How do I play uthinki?
To answer a uthinki question, you’ll need to do the following:
First, you will: “Choose what you think.” This Choice is your own answer to the question. Click on or press one of the possible answers to select it as your Choice.
Second, you will: “Guess what others think.” This Guess is how you believe other people (sometimes referred to as “the crowd”) would have answered the question. Click on or press one of the possible answers to select it as your Guess.
Third, is the appearance of the “Confidence Meter” and the green ‘Answer’ button. You may either:
Press on the slider and while still holding it down, slide it to a point which reflects how confident you are in your ability to guess the most likely response of other people (the crowd’s response), and how much of your Score you want to risk on your Guess, release the slider and then press the ‘Answer’ button.
Alternatively, you may ignore the Confidence Meter slider entirely and simply press the ‘Answer’ button.
In both cases, answering the uthinki question is completed by pressing the green ‘Answer’ button.
You’ll then be shown the results.
If I answer a uthink question, am I personally identified?
No. No, and triple no. Answers are recorded and used to show the aggregate crowd responses. In no way is anyone personally identified by answering a Public uthinki question. No login is required to answer the questions. In Public uthinki questions, neither the asker nor the respondents are personally identified in any way whatsoever; with the exception that the asker of the question may choose to identify themselves if they want to.
Please note that a cookie will be placed on the device used to answer the uthinki question, but it does not personally identify you. It simply records that the question has been answered.
Future features of uthinki will require logins, and some elements may identify the asker of the question and/or the respondents in a pseudonymous way, subject to the nature of the questions asked. However, this is all some way into the future. The nature of such questions and their features will be fully disclosed in advance.
A key idea behind Public uthinki questions, and their answers, is to protect the privacy of people using uthinki. Because these questions do not personally identify anyone, people are free to question and answer as they please. Without any concerns about appearing ‘foolish’ or being ‘afraid’ to ask questions or respond to them.
If I Guess correctly, by how much will my Score increase?
If you correctly guessed the most likely response of others (the crowd’s response), you would double the number of points of Score you risked.
For example, if you risked 100 points and your Guess was correct, you’d get 200 points added to your total Score. Meaning you’d get back the original 100 points you risked, plus another 100 points for the correct Guess.
If I Guess incorrectly, by how much will my Score decrease?
If you incorrectly guessed the most likely response of others (the crowd’s response), you would lose all of the points of Score you risked.
For example, if you risked 100 points and your Guess was incorrect, you’d have 100 points subtracted from your total Score.
My Choice and my Guess are the same, is this alright?
That’s entirely up to you. If your Choice and Guess correspond to the same answer, it probably means that you think other people, the crowd, think the same about the question as you do. Finalise answering the uthinki question by pressing the green ‘Answer’ button to find out if you’re correct.
I answered with my Choice and Guess then nothing happened…
Did you press the green ‘Answer’ button to finalise answering the question? You may use the Confidence Meter slider to indicate your confidence and adjust your risk, but the ‘Answer’ button must be pressed to finalise answering the uthinki question and to see the results.
Can the Confidence Meter be explained in more detail?
The Confidence Meter is the third part of answering a uthinki question, and it will become visible once your Guess has been made.
You are not required to use the Confidence Meter slider and can simply press the ‘Answer’ button to finish answering the uthinki question without using the slider at all if you want.
However, the Confidence Meter has a slider which should be pressed and while still holding it down, slide to a point which reflects how confident one is in their Guess and how much of their Score they want to risk on it. After releasing the slider, you may still adjust it again; or press the ‘Undo’ button as required to revise your Guess and/or Choice if need be. Once your Choice, Guess, and Score risked via using the Confidence Meter slider are as intended, press the green ‘Answer’ button to complete answering the question.
The extreme left of the Confidence Meter (the slider) represents having zero confidence in the correctness of the Guess. Whereas the extreme right represents having complete confidence in the correctness of the Guess. At the extreme right, being completely confident in the Guess, 100 percent of the Score would be risked. Contrasted with at the extreme left, having zero confidence in the Guess, only 1 point of Score would be risked. (Please see below why 1 point of Score is the minimum risk amount.)
What happens between the extreme left and the extreme right of the Confidence Meter is a bit more complicated, and will be subject to an individual’s confidence in their Guess combined with their attitude towards risk. Exactly what this may be is entirely up to the individual.
Why doesn’t the Confidence Meter start at zero?
Good question. Consider the following example: A question has four possible answers, so what is the likelihood of guessing the answer correctly simply due to chance? One out of four, or equivalently, 25 percent. Meaning that before anything else is considered, random chance alone suggests in this case someone should be at least 25 percent confident in their ability to guess the correct answer.
Back to the Confidence Meter and the slider, and building on the above, if the uthinki question has four possible answers, then given someone should be at least 25 percent confident in their ability to correctly guess what others are thinking (the crowd’s response), the Confidence Meter therefore starts at one-quarter of its total length from the left to reflect this.
Similarly, if there were two possible answers, the Confidence Meter would start at the halfway mark. If there were three possible answers, the Confidence Meter would start at the one-third position; and so forth.
Accordingly, given the number of possible answers, the starting position of the Confidence Meter will always begin at the minimum logical percentage of guessing correctly purely by chance.
