Personal Science

Personal Science

Learning to Observe

About the Book

Thank you for considering buying our book, Personal Science: Learning to Observe.

The book presents a step-by-step approach to exploring your personal questions with empirical methods.

It contains no advice whatsoever on what treatments or medicines or diets or vitamins or exercises are worth trying. Instead, it offers meta-advice; that is, advice on how to know if the things that you try actually work the way you expect, and advice about how to develop reasonable new ideas of things to try.

The goal of releasing this LeanPub version is to get the almost competed draft into the hands of people in the Quantified Self community and others who are keenly interested in the topic, so we can hear about what we may have gotten wrong and fix it. There is a minimum price of $8, and the entire purchase price will be devoted to maintaining self-research community resources, such as the show&tell archive at

To comment, join the Personal Science Book discussion at, send an email to, or tweet at @quantifiedself.

We appreciate your support!

Reader Testimonials

Susannah Fox
Susannah Fox

I help people navigate health and technology.

It’s incredibly useful. As I look across the spectrum of what is possible - probable - inevitable in health, personal science is ESSENTIAL to all of it This is the guide that will help make it all happen

Table of Contents

  • Version Note (April 2022)
  • Preface
  • Personal Science
    • Perception, Memory, and Computing
    • A Personal Question
    • Validity of Personal Science
    • The Personal Science Cycle
  • Questioning
    • Time Series
    • Experience
    • Stance
    • Log
  • Observing
    • Phenomena
    • Proxies
    • Features
    • Incidents
    • Foreground & Background
    • Scales
    • Triggers
    • Prompts
    • Instruments
    • Cadence
    • Collection
    • Data
  • Reasoning
    • Argument
    • Inspection
    • Matching
    • Trials
    • Patterns
  • Discovering
    • Show&Tell
    • Collective Knowledge
  • Resolution
  • About the Authors
  • Acknowledgments
  • Notes

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