2013 Survey Results

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: 1154,685.
New Zealand: 1221,650.
Canada: 1325,981.
Aus­tralia: 1328,659.
United States: 1350,726
United King­dom: 1439,097
Is­rael: 1465,176.
Ger­many: 11,204,264.
Poland: 12,408,750.
France: 14,106,250.
Rus­sia: 16,522,727

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).