Razib Khan One-stop-shopping for all of my content

September 23, 2012

Reader survey results, biologists vs. non-scientists

Filed under: Administration,Reader Survey — Razib Khan @ 2:54 pm

There are now over 400 responses to the survey. Here is a link to the responses in CSV format. If you import this into R, an extra parameter in regards to encoding may be necessary:

responses=read.csv("responses.csv",sep="\t",header=TRUE,fileEncoding = "UCS-2LE")

I decided to separate the respondents into two categories, biologists and non-scientists (therefore, excluding other types of scientists from further analysis). You can see the filtered responses for biologists and non-scientists yourself. Below are some comments on interesting differences.

Non-scientists Biologists Completed Doctorate 57 19 Completed University 23 38 Feminist 36 46 Important to prenatala screen? 83 75 Abort if 90% chance Down syndrome? 79 83 Abort if 90% chance 80 IQ? 58 54 GMO should be labeled 45 39 Drink every day 16 30 Never drink 13 3 Non-environmental race differences in personality 64 54 Non-environmental race differences in intelligence 69 57 Non-environmental sex differences in personality 85 77 Non-environmental sex differences in intelligence 58 39 Overpopulation is a major problem we are neglecting 28 44 Believe in policy responses to fertility differences across groups 33 13 Gattaca is unrealistic 28 41 Blogs read regularly Bad Astronomy 26 24 Cosmic Variance 19 15 Loom 22 32 Ed Yong 24 47 Pharyngula 16 24 Why Evolution is True 15 28 Marginal Revolution 36 18 Kevin Drum 11 3 Instapundit 14 6 Steve Sailer 48 26 Matt Yglesias 17 10 DailyKos 7 7 RedState 2 3 Sandwalk 4 15 John Hawks 43 43 Dienekes 47 40 Panda’s Thumb 8 3

It makes sense that people who say they’re biologists tend to be very well educated. One thing not evident explicitly in the table is that the biologists who read this weblog tend to be more conventionally Left-liberal in their views, and I think that explains some of the differences in response to questions such as ...

September 19, 2012

Reader survey results

Filed under: Administration,Reader Survey — Razib Khan @ 10:51 pm

I can’t send you to a direct link, so here are the results. Some of the results need to be crunched by me unfortunately. But here’s a sample (yes, I didn’t do much more than the basic R density plot).

July 19, 2011

One more reader survey for the road….

Filed under: Blog,Reader Survey — Razib Khan @ 2:18 pm

It has been brought to my attention that Discover Magazine has a reader survey as well. Here’s the first page:

Welcome!

All responses to this survey will remain completely confidential and will be studied and interpreted only in combination with all other responses received.

As a thank you for participating, you will have an opportunity to enter into a drawing to win one of ten $50 Amazon Gift cards.

During the survey, please answer each question and avoid hitting your Web browser’s Back button.

For a copy of the sweepstakes rules, click on the link rules page.

For a copy of the Internet privacy policy, click on the link privacy policy.

It took me

Goal met on the reader survey, now the data….

Filed under: 2011 Reader Survey,Data Analysis,Reader Survey — Razib Khan @ 12:41 pm

We’re well north of 500 for the reader survey. Thanks to everyone who participated. I’ll let it run until Saturday morning and then close it. I figure if you aren’t reading the blog at least once a week right now you’re not a core reader anyway (yes, I know that people get busy!). But I did promise to release the raw results at some point. I’m doing so now. It’s in Google Docs.

July 18, 2011

2011 Reader Survey: GNXXP vs. GNXYP edition

Filed under: 2011 Reader Survey,Blog,Reader Survey — Razib Khan @ 2:02 pm


A typical female GNXP reader?

We’ve moved north of 400 responses on the reader survey. I think the goal of an N of 500 is totally viable. In the past I’ve actually pushed it well north of 600 by leaving the survey open for a while. I know there are some people who drop in once a week or so, or don’t have time or inclination to participate initially. If you want to participate: just click here! It will take ~10 minutes, and no answer is mandatory.

There are already a few robust findings though. GNXP readers are well educated and smart. About 60-70 percent aver that they are irreligious, and 85 percent reject the existence of the supernatural. Over half have backgrounds in the natural sciences. None of this is too surprising. I’ve been taking surveys of the readership since 2004, and the main change has been in politics. Whereas in the mid-2000s libertarians were the largest contingent, now Left-liberals are, though there remains a sizable libertarian minority.

One of the most consistent findings on this weblog has been the sex ratio: the proportion of ...

July 15, 2011

2011 reader survey preliminary results

Filed under: Blog,Reader Survey — Razib Khan @ 10:57 pm

My sample size for the reader survey is now ~200. I’m aiming for ~500. If you are a regular reader of this weblog, please consider filling out the survey. The software is telling me that the average reader is taking about ~10 minutes. All questions are optional, so you can quickly skip over confusing ones or those which you don’t want to divulge.

The results so far are here. At least for the questions which weren’t open ended. I added a lot of open ended numeric questions so that I could run some scatterplots and more natural statistics (i.e., I don’t have to convert categorical responses into numerics and so forth).

To give a taste for the kind of stuff I’m running on the nerd-heavy data set I thought I would explore how # of sexual partners relates to age and IQ. First, let me admit that I assume that the IQ distribution of the readership here is somewhat artificially shifted upward (to the right of the distribution). Those with higher IQs are more likely to know their IQs. And whether unconsciously or consciously individuals will almost certainly self-report results which are drawn from the higher range of their results ...

July 29, 2010

Reader survey results: politics

Filed under: Blog,Reader Survey — Razib Khan @ 10:38 pm

Since the reader survey is topping out in response, I though I’d report some of the results. Since I’ve been doing these surveys my readership has exhibited a few patterns, and I was curious as to any changes since moving to Discover. Not too much has shifted. Instead of 15% female, as was the case for years, the readers are now 25% female. It looks like ~10% of the readers know this website only through Discover. Feel free to browse the results yourself.

I think the most interesting aspect for many is the political diversity. Generally the readership is split between Left liberals and libertarians. Though there are a small number of conventional conservatives, it is very rare to find those who are socially conservative and fiscally liberal. These “populists” tend not to be as intelligent as the other combinations, and so I suspect that’s why they’re not well represented on the web, among my readership, or the political elite of the United States in general (for what it’s worth, I’ve been moving in a more populist direction over the years, starting from a libertarian stance).

First, a few summary statistics. I asked readers their index of liberalism, with 0 being as conservative as possible, 10 as liberal, and 5 in the middle. I asked on two dimensions, social and economic.


Social:

Median – 8
Mean -7.4
Standard Deviation – 2.48

Economic:

Median – 5
Mean -5.01
Standard Deviation – 2.74

The correlation between social and economic liberalism was 0.37. Here is a chart which illustrates the different distributions:

survey0

I’ve smoothed a bit, but it’s clear that while there’s several modes in the economic liberalism distribution, there’s a strong liberal slant on social issues. Not that surprising. But I wanted to look at the combinations, so I created some bubble plots. The size of the circle is proportional to the weight of the particular political combination within the set (or subset).

First, the whole data set.

surve1

You see four quadrants. The plural majority of readers are liberal, followed by libertarians, then conservatives, then populists. Remove the centrists (those who selected 5 on either social or economic responses) and summing up the numbers in the quadrants, here are the percentages:

Liberals – 40%

Libertarian – 28%

Conservative – 11%

Populist – 3%

(the rest are in the borderline zones)

Now let’s look at the subsamples and how that impacts distribution.

surveyfem

Female readers tend to be more liberal.

I’ll just leave you with the rest of the bubble charts with minimal comment. But if you want to know something about the data, ask in the comments. Doing the analysis isn’t usually that hard, but I don’t know what people want to know (virgins are young, but not different than the rest of the readership).

