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» Hatrack River Forum » Active Forums » Books, Films, Food and Culture » Please take a one question survey, for science!

   
Author Topic: Please take a one question survey, for science!
Raymond Arnold
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https://docs.google.com/spreadsheet/viewform?formkey=dDY1RGlBX19MTXlKR1RyN3BHMzRXd2c6MQ
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Dan_Frank
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No.
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Dan_Frank
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(Because Chrome says the webpage is unavailable, not because I'm a jerk)
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Teshi
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Er... done.
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TomDavidson
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(I assumed you were assuming the continued use of the current calendar.)
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odouls268
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So....how do we view the results? Im a little upset that I don't get to see where I stand. Especially since I theorize that most people would type in what I typed in.
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Teshi
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I typed in a thousand more than my "go-to" number because my "go-to" number is Early Medieval.
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Raymond Arnold
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This isn't my survey, so I'm not sure how to review the results. I was just spreading it beyond the extremely narrow demographic that it initially available to.

I just asked on the other forum if we could see the results.

I'll wait another day before explaining what it was about (so that people who read the thread before answering don't get their results altered).

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AchillesHeel
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The first thing that popped into my mind was the theme song to a horrible sci-fi show Gina Torres did in the nineties, Cleopatra 2525. I would like to know whether or not I am the only one.
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CT
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I think these surveys are rarely about what the surveyors think those taking them will think they are about.

---

Edit: I think that what those taking them think they are about is less rarely the case, although still rarely (for a given definition of rarely). Less so, though.

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rivka
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quote:
Originally posted by CT:
I think these surveys are rarely about what the surveyors think those taking them will think they are about.

Yup.
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Vadon
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I tried to think of some year that would capture the "future" feel. I almost with 2001 because of 2001 A Space Odyssey. Then I remembered that 2001 was 10 years ago.
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Raymond Arnold
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lol.

Okay, before I reveal the answer, I'm curious: what do people THINK this poll was about?

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advice for robots
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About? It wasn't about anything. That's the beauty of it.
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capaxinfiniti
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To see if the answers cluster around any significant dates or within a certain range? To see if people follow directions and choose a date in the future?
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Raymond Arnold
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quote:
Originally posted by advice for robots:
About? It wasn't about anything. That's the beauty of it.

[ROFL]

Capax is close. There had been a previous survey which asked one question about what year a particular technology would probably exist, but then shortly afterwards (within range of an eyeball's wandering) stated the year 2100 for unrelated reasons.

People on Lesswrong.com are pretty familiar with anchoring (our tendency to use recently-heard numbers as reference points) and someone pointed out that the question would cause us to anchor around the year 2100.

This followup survey was done just to see how much the year 2100 would anchor an arbitrary question. Except that everyone immediately knew what the purpose of the question was. My answer was something like 220234952345.

I figure the people on hatrack are smart people but wouldn't have spent unnecessarily large amounts of time thinking about this one particular cognitive bias.

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Strider
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I figured it was about something like that, which is why I also deliberately chose a higher number, then added two more digits for good measure.
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Raymond Arnold
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To properly test, the survey probably would have needed to at least LOOK like it was about something in particular.
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rivka
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I also thought the example number was likely to be deliberately leading, so I chose something much lower -- on purpose. [Wink]
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Strider
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ahhh, but Rivka, if you're trying to throw off the mean, your strategy produces limited results. [Razz]
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rivka
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That assumes the mean is the only number being looked at. Why should that be true?
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CT
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quote:
Originally posted by Raymond Arnold:
Okay, before I reveal the answer, I'm curious: what do people THINK this poll was about?

[Edit: Gah, I'm tired of listening to myself.]

[ December 12, 2011, 06:38 AM: Message edited by: CT ]

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The Rabbit
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quote:
Originally posted by Raymond Arnold:
To properly test, the survey probably would have needed to at least LOOK like it was about something in particular.

More importantly, to be a proper test there needs to be a control test where people are asked the same questions without reference to any future year.
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Raymond Arnold
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That also.
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Raymond Arnold
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(For the record, when I follow up the word "science" with an exclamation point, I am usually keenly aware that what I am doing is awful, awful science).
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CT
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*laughing

It is understood. This is play, no more than that, eh? [Smile]

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mr_porteiro_head
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I'm pretty familiar with the concept of anchoring.

I didn't consciously analyze why I did it at the time, but I actively tried to enter a number that wasn't related to 2100 at all. I attempted to accomplish this by just mashing a whole bunch of numbers on the keypad.

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Teshi
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I guess I did what you describe above, but then, as I said, I was motivated by this prexisting early medieval date (1132), to which I merely added 1000.
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Carrie
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I didn't think too much about it, nor did I read through the thread before taking the "survey". For whatever reason, I had a movie in my head that I have not yet seen and decided 2046 was future enough for me.
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scholarette
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I thought, what year was Star Trek And then I thought, wait, maybe that is what the survey is about- seeing if sci fi geeks put a star trek answer. In the end, I put 5000 something and figured good enough.
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MrSquicky
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quote:
Originally posted by Raymond Arnold:
(For the record, when I follow up the word "science" with an exclamation point, I am usually keenly aware that what I am doing is awful, awful science).

In my perfect world, that would be what the survey was really about. I knew what the survey was about from the set up - being a trained psychology researcher makes you suspicious. So I constructed a meta-experiment in my head that this was really about determining how prevalent acceptance of anti-scientific reasoning was in a supposedly scientifically literate population.

Again, trained psych researcher. Unfortunately, that's how our minds work.

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ElJay
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I picked 2012 because it was the answer that would fit the criteria for the least amount of time.
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Dobbie
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I picked 4 B.C., because time is cyclical.
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Xavier
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I chose 2256. Probably because the powers of 2 are ones that pop into my head often when I am trying to think of random numbers, and I was mostly just choosing 2 as the thousands place and then adding a random number to the end.

I would never choose 220234952345, because while that is in the future, there's no way that humankind (if it even exists in some form) is going to be still using the Gregorian calendar. I think it somewhat unlikely that we're still using it in the year 3000, which is probably why I didn't use that as my base.

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Jake
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quote:
Originally posted by ElJay:
I picked 2012 because it was the answer that would fit the criteria for the least amount of time.

I thought about doing that, but then I went with 2350 instead.
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kmbboots
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I chose 4444 because I like 4s.
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advice for robots
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I put 3000. It's the next 2000. Mondo party in 2999.
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LargeTuna
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I went with 2015 because of Back to the Future II.

I'm thinking these results could be a little biased, because in classic science fiction and references to it, the year proposed is often early 2000's-ish.

The fact that the anchor number was 2100 could actually mean less than the results will tend to show. Personally I would've used a year further in the future to avoid this problem.

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dkw
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I picked 2100. But it wasn't anchoring, at least not unconsciously, it was because you didn't give me any other criteria to choose with so I went with the smart-ass answer. "For example, you could pick 2100" "Okay!"

You really should have made it a question about something.

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mr_porteiro_head
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quote:
You really should have made it a question about something.
I agree. Without anything to think about, there's just that "2100".
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ElJay
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quote:
Originally posted by mr_porteiro_head:
Without anything to think about,

Man. There was TONS to think about.
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