Please take the 2020 Slate Star Codex Survey.
The survey helps me learn more about SSC readers and plan community events. But it also provides me with useful informal research data for questions I’m interested it, which I then turn into interesting posts. My favorite was 2018’s Fight Me, Psychologists: Birth Order Effects Exist And Are Very Strong, which I think made a real contribution to individual differences psychology and which could not have happened without your cooperation. But last year I also got to debunk a myth about how mathematicians eat corn, fail to replicate supposed dangers of beef jerky, and test a theory of how fetishes form. I expect this year’s research to be even more interesting.
The survey is open to anyone who has ever read a post on this blog before December 30 2019. Please don’t avoid taking the survey just because you feel like you’re not enough of a “regular”. It will ask you how much of a “regular” you are, so there’s no risk you’ll “dilute” the results. The survey will stay open until mid-January, and I will probably be begging and harassing you to take it about once a week or so until then.
This year’s survey is in two parts. Part I asks the same basic questions as previous years and should take about ten minutes. Part II asks more questions on research topics I’m interested in and should take about fifteen minutes. It would be great if you could take both parts, but if 25 minutes sounds like too much surveying to you, you can also just take Part I.
As always, the survey is plagued by fundamental limitations, poor technology, and my own carelessness, but a couple of things to watch for:
– Once you click a box on a Google form, you cannot un-click it – i.e. you can change your answer but you can’t unanswer the question. If you click a box you didn’t mean to, please switch your answer to “Other” if available; if not, then choose the most boring inoffensive answer that is least likely to produce surprising results. I realize how bad this is but there is apparently no way around it.
– By default, all responses will be included in a public dataset for anyone who wants to analyze them. Your responses will obviously not be attached to your name or any similarly blatant identifying information, and this year I’m going to further bin a couple of especially identifiable categories like age, but if you’re the only supercentenarian Mongolian reader or something, you might still be identifiable. There is an option to make all your responses private; if identifiability bothers you, feel free to check it and you will not be included in the public dataset.
– Due to poring over a 5000 entry spreadsheet not actually being that much fun, I am not up for changing your answers after you submit them. Please do not email me asking me to do this. This includes your answer to the privacy question. Please figure out whether you want privacy before taking the survey.
That having been said, you are all great, and I super-appreciate any survey-filling-out you are willing to do. If you can donate about a half-hour, I hope I can pay you back in interesting findings and useful crowd-sourced life advice. I also plan to pay up to two randomly selected respondents back with a large monetary prize (with some caveats I hope you’ll find fun, see the last section for details). So: