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For a question like this one, where I got two similar (exact?) answers around 15 minutes after I originally posted the question, I upvoted both and immediately selected one as the accepted answer.

However, it seems the answer I accepted received twice the number of upvotes of the other answer, despite them basically being the same. Am I doing the answerers a disservice by accepting too early?

EDIT: Ian's point is that the quicker answer usually gets more points. However, in this case the two answers were posted at around the same time (I think there was a minute or two's difference). I accepted the answer which got posted second (because I liked it marginally better).

The thing that sort of irks me is that before I accepted an answer, both questions' votes were at 3-3 (or something similar, they were even). After, I saw one question gain a slight edge over the other, and now the other answer is getting half the points...

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I think you are thinking too much on this :) – JP19 Nov 24 '10 at 15:12
up vote 2 down vote accepted

I think that if the answer is solving your problem fully there's no need to wait and you can mark it as the correct answer.

Probably there are more upvotes to one answer rather than other because the person who posted it is more familiar and popular so regulars of SO will give him/her more credit. :)

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It's something I always find frustrating. You spend some time answering a question, and someone beats you to the post by a matter of seconds, receiving lots of upvotes and being marked as the answer. Sometimes your answers are the same, sometimes yours is slightly better, but it generally seems to be a case of quickest post wins...

I don't think it's whether you accept an answer or not that dictates it.

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Remember that you can always change the accepted answer. You will notified when new answers are posted, so just check them and if they are better mark one of them instead.

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