Occasionally I see people complaining that they cannot find a rationalist girlfriend. Fortunately, we have a survey! And one of the variables is “Romance”, i.e., “have you met someone through the community that you wound up dating?” So I figured I would give some statistics-y help to the lovelorn.
(A Note on Methodology: I assigned “no” the value of 0, “yes” the value of 2 and “I didn’t meet them through the community, but they’re part of the community now” a value of 1. I understand this is debatable– as, in fact, rationalist girlfriends one did not meet through the community are still Rationalist Girlfriends– but we are looking for information on how to find a rationalist girlfriend, not a girlfriend you can convert to rationality. All correlations are significant at p = .01. Also, I ran my fishing expedition on Things That Have Numbers Attached. If you are curious about a particular bit of non-numbers data, ask in the comments and I’ll add it to the post.)
Interestingly, the number of years that one has been a rationalist is completely uncorrelated with one’s ability to get a rationalist romantic partner. That’s weird, because you’d think the longer you stuck around the more rationalists you might want to date you’d meet. It’s also basically uncorrelated with time spent on LW, but at this point level of participation in the rationalist community is basically uncorrelated with time spent on LW, so that doesn’t mean much.
The largest correlation is with number of current partners (Pearson correlation .372). Unfortunately, this item combines “is polyamorous” and “is capable of getting laid” into a single factor, which is not very helpful. When I included only people who prefer monogamy, the correlation went down to .123 (although it was still significant at p = .01). This suggests that, while ability to get laid plays a part in the strength of this correlation, a substantial amount of the correlation is that poly people are way more likely to get rationalist partners. The best thing you can do for your chance of getting a rationalist partner is to become poly.
Karma score is another reasonably strong correlation (.210), suggesting that rationalists are attracted to people who make awesome blog posts and contribute to the community. Similarly, donations to MIRI/CFAR are correlated with likelihood of getting a rationalist romantic partner (.123), as is charity donations in general, but the Pearson correlation is .089 so it might just be that people who donate to MIRI/CFAR tautologically also donate to charity. I am not suggesting a “donate to MIRI: get laid!” advertising campaign, but…
SAT Scores out of 1600 is correlated with likelihood of rationalist girlfriend (.180), but neither SAT Score out of 2400 or ACT Score is correlated, and anyway the sign on both of them is negative. I cannot explain this data. Rationalists… have a preference for people who don’t write essays on their standardized tests?
Supporting more immigration (.121) and a guaranteed basic income (.107) increase your chance. This may or may not be a reflection of liberals getting laid more; I’m not good enough at SPSS to do a factor analysis and rationalist-partner-finding is uncorrelated with support for things like taxes or a minimum wage. So right-libertarians, you may still have some hope (although neoreactionaries are screwed). Regardless, be sure not to talk about politics too much, because political interest is negatively correlated with finding a rationalist partner (-.093).
Probability of aliens in the galaxy (-.083), probability of religion (-.071), and probability of global catastrophic risk (-.116) are all negatively correlated with finding a rationalist partner. Okay, I get why we like atheists, but why do you apparently object to people who believe in aliens? I personally think UFO watching is a great first date.
Femininity on the Bem Sex Role Inventory (.106) predicts likelihood of finding a rationalist partner. I’ll talk about this more later. Number of older siblings and height are both negatively correlated with ability to find a romantic partner. 6’4″ youngest children may comfort themselves with the knowledge that the correlation isn’t very strong (-.093 and -.096, respectively).
Now, you may say I should rerun this without including women, on the grounds that any straight women who can’t get laid in a community that’s four-fifths male clearly has bigger problems that a blog post can help with. So I looked at heterosexual men (since queer men can presumably date each other).
Correlations that went away: probability of aliens, probability of religion, femininity on the Bem sex role inventory, height, charity. Immigration and political interest were still significant at the .05 level, so that’s probably just noise. Femininity and height are probably gender-related: women are more likely to have a rationalist partner than heterosexual men are. (Yes, I checked.) Charity is probably just that charity is correlated with MIRI/CFAR donations. However, I am pleased to note that women apparently are okay with UFO-watching as their first date.
Correlations that still exist: karma score (.267), number of current partners (.270), SAT scores out of 1600 (.166), probability of global catastrophic risk (-.149), basic income (.122), MIRI/CFAR donations (.103), older siblings (-.094), left hand digit ratio (.147).
New correlations: probability that the many worlds interpretation of quantum mechanics is true (.119), probability that we’re all living in a simulation (.091), and MIRI’s effectiveness (.092). MIRI’s effectiveness, how much one supports MIRI’s mission, probability that cryonics and anti-agathics work, probability that we’re living in a simulation, belief in a near Singularity, MIRI/CFAR donations, probability that MWI is true, belief in a basic income and global warming, and not believing in global catastrophic risk are all correlated. (Yes, not believing in global catastrophic risk. I don’t know.) I suspect there is an Agrees With Eliezer factor here, except I can’t actually do factor analysis, so I don’t know.
Nevertheless, judging by the new correlations, old correlations like MIRI/CFAR donations and probability of global catastrophic risk, and some of the ones significant at p = .05 (like anti-agathics and support for MIRI’s mission), I think if there is an Agrees With Eliezer Factor, then it is related to how likely one is to get a rationalist girlfriend. This may be a result of level of participation in the community, how determined one is to get a rationalist girlfriend, or rationalist women being really attracted to men who agree with Eliezer about everything. You might as well try agreeing with Eliezer about more things. Couldn’t hurt. I hear paleo diets are very tasty.
In short, here is my pickup advice for people who want a rationalist girlfriend:
1) Become poly.
2) Become high-status in the community, possibly via writing posts on Less Wrong.
3) If at all possible, do not be a straight man.
4) If you absolutely have to be a straight man, agree more with Eliezer.
5) Make really sure that you don’t take any standardized tests with a writing portion.
6) Travel back in time and interrupt your parents’ sex before they conceive your older siblings.
7) Probably save the UFO hunt for the third date, Mulder.