July 25, 2010

Reader survey results: Science vs. social science vs. humanities

Filed under: Blog,Reader Survey,Survey — Razib Khan @ 10:51 am

About six months ago I did a survey of the readership of my two Gene Expression blogs (before moving to Discover). The N was around 600. You can view the raw frequency results here. One of the issues which I was curious about: did the disciplinary background of readers have any major correlates with responses? So I created three categories from the data on disciplines:

-Science
-Social Science
-Not Science

Social science had its own section, but for science I amalgamated those who studies Math, Engineering, Natural Science and Medicine. The balance were under “Not science.”

Not Science Social Science Natural Science
How long have been reading Gene Expression(s) regularly?
No more than 4 weeks 5 5 5
1 to 6 months 12 13 14
6 months to 12 months 12 15 13
1 to 2 years 20 22 22
2 to 4 years 33 26 22
More than 4 years 18 19 20
What is your highest educational level attained?
Did not complete secondary school 1 0 0
Secondary school 0 0 0
Some post-secondary education, incomplete 5 1 1
Post secondary education, but not a university degree holder 4 2 1
University degree holder 38 33 37
Masters degree 20 22 20
Professional graduate degree (law, medicine, etc.) 20 12 11
Graduate degree (science, humanities, etc.) 13 29 30
What is your subjective socioeconomic status?
Lower class 5 3 3
Lower middle class 15 15 9
Middle class 42 43 47
Upper middle class 34 31 35
Upper class 4 7 5
What is your belief about the nature of God?
I believe in theistic God(s) 12 6 11
I believe in deistic God(s) 8 8 5
I believe in a Higher Power 5 5 6
I am skeptical of the existence of God(s) 24 23 22
I do not believe in the existence of God(s) 51 56 57
What is your racial identity?
European ancestry (white) 75 84 82
East Asian 3 5 2
South Asian 3 1 7
Southeast Asian 1 1 1
African ancestry (black) 2 2 1
Middle Eastern 2 1 2
Mixed 6 5 4
Other 9 3 1
What is your sex?
Male 84 86 87
Female 15 14 13
Other 1 0 1
Which of the following characterizes your general politics:
Far Left 5 6 1
Left 13 15 18
Center Left 16 18 21
Center 4 5 4
Center Right 9 6 11
Right 13 16 12
Far Right 3 6 3
Libertarian 21 22 25
Other 16 6 3
Do you consider yourself sympathetic to transhumanism?
No 22 25 12
Yes 32 33 40
No idea 29 28 29
Don’t care 17 14 20
Have you ever had sexual intercourse?
Yes 88 94 88
No 10 4 11
? 2 2 1
Personality type in terms of shyness you are:
Very extroverted 0 5 2
Extroverted 7 12 6
Somewhat extroverted 20 21 18
Somewhat introverted 38 36 41
Introverted 28 26 25
Very Introverted 6 5 8
Attitudes toward abortion:
Support abortion rights on demand 41 41 44
Support abortion rights, but with some constraints 39 39 41
Support ban on abortion, but with some exceptions 14 15 5
Support ban on abortion 6 5 10
Have you taken calculus?
Yes 73 81 97
No 27 19 3
Race is:
A social construct, not a biological reality 10 11 10
A biological reality, not a social construct 17 18 18
Both a social construct and a biological reality 74 71 72
IQ measures:
Something real which we refer to as intelligence 61 63 58
Ability to take a particular type of test 18 18 27
Who knows? 21 20 15
What is the heritability of IQ among groups in the West which are middle class and above?
Less than 0.3 6 3 4
0.3 to 0.5 20 21 22
0.5 to 0.7 44 54 43
More than 0.7 29 21 31

Turns out there’s no big difference, except for in calculus. A particular type of person must be attracted to the substance and style of this weblog (I suspect the biggest substantive difference between the readership and myself is that I’m on the extroverted side). I’ll probably post a survey for tomorrow, mostly to see how much Discover has changed my readership. But periodically I’ll also look at the results for previous surveys like this.

Note: Some of the results do not add to 100% because I rounded.

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