Meta Stack Exchange is where users like you discuss bugs, features, and support issues that affect the software powering all 158 Stack Exchange communities.

What is meta?
Here's how it works:
  1. Any Stack Exchange user can ask a question
  2. The community provides support, votes on ideas, and reports bugs
  3. Your voice helps shape the way Stack Exchange operates

Like this poster, I often find that when I'm stuck on a problem, the mere act of formulating a problem as a question to post on StackOverflow is sufficient to make me think about it in a new way, and consequently solve it on my own. I'm almost certain I've heard a name for this psychological effect before, but I can't seem to put my finger on it, and searching for it isn't bringing up any results I recognise. Does anyone have any leads on this?

share|improve this question
Thinking?...... – James McNellis May 6 '10 at 0:38
@James: Haha...good, but not quite. You know...the "I just answered my own question by asking it" effect. I just thought I had heard another name for it. – Jon Purdy May 6 '10 at 0:40
up vote 6 down vote accepted

Do you mean like cardboard programmer or rubber duck debugger?

share|improve this answer
Ironically, the second article contains a reference to…, of which this question is a duplicate. – John Saunders May 6 '10 at 1:05
The rubber duck! I knew it had a fun anecdote to go with. @John: My apologies for lack of proper search procedures. – Jon Purdy May 6 '10 at 1:11
why link to mobile wikipedia? – juan May 6 '10 at 2:20
@down because I'm on my iPod while holding the grumpy baby, feel free to edit the link or I will when I get the use of both hands again – Rich Seller May 6 '10 at 7:24
I was just curious, I admire your ability to still answer while holding a baby @rich – juan May 6 '10 at 12:41
Wait a second -- Wikipedia cites that SO question, but the accepted answer to that question merely links to Wikipedia. – mmyers May 6 '10 at 15:07

if only you were experiencing it now...

share|improve this answer
Just my luck, eh? – Jon Purdy May 6 '10 at 0:42

You must log in to answer this question.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged .