Why are we doing this? This project grew out of the M.I.T. Center for Collective Intelligence. We study what makes teams of people smart. A high-quality free set of puzzles is invaluable to our and other psychologists’ research. Moreover, as our research center’s name reveals, we also study the power of collectives–such as, crowdsourcing–to accomplish difficult creative tasks, such as puzzle making.
But why are we crowdsourcing this? Matrix reasoning puzzles are based on simple elegant principles but they are hard to make. They need to be culturally neutral, definitively objective, and represent a range of difficulty levels. The most talented and creative puzzle makers are not part of our research group. They are probably people we have never met or even heard of. Maybe you are one of them. Crowdsourcing is actually how the New York Times crossword puzzles are made.
What qualifies me to contribute to this project? Simply, if you make a puzzle. Whether you’re a seasoned puzzle maker, someone who just loves the challenge of any and all puzzles, or a newcomer who simply needs a project, you are welcome.
What is in it for me? The best set of puzzles will be collected into a test battery that will be used by researchers, institutions, and the public. We plan to publish an academic paper about the making of this test battery, and if a puzzle you contribute is included, you will be listed as a co-author of this paper. In the past, our research on this project was published in Science. Cash prizes will be given to the participant with the most submissions and to the participant with the cleverest one.
What specifically are you looking for? Please read the contest rules. In short, your puzzle must be a 3×3 grid of items. You are welcome to use any kind of images, symbols, and patterns, so long as you conform to the principles: They need to be culturally neutral (to the extent possible), have an objectively correct answer, and represent a range of difficulty levels.
Who are you? This project was conceived and is being led by David Engel (MIT) and Christopher Chabris (Union College), with the collaboration of Anita Woolley (CMU) and Tom Malone (MIT). We are researchers interested in collective intelligence in its various forms. This project is being conducted through the MIT Center for Collective Intelligence.
Any further questions, suggestions, comments? Please contact us at (contact at newmatrixreasoning dot com)