Red Brain Blue Brain Crowdsourcing Contest

Welcome! This is the home page for a crowdsourcing contest in which participants can earn money for submitting high-quality trivia questions in two categories:

  • A “Knowledge Desert” question
  • A “False Belief” question

A Knowledge Desert question tests for knowledge that a Republican is likely to have, but that a Democrat is unlikely to have, or vice versa. These trivia questions should be related to differences in cultural habits, media preferences, and lifestyles between Republicans and Democrats, but the questions should NOT be explicitly political. For example, Republicans may be more likely to correctly answer trivia questions about country music, firearms, or NASCAR, while Democrats may be more likely to correctly answer questions about R&B, coffee, and basketball. (You may object that these examples reflect political/cultural stereotypes. Nevertheless, our research so far indicates that these are indeed areas in which political affiliation is correlated with level of knowledge.)

False Belief questions are more political in content. Here, both Republicans and Democrats have strong hunches about the answer, but one side is correct, and the other is incorrect. For example, Democrats (but not Republicans) tend to overestimate the percentage of gun deaths that involve assault-style rifles, while Republicans (but not Democrats) tend overestimate the proportion of illegal immigrants who commit violent crimes.

We are running two separate crowdsourcing contests, one seeking high-quality “Knowledge Desert” questions and one seeking high-quality “False Belief” questions. The questions should be in multiple choice format, with one correct answer and three incorrect answers. All high-quality question submissions will receive a $100 prize. Please see the “Judging” section of each contest page for information about what counts as a “high-quality” question. We may give additional monetary bonuses for questions that we consider especially clever or insightful.

The contest website for “Knowledge Desert” questions, is located here.

The contest website for “False Belief” questions, is located here.

Prizes

Prizes will be awarded as follows:

  • Two $100 prizes will be awarded for the top two questions in the “Democrat False Beliefs” category whether or not the questions are considered to be of “high-quality.”
  • Two $100 prizes will be awarded for the top two questions in the “Republican False Beliefs” category whether or not the questions are considered to be of “high-quality.”
  • Two $100 prizes will be awarded for the top two questions in the “Democrat Knowledge Deserts” category whether or not the questions are considered to be of “high-quality.”
  • Two $100 prizes will be awarded for the top two questions in the “Republican Knowledge Deserts” category whether or not the questions are considered to be of “high-quality.”
  • $100 prizes will be awarded to any question that we determine to be of “high-quality” (see Judging page for details)

In the event that we receive a large number of high-quality questions, we will reward only the top 50 questions (across both contests). In the event that two or more participants submit what is essentially the same question, we will accept only the first submission.

About

Who are we?

This project is managed by Evan DeFilippis (PhD student in Psychology and Organizational Behavior) and Joshua Greene (Professor of Psychology) at Harvard University.

Why are we doing this?

We are collecting questions that tap into differences in cultural knowledge and political belief between Republicans and Democrats. We will use these questions as testing materials in our research examining the causes of social/political beliefs and attitudes. These testing materials may eventually be made available to other researchers.

Why crowdsource?

“Knowledge Desert” and “False Belief” questions are hard to design because it is difficult to know what one does not know. Furthermore, even if one can identify topics about which Republicans or Democrats are likely to be especially ignorant or uninformed, it is difficult to identify specific questions that expose such differences. As such, we expect that the most talented and creative designers of these questions are not part of our research group. We hope that the best questions will likely come from one of you.

Contact