AM 46 points [-]


Comment author: gwern 22 November 2013 10:33:47PM *  29 points [-]

Surveyed. Amused at the final part. I hope we can look forward to more such fun in the future surveys!

Comment author: [deleted] 22 November 2013 06:46:58PM 29 points [-]

Took the survey.

Comment author: sullyj3 27 November 2013 10:36:27AM 10 points [-]

I've never been IQ tested.

Comment author: Ixiel 22 November 2013 07:10:36PM 28 points [-]


Comment author: badtheatre 22 November 2013 06:33:16PM 28 points [-]

I took the whole survey.

Comment author: Neo 22 November 2013 06:26:55PM 28 points [-]


Comment author: BenjaminB 22 November 2013 05:57:27PM 28 points [-]

I've taken the survey.

Comment author: Tuxedage 23 November 2013 09:35:24PM *  27 points [-]

I have taken the survey, as I have done for the last two years! Free karma now?

Also, I have chosen to cooperaterather than defect was because even though the money technically would stay within the community, I am willing to pay a very small amount of money from EV in order to ensure that LW has a reputation for cooperation. I don't expect to lose more than a few cents worth of expected value, since I expect 1000+ people to do the survey.

Comment author: Zaq 22 November 2013 10:23:02PM 27 points [-]

Took the survey. I definitely did have an IQ test when I was a kid, but I don't think anyone ever told me the results and if they did I sure don't remember it.

Also, as a scientist I counted my various research techniques as new methods that help make my beliefs more accurate, which means I put something like 2/day for trying them and 1/week for them working. In hindsight I'm guessing this interpretation is not what you meant, and that science in general might count as ONE method altogether.

Comment author: komponisto 22 November 2013 08:35:30PM 27 points [-]


Comment author: lavalamp 22 November 2013 07:48:41PM 27 points [-]

Thanks for running these, I took it. :) Love the prize question.

...I'm way off on the population of Europe, as I expected.

Comment author: wallowinmaya 22 November 2013 07:14:52PM 27 points [-]

Took the survey.

Comment author: covaithe 22 November 2013 07:10:18PM 27 points [-]

Survey taken. I defected, because I am normally a staunch advocate of cooperation and the stakes were low enough that it seemed like a fun opportunity to go against my usual inclinations. If I had read the comments first, I would likely have been convinced by some of the cooperation arguments advanced here.

Comment author: Antiochus 22 November 2013 07:03:59PM 27 points [-]

Taken. Quite tickled by the prize question.

Comment author: Huluk 22 November 2013 06:39:39PM 27 points [-]

Survey taken, can't wait to see the results :-)

Comment author: Leonhart 23 November 2013 06:28:23PM 26 points [-]

Survey taken.

Comment author: DubiousTwizzler 23 November 2013 04:32:49PM *  26 points [-]

Survey taken

Comment author: VAuroch 22 November 2013 10:27:07PM 26 points [-]

Took survey. Reminded me that I've never had an IQ test; is it worthwhile?

Comment author: Sigmaleph 22 November 2013 10:08:44PM 26 points [-]

Took the survey. I was unusually confident of an incorrect number for the population of Europe because I looked it up recently, but remembered it wrong.

Guess I learned something, in that I should adjust down my confidence in recalled figures after a few weeks.

Comment author: mcallisterjp 22 November 2013 08:31:25PM 26 points [-]

Surveyed. Looking forward to the data and analysis, as per every year.

Comment author: Nornagest 22 November 2013 07:25:55PM 26 points [-]


Comment author: malcolmocean 29 December 2013 05:18:26AM 9 points [-]

Completed survey.

Feedback: I feel like it would be valuable to disambiguate between "I'm planning to have more children in <2years" from "I'd like to someday have kids".

"am I a student?" and "how do I make money?" like separate questions to me. Like student is sort of an occupation, but it's not a way to earn money. I am both a student and self-employed, and about 6 months of the year I do internships = for-profit work.

It would be awesome if Time of LW included both a mean and median time or something, also perhaps a total time spent on it. For me it varies hugely, and I really had no idea what to put. Some weeks I spend many hours on it, other weeks 0.

