Take The New Nootropics Survey

A few years ago I surveyed nootropics users about their experiences with different substances and posted the results here. Since then lots of new nootropics have come out, so I’m doing it again. If you have nootropics experience, please take The 2020 SSC Nootropics Survey. Expected completion time is ~15 minutes.


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20 Responses to Take The New Nootropics Survey

  1. SolveIt says:

    The scale being labeled from “Worse” to “Better” is confusing, because the instructions tell us to rate the *benefit*. That is, a 1 should be a small but positive effect as per instructions, but the labels make it look like 1~5 are for negative effects. It would be clearer if “Worse” was changed to “No effect”.

    • voso says:

      Psilocybin microdosing, Dynamax, and Panamax break from the pattern of the rest with 10 being “Very Bad” instead of “Better”.

      This is a mistake right? Rating your experience on a scale from “None” to “Very Bad” doesn’t make too much sense.

    • Liface says:

      Also, shouldn’t there be some differentiation between a net neutral and a net negative effect, instead of both being 0? Going from “this is a waste of money” to “this actually makes me feel/perform worse” is a big distinction in my eyes.

      • Scott Alexander says:

        That would be great, but I think trying to implement this would make the survey either longer or more confusing.

        • Simulated Knave says:

          Personally, I initially expected 1 to be awful and 10 to be great, and instead 1 was both awful and nothing.

          That’s weird, man.

        • Douglas Knight says:

          How about a scale from -2 to +10?

  2. Algon33 says:

    “lots of new nootropics came out.” Not “lots of newtropics came out”. Come on Scott.

    Also, its kind of odd there are no questions about sleep. Isn’t that the whole point of modafinil and the sleep support stack?

  3. pyentropy says:

    Selegiline (the Emsam active substance) is sold on gray area “nootropic” sites. What’s bugging me is whether you can use the HCl oral form to create a patch by yourself or take it sublingually? Would that make it an MAO-A inhibitor as well & what’s the trick behind the patch?

    Disclaimer: Do not play around with MAOIs, they can be dangerous — although not as much as doctors say.

  4. Lodore says:

    I thought I was reasonably familiar with the nootropics on offer, but clearly not: I’ve never even heard of most of these. A review of new developments in the field would be super useful if anyone who could authoritatively do so was prepared to offer it (i.e. not me).

    • gph says:

      Yea I felt the same way. Would be interested in hearing anyone who’s tried bromantane, that one sounded interesting.

    • Scott Alexander says:

      Once this survey is done, I’ll be able to tell you whether any of these are interesting new developments worth learning about.

  5. PorterBridges says:

    Some of the nooptropic supplements featured, like Nicotinamide riboside, you’re not supposed to feel anything. It should feel like a placebo: nothing. People take it because double-blind studies suggest that there are valuable benefits to taking the supplement regularly over extended periods of time. That doesn’t lend itself to this kind of survey. It’s supposed to feel like a placebo but still have a valuable benefit when you take it for months.

    • gph says:

      Yea, I put a 2 on the survey for NMN because it hasn’t yet had any noticeable effect but putting a 1 just felt wrong. It’ll probably take 10+ years for me to get to the age where it might be noticeable, hopefully it will be worth it.

    • Scott Alexander says:

      I understand your point, but a lot of people have said they feel immediate positive effects from it, so I put it in anyway. You’re right that the data won’t reflect long term benefits.

    • Telomerase says:

      I’ve been taking NR for three years… but I felt the sleep effects on the first night. Definitely has a noticeable effect if you’re old enough.

  6. eremetic says:

    Man, I’m such a normie. I only use caffeine, nicotine, and amphetamine, which are all too normie to appear on here (except caffeine as a gimme or something).

  7. Mercurial says:

    Adrafinil metabolizes into modifinil in the liver. Should I fill out the modifinil section if I’ve only done adrafinil?

    • tenoke says:

      I think you should. It’s not quite the same but the difference between Adrafinil and Modafinil is probably smaller than getting Caffeine from coffee/tea/pills yet those are bunched together.

  8. killerwhat says:

    There’s another mistake – survey says “Must be a number greater than 0” for answers to “About how many times have you used this substance?”.