Edit: After the comment conversation, I've removed my slightly irrelevant/rambling backstory, and refactored question.
It seems there's some difference of opinion on what giving/recieving them actually means to different people and therefore how they are used, but I don't want to rerun that conversation again.
Instead I'm interested in seeing if there's any evidence available on exactly what results downvoting produces, if the lead to improving the quality of posts, and at what sort of frequency?
- How frequently does downvoting lead to a self-close of a post, or a self-edit?
- After a downvote inspired self-edit, how often does that then lead to upvoting/removal of downvotes?
As an aside, I also wonder if there's evidence for how often people post a comment to follow up a downvote? (or an upvote, even?)
Further aside: Maybe there's an accidental badge idea in here as well - the 'bothering to comment after downvoting, x times' bagde? "Constructive Criticism" maybe? However, I'd be surprised if this hasn't been suggested before...