Comment author: b_sen 26 December 2013 04:09:32AM *  9 points [-]

Delurked and taken (finally); this is my first comment. I'd been wanting to take this survey for a while, but offline matters kept me away until now. At least I got in a good stab at most of the extra credit questions.

I second the following suggestions:

  • Clarify the income question on tax status (pre-tax / post-tax / pre-some taxes and post-others) and individual vs. household. I mention the third tax possibility here because some taxes are deducted by the employer, so employees don't see that money in their paychecks. If the question intended is along the lines of "Other than tax refunds, how much money do you / your household receive (that you can use in a budget and could theoretically spend, although some of it may be set aside for further taxes) in a year?", then this matters.
  • Add a "None" option to the mental illness question to distinguish between "none" and "didn't answer". Checkboxes would be nice, since mental illnesses can interact with each other, but Yvain has stated that he can't put them in the survey. I will mention this anyway in case checkboxes become viable for future versions of the survey.

I will also make a further suggestion, although I understand that it may be too onerous to implement: have an option to make only part of one's responses private. I mention this because I started by choosing the "public but anonymous" option, but switched to "private" once I got to the point that all my responses together could probably identify me out of the dataset if someone was moderately determined to do so and knew a few specific facts about me.

In my case, making a single extra credit section private (showing it as if I hadn't answered in the public dataset) would have been enough for me to be comfortable putting the remaining responses in the public dataset. That section has data that I don't mind giving Yvain and CFAR, but don't want to leave readily available to potential future agents trying to identify my responses in the dataset. I would prefer to make only the single section private, but I did not have that option available. I am also curious if other people are in the same boat.

Should I win, I precommit to spending the prize on myself, as per Yvain's stated wishes for the prize.

Comment author: LeBleu 25 November 2013 09:19:02PM 25 points [-]

I took the survey.

Comment author: AndekN 25 November 2013 07:24:35PM 25 points [-]

I took the survey.

This is, incidentally, my first comment on LessWrong. I've lurked for years, and pretty much thought I'll probably stay as a lurker for good. For some reason taking the survey made me want to break my silence.So that's a bonus, I guess.

Comment author: BrienneYudkowsky 24 November 2013 06:03:13AM *  25 points [-]

Survey complete! I answered ALL the questions. ^_^

Comment author: eurg 23 November 2013 04:45:55PM 25 points [-]

Survey taken, as always. It sure was well prepared. It's worth starting it for the first option (ruining everything), and continuation is always just one click away...

Comment author: notsonewuser 23 November 2013 10:46:19AM 25 points [-]

I took the survey.

Comment author: Stabilizer 23 November 2013 03:21:46AM 25 points [-]

Took it.

I definitely gave a finite probability for "God" if "God" defined as a super-intelligent being that created the universe. This is of course quite different from an intervening god who is interested in say, human affairs.

Comment author: JRMayne 23 November 2013 12:43:11AM 25 points [-]

Took. Definitely liked the shorter nature of this one.

Cooperated (I'm OK if the money goes to someone else. The amount is such that I'd ask that it get directly sent elsewhere, anyway.)

Got Europe wrong, but came close. (Not within 10%.)

Comment author: Kinsei 22 November 2013 11:57:08PM 25 points [-]

I should mention that I've taken the survey.

Comment author: linkhyrule5 22 November 2013 08:36:42AM *  25 points [-]

No, I don't read instructions and am going to ruin the survey results for everyone.


Also, wow, the population of Europe is wildly lower than I thought it was, it's outside my 90% range...

Random math: one way of deciding whether or not to cooperate in the reward question is plot reward versus percentage-UDT-users in the LW community (under the assumption that everyone in that set will do the same thing you do, and everyone else splits 50-50). If that percentage is larger than about 65% (which I'm 70% sure it is), cooperating is superior to defection, but defection actually has the higher maximum expected value - if the entire community chooses randomly, anyway.


blink blink

Aw, darn it, I should've flipped a coin...

Edit: No, wait, nevermind, that would halve my expected reward.

