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The Problem with Reputation: Does High Reputation Attract Too Many ‘Up-Votes’?

EDIT: My original title was (high reputation users getting upvoted more often)

I've seen an interesting effect in the Java tagged questions, which are the ones I browse more often - usually a good answer will get 5 upvotes, but I often see answer from user with high reputations getting much more than that, and a comparable good answer from someone that is starting now won't get as many upvotes.

This is just my unscientific impression. But was this noted by someone else? Do users with high reputations usually score high on their answers because these answers are always better, or because people tend to get those answers for granted because they come from users with high reputations?

If all of a sudden Jon Skeet created a fake profile to answer questions, would this profile get on average as many upvotes as he usually gets?

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marked as duplicate by random, Robert Cartaino, Tyler Carter, alex, Shog9 Mar 7 '10 at 9:14

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It seems like I should have done some research before posting my question... Iiips. –  raviaw Mar 7 '10 at 4:52

1 Answer 1

up vote 13 down vote accepted

I've considered creating another account just for testing this. (I'd let the team and moderators know first, mind you.)

I'd like to think it's not that bad though. Often two answers may look quite similar, but one just about has an edge on the other - either it's explained just that bit better, or has one more piece of information, or a code sample. I'd like to hope that I have that sort of edge, and that that's why my answer would get more votes in that situation. But hey, I could easily be wrong...

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I think your answers are great, but in a question where the answer is more a matter of opinion than anything else, you will probably get more votes, not necessarily because your opinion makes more sense (don't get me wrong, it probably does), but because you're very respected. –  raviaw Mar 7 '10 at 7:32
    
Even more interesting would be if your answer makes the question itself get more attention and makes other answers on the question get more up-votes. I'd hazard there are probably at least some people that look specifically at questions you respond to. Hopefully they also bother to read other answers while they are there and upvote all that deserve it. –  AJ Henderson May 8 at 14:52

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