Self-Experimentation: A Call for Change

In 1981, Allen Neuringer wrote a paper in the journal Behaviorism, calling for self-experimentation. Consider it your weekend reading assignment, should you choose to accept it.

Neuringer presents a fascinating history and philosophy of self-science, as well as his perspective on the importance of self-experimentation. There are even some early experimental graphs on needing less sleep when you eat fewer calories, and on thinking better when you are moving vs. sitting. No doubt the author would have enjoyed Ernesto Ramirez’s Treadmill Desk that he presented at the QS conference.

Here’s a short excerpt I enjoyed, where Neuringer is responding to his students’ objections to self-experimenting:

This sounds like an inspiring call for personal science, Seth Roberts style. The full PDF is here – thanks to Jon Arne Løkke for posting this to the QS Facebook group!


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4 Responses to Self-Experimentation: A Call for Change

  1. Thanks for the great article Alex! I’ve actually been thinking lately about how my productivity may be linked to the movement I get while using the ActiveDesk. Hopefully going to build a few more soon so I can get other people to help with data collection.

    “…if you teach how to partake in the process of experimental self-discovery, then the person has a lifetime guide for action.”

  2. Pingback: Personal Tracking… | The Viral Loop…

  3. Amy Robinson says:

    This is one of the most fascinating and useful peer-reviewed articles I have ever read. Thank you for sharing! The stats in here are astonishing! I keep imagining what the world would be like if people spent 4 hours per day self experimenting rather than watching TV. “The solution to many of our problems is a continuous process of discovery and change.” Brilliant.


  4. Pingback: Self-Experimentation: A Call for Change | Quantified Self | Haphazard Journey by Starlight

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