Comment author: bbleeker 25 November 2013 05:35:33PM 24 points [-]

Took the survey.

Comment author: free_rip 23 November 2013 09:30:53AM 24 points [-]

Took the survey. Prisoner's dilemma was a nice addition - would be interesting next year to have 'would you co-operate in a prisoner's dilemma situation' earlier in the survey before the for-stakes version, and compare how often people co-operate in the for-stakes then as compared to this year (also compare across who has taken a LW census before, since this one might bias that a bit).

Comment author: Dorikka 23 November 2013 07:55:14AM 24 points [-]

Took the survey. Yvain, thanks for doing this.

Comment author: michaelsullivan 23 November 2013 04:01:42AM 24 points [-]


Comment author: kenzi 23 November 2013 01:48:19AM 24 points [-]

Done! Phew

Comment author: ArisKatsaris 22 November 2013 10:35:54PM 24 points [-]

Took the survey. Cooperated.

Comment author: bsm 22 November 2013 10:07:02PM 24 points [-]

I have taken the survey. Thank you Yvain for running it.

Comment author: dv82matt 22 November 2013 05:42:31AM 36 points [-]

Did the survey.

Comment author: [deleted] 26 November 2013 04:18:16AM *  23 points [-]

I did the survey, mostly.

Comment author: djm 26 November 2013 02:14:04AM 23 points [-]

Well that was the most interesting survey I have taken in a long time - looking forward to seeing the results. I was a little concerned at the start, as it seemed like some sort of dating service so the comment 'hang in there - this bit is almost over' was well placed.

Comment author: asr 25 November 2013 08:46:42PM 23 points [-]

Taken and look forward to seeing the results. Thanks for putting this together.

Comment author: brione 25 November 2013 06:33:28PM 23 points [-]

I took the survey, my first, and answered all the questions and extra credit. I did not defect on the monetary reward.

I predict my survey will show me as highly confused. :-)

Comment author: Username 25 November 2013 06:14:23AM 23 points [-]

Surveyed! I noticed that someone said that they cooperated on the prisoner's dilemma problem, so I'll balance the odds and tell you all that I defected. Am curious to see if this will reflect in the karma people give this comment.

Also, I wouldn't do this, but you leave the option open of someone poisoning the well and taking the survey a bunch of times to improve their chance of winning the money. Are you screening for duplicate IP addresses?

Comment author: Eitan_Zohar 25 November 2013 03:18:09AM 23 points [-]

I took it, and even did the bonus questions. Yay me!

Comment author: dthunt 24 November 2013 12:45:01AM *  23 points [-]

Took the survey.

Would probably not have defected a year ago, and it would not have been an easy decision for me at that time.

I appear to be getting better at estimating.

I think the IQ questions should probably just be dropped from future tests. A number of people get tested as kids and get crazy numbers and never get tested again (since there's no real point, and people are generally afraid of seeing that number dive, people who get a crazy number are probably less likely to retest than others). That's a charitable explanation for the results in last year's survey, which I didn't take.

Comment author: advael 23 November 2013 10:56:21PM *  23 points [-]

I have been surveyed.

I definitely appreciate being asked to assign probabilities to things, if for no other reason than to make apparent to me how comfortable I am with doing so (Not very, as it turns out. Something to work on.)

Comment author: Larks 23 November 2013 10:34:10PM 23 points [-]

Survey completed! Also, everyone, please cooperate!

Yvain, will you reveal who won the money? Whether they cooperated or defected?

Comment author: redlizard 23 November 2013 10:17:00PM 23 points [-]

Taken to completion.

The Cryonics Status question really needs an "other" answer. There are more possible statuses one can be in than the ones given; in particular there are more possible "I'd want to, but..." answers.

Comment author: CaptainBooshi 23 November 2013 08:37:18PM 23 points [-]

Took the survey yesterday and forgot to comment here afterwards. I chose to cooperate since the small chance of winning a little money mattered less to me than the pleasure I would get though even such a minor show of benevolence. I also have never taken an IQ test, and am glad to see at least a fair number of other people in the comments who have not either.

Comment author: gwern 23 November 2013 10:19:13PM *  8 points [-]

You wouldn't necessarily have known you were taking an IQ test. I learned I was administered IQ tests in elementary school only by accident, when I found a summary in my parents' papers. 'So', I thought, 'that's why my speech therapist kept asking me questions any fool would know, like the meaning of the word "gyp".'

Comment author: Nectanebo 23 November 2013 11:21:33AM 23 points [-]

I took the survey, and look forward to the results.

Comment author: faul_sname 23 November 2013 05:19:54AM *  23 points [-]

Took the survey.

Got the Europe question right, unless Yvain rounds -- I was off by 9.90%.

Comment author: efenj 23 November 2013 03:25:24AM 23 points [-]

Survey taken. It seemed shorter than the previous one.

Comment author: [deleted] 23 November 2013 01:34:13AM 23 points [-]

Having completed the survey, I took this as an opportunity to register an account.

Comment author: [deleted] 23 November 2013 12:36:18AM 23 points [-]

I took the survey.

Comment author: Adam_B 22 November 2013 10:22:33PM 23 points [-]


Comment author: Furcas 26 November 2013 01:15:32AM 22 points [-]

Did all of it. Monetary reward questions made me laugh.

Comment author: maia 25 November 2013 11:58:27PM 22 points [-]

I did it!

Comment author: pre 25 November 2013 04:46:13PM 22 points [-]

I took the survey.

The answer to how many minutes I spend here is a bit lower than you might expect, in that my robots scan the RSS feeds and send me interesting stuff so basically it's almost zero, unless you count my robots time somehow.

Comment author: Jennifer_H 25 November 2013 07:01:37AM 22 points [-]

One survey (and bonus questions!) completed.

Comment author: MugaSofer 24 November 2013 07:52:31PM 22 points [-]

Surveyed, including bonus. Only just remembered to comment.

I see the logic, but did think that the Prisoner's Dilemma question was overly complicated - possibly leading to some participants not making the connection to their beliefs about How To Behave In Prisoner's Dilemmas (well, I see now from below that it led to at least one.)

I have no idea if this is a good or bad thing.

Comment author: Alexander 24 November 2013 12:12:02AM 22 points [-]

Another lurker that took the (full) survey and signed up...

I discovered LW last year through gwern.net

My biggest barrier to registration was the risk of more procrastination. So, thanks in advance for any encouragement!

Comment author: Sophronius 23 November 2013 10:53:51PM *  22 points [-]

I just took the survey. Thanks for spending time on making and evaluating it! A few questions/comments:

When you asked for time spent on less wrong, did you mean mean time or median time? I assumed mean, which resulted in a higher number since I occasionally come here to procrastinate and spend way too much time in a single sitting...

Am I interpreting the agathics question correctly in that a person dying, getting frozen cryonically, and then being unfrozen and living for a 1000 years would count?

Singularity question, which starts by asking when the Singularity (with capital letter S) will occur seems a bit leading to me. I'd expect that if you asked "Do you think a singularity will occur, and if so, when?" that people would give lower probabilities.

Comment author: rocurley 23 November 2013 08:46:20PM 22 points [-]

I took the survey!

Comment author: SolveIt 26 November 2013 05:59:58AM 21 points [-]

Done. Loved the prisoner's dilemma.

Comment author: Solvent 26 November 2013 05:47:45AM 21 points [-]

I took the survey.

Comment author: peter_hurford 26 November 2013 05:09:18AM 21 points [-]


Comment author: BronecianFlyreme 26 November 2013 04:32:18AM 21 points [-]

Surveyed! And for the first time, too. This survey was pretty interesting and definitely not what I expected

Comment author: Rixie 26 November 2013 04:23:34AM 21 points [-]

Yay, survey taken!

I loved the Prisoner's Dilemma at the end, I wonder how that will turn out?

Comment author: sketerpot 25 November 2013 04:52:44AM *  21 points [-]

Took the survey. Cooperated because most puzzles which explicitly use the words "cooperate" and "defect" have been created in such a way as to make cooperation the better choice.