Of course someone could move the slider to an ‘illogical’ position. Such as if there were four possible answers, it would seem ‘illogical’ for someone to be only 10 percent confident in their Guess. Logically they should be at least 25 percent confident. Yet each to their own, and within the rules of the question a respondent can answer however they please, including with the use of the Confidence Meter.
There is, of course, also the risk consideration in addition to confidence. To account for this, in the ‘illogical’ region of the slider, you’ll only risk 1 point of your Score. As the slider is moved beyond its starting position to the right, in the logical region, the number of points of Score risked will increase. Eventually risking all of the Score and indicating 100 percent confidence at the extreme right of the slider.
So beyond the minimum risk of 1 point (see below), your Score risked will only begin to increase as your confidence increases beyond what random chance would imply.
Why does the Confidence Meter always force me to risk at least 1 point of my Score?
With the Confidence Meter, if the extreme left represents zero confidence, it’s then fair to ask why 1 point of Score is always the minimum which can be risked. The answer to which, is that because of the game-like elements of uthinki, the player is forced to have “some skin in the game” and risk at least 1 point of their Score regardless of their confidence in their Guess.
Please note this is also true of ignoring the Confidence Meter slider completely and simply pressing the ‘Answer’ button, 1 point of Score is still risked on the Guess regardless.
What happens if my Score goes to zero?
If your Score goes to zero, then it’s: Game Over. With a Score of zero, you can’t continue playing and answering questions. However, because while the uthinki game is still in beta mode, if your Score goes to zero you might just get a second chance to keep playing.
How is the response of others (the crowd’s response) determined?
Unless otherwise stated, the response of others (the crowd), which you’re aiming to correctly guess, is determined by those whom have previously answered the question.
For example, if 100 people had answered the question before you and their Choices were as follows:
Then to correctly guess what others were thinking (the crowd’s response), you’d need to Guess C) which is the most chosen answer (the mode). Of course you won’t know this at the time, and will need to have considered the opinion of others to successfully do this.
What happens if I’m the first to answer the question?
Since no others have come before you and answered the question, there won’t be any aggregated responses (from the crowd) to judge your Guess correct or incorrect. The upside to this, is if you’re the first response you can not lose any of your Score risked. So any of your Score risked will be returned to you, plus you’ll get a first response bonus added to your Score.
So the crowd response and the correct Guess can change over time?
Yes. It’s based on the previous answers of people at the time. What was the most chosen answer at the time 10 people had answered the question, may not necessarily be the most chosen answer when 50, or 500, people have answered the question.
It’s a factual question, and I know my Choice was correct so I answered the same for my Guess, but my Guess was incorrect. Why is this so?
The questions on uthinki can essentially be about anything. For example, they may range from a question which has an objectively correct factual answer, to a question which is about subjective opinion (without any factually correct answer). Some factual questions can be quite tricky. Meaning that just because someone can make the correct Choice regarding the factual answer, it does not necessarily follow that the majority of everyone else answering it (people in the crowd) can do the same. Accordingly, to also get the correct Guess, someone would then need to reason and consider the opinion of others and how they’d answer it, before selecting their Guess.
What happened to “Outsmart the Crowd”?
It’s still here in spirit, and there’s probably an homage to it around here somewhere. However, whilst in the early days uthinki was partially about outsmarting the crowd, it has grown considerably beyond that over time. It’s not just about outsmarting the crowd; and what if the crowd is also right? Therefore it’s more about understanding the crowd, and trying to understand what other people think both individually and collectively. This cannot be done without considering the opinion, and opinions, of those people who collectively make up the crowd. Long story short and all in all, “Considered Opinion?” better captures what uthinki is about.
The questions in uthinki are quite random, is there any way to control this?
Within the beta there’s currently no ability in place to sort for the categories of the questions (but it’s coming soon), so there’s likely to be a wide variety of questions about anything and everything. If you find something you like, answer it. You can always use the ‘Skip’ button if you don’t want to answer the question.
Also note that if you’re in an article on the website, the uthinki question accessed by the ‘Play uthinki’ button at the bottom of the webpage is most likely related to the article itself.
The Question Feed also contains details of specific and recently asked uthinki questions including their categories, making it possible to select exact uthinki questions.
Although people will have different motivations for answering the questions, even if you’re not necessarily interested in the topic of the question itself, it can be interesting to learn what the responses are of other people answering the questions.
I found a bug in the game, what should I do?
Please email email@example.com with the details and will we look into fixing the problem as soon as possible.
Can I suggest/request a new feature?
Absolutely. Any feedback about the game and suggestions for features in the game are most welcome. (As are even the dreaded and inevitable criticisms.) Please email firstname.lastname@example.org with any of your suggestions.
Can I ask my own uthinki questions?
It’s a future feature on uthinki’s to do list, and it’s a big list. In the beta you won’t be able to ask your own questions directly and will need to wait for the first full release. However, if you would like to ask a question, if you send the question details to email@example.com we can ask it for you in the meantime.
Can I link directly to a uthinki question from another website?
Yes, simply use the URL of the specific question in your link. The question may also be placed inside of an iframe and displayed on your webpage if you’d prefer.
Can I submit an article to the uthinki website?
Yes, although there’s no guarantee that it will be published. Please submit your article by emailing it to firstname.lastname@example.org. Alternatively, write about whatever you want on your website and add a uthinki question to it as suggested above. Just email us the details of your question so that we can create it for you in the beta version.
I think I’m out of questions to ask in a FAQ, what should I do now?
Many more questions await below: