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Which type of answer should I accept?

  1. The first answer that helped and satisfied my problem, but maybe required a bit of exploration
  2. The first answer that provided all the necessary information
  3. The answer which was very specific, came a bit later, and would be the most helpful for someone who comes to the question later
  4. the answer that helped me the most but may not help someone else with the same problem
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see also… – Kate Gregory Jan 21 '12 at 20:23
Imo, you should accept that answer that helps you the most, gives the answer of your question. – ddacot Jan 22 '12 at 4:42
up vote 12 down vote accepted

Option 4: The answer that helped you the most.

If there is another answer that you know is the best answer (i.e. the one that is most helpful in general), you can accept that one instead.

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Often "helped me the most" and "most helpful in general" are the same thing. Depends what you consider helpful. - Helped me get a quick-n-dirty solution so I could get back to work VS - Helped me understand my problem and become a better coder – Wesley Murch Jan 21 '12 at 18:50
In fact, if there's a significant disconnect between "helped you the most" and "most helpful in general" then that may be cause to identify localized material in the problem/question and clean it up a bit. – David Jan 21 '12 at 19:17
Probably should be noted that "most helpful in general" is signified by the vote totals, not the acceptance mark. Of course, they can intersect, though. – user149432 Jan 21 '12 at 20:24

My opinion:

  • accept the one that helped you the most - point 4
  • upvote good answers (useful, clear, relevant, ...) - point 3, probably 4, maybe 2

being the first answer should only (eventually) be considered for equivalent answers - the same answer an hour later is no real addition.

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