(Considering my fairly low chances of winning, a deep analysis would have had only recreational value, and there were other fun things to do.)

Comment author: Suryc11 25 November 2013 04:09:46AM *  21 points [-]

Took the survey. Very interesting questions overall, especially the site-wide Prisoner's Dilemma.

I'd like to note that I was very confused by the (vague and similar) CFAR questions regarding the possibility of people changing, but I'm assuming that was intentional and look forward to an explanation.

Comment author: NoSuchPlace 24 November 2013 05:35:09PM 21 points [-]

Completed survey.

Comment author: Emile 24 November 2013 09:31:58AM *  21 points [-]

I have taken the survey, thanks a lot Yvain!

I wouldn't have minded if it was shorter.

One minor nitpick for next time: there were a couple questions where the title was the opposite of what the question was about: P(Global catastrophic risk) was actually about P(no global catastrophic risk), and Defect calibrate were about how many people cooperated.

I suspect a couple people might not read the questions and answer the opposite of what they meant.

Comment author: endoself 24 November 2013 06:31:11AM 21 points [-]

I took the census. My answers for MWI and Ailens were conditional on ¬Simulation, since if we are in a simulation where MWI doesn't hold, the simulation is probably intended to provide information about a universe in which MWI does hold.

Comment author: jazmt 24 November 2013 05:18:39AM 21 points [-]

I took the survey.

Thank you for putting this together Some of the questions were unclear to me, for example: does living with family mean my parents or my spouse and children? (I guessed the former, but was unsure) For the politics question, there should be an option for not identifying with any label (or if that will lead to everyone not wanting to be labeled an option for disinterest in politics could be an alternative.) Should an atheist who practices a religion (e.g. buddhism) skip the question on religion? P(aliens), this question leaves out the time dimension which seems important to establishing a probability for aliens, e.g. if aliens live 5 bilion light years away, are we asked the probability that there were aliens there 5 billion years ago such that we could receive a message from them now, or whether there are aliens now, which we will not be able to discover for another few billion years. P(supernatural) its not clear what counts as a supernatural event, e.g. god is included even though most would not define god as an event nor as occurring since the beginning of the universe (since if god created the universe he is either nontemporal or prior to the universe) for the CFAR questions I wasn't sure what qualified as a " plausible-seeming technique or approach for being more rational / more productive / happier / having better social relationships / having more accurate beliefs / etc." does it have to be a brand new technique, or even a modification of one already known. Is it askeing about generic techniques or even domain specific ones? Also, most techniques I try are not ones I hear about, but rather ones I come up with on my own, I dont know if others here are similar. Also all of the change questions seemed poorly defined and unclear.

Comment author: ialdabaoth 24 November 2013 02:18:35AM *  21 points [-]

Took the survey.

A few observations:

  • Family's religious background should probably include an 'Athiest/Agnostic' answer, rather than just lumping in with 'Other'. At the very least, it would be interesting to see what kinds of patterns the 'Other' box breaks down into.

  • I computed P(Supernatural) as dependent on P(Simulation), based on my understanding of the two concepts. Would anyone be interested in a Discussion page on whether those probabilities can be logically separated?

Comment author: passcod 23 November 2013 11:07:16PM 21 points [-]

That was shorter than I expected. I peevishly admit to having to look up a few things I should have known.

Comment author: [deleted] 23 November 2013 04:00:49AM *  21 points [-]

Survey (mostly) done. My answers about the future were based on this comment


and assigned equal probabilities to the five listed outcomes over the next few centuries

Comment author: JQuinton 22 November 2013 04:47:49PM 31 points [-]

I took the survey. I didn't really know how to answer the "relationship" part since I'm not really poly right now, but have a number of "friends with benefits". So I answered it zero.

Comment author: ailyr 22 November 2013 03:55:23PM *  31 points [-]


Minor nitpick: I think it is better to clarify definition of Europe in calibration question. Because if you go to Wikipedia to check which definition of Europe survey authors had in mind, you will immediately see Europe population on the same page.