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I read How does accepting an answer work?, and noticed the description: "You can accept your own answer to a question. There is no reputation awarded and the answer does not float to the top of the list. This can be done no earlier than 48 hours after the question is asked."

I think the operation is useless if it only marks the answer as the accepted answer, but without floating it to the top.

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Take a look at this data explorer query, there is a lot of people doing that. –  YOU Apr 18 '11 at 8:47

4 Answers 4

up vote 3 down vote accepted

I agree with the motivations already given, but another strong motivation to mark your own question as the accepted one is because of the acceptance rate.

If a questioner does not mark a question as accepted then their answer acceptance percentage falls - and many regulars on SO simply won't answer questions from people with a bad acceptance percentage, in fact many comments on questions when the OP has a low acceptance percentages will bear this out.

To avoid a 'problem' with acceptance percentage, if an OP doesn't get a good answer they are left with two options - accept a not-quite-right answer (which I guess many will) or make their own answer and accept that.

Unless SO changes to allow an OP to choose an option like 'None of these answers are right' - and not be penalised in terms of acceptance rate then I think that many OPs will make up an acceptable answer to avoid damage to their acceptance rate.

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I quite like the option of "None of these answers are right", especially if it were automatically removed whenever any new answers were added. This would encourage the questioner to review a new answer to see if it is one that could be accepted. –  Mark Booth Apr 18 '11 at 22:13

The reason that it's allowed is that sometimes the asker comes up with the best answer. Accepting an answer is an indication that the answer was the one that best addressed the asker's problem. If the asker's own answer is the one that does it, then it should be accepted.

The reason that it doesn't get pinned to the top of the answers is to help protect against fraud. Being in the first position helps to get votes. If an asker could, by accepting his own answer, pin it to the top, that would be a means to get more votes on it, gaming the reputation system. This is the same reason why self-accepting does not grant the 15 point reputation bonus. All you would need to do to gain rep, in that case, would be to ask, answer, and accept your answer...voila, 15 points.

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It's a signal to future readers that what was described in the Asker's own answer is what solved the problem. I've sometimes done this myself when there have been several answers which don't fully work, but in combination with each other (and perhaps with a little more digging of my own) I was able to find a good solution.

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I see nothing wrong. If (after some time and effort) you manage to solve your problem yourself, it is good to tell other people what was wrong.

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