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When a question gets a single vote-to-close identifying a possible duplicate, a large banner appears only to the asker of the question saying that the question has already been asked and may have an answer. A number of things might then happen:

  • the asker might also vote to close as a duplicate (oddly, this appears to be nonbinding)
  • the asker might vehemently disagree, add comments, edit the question, and generally try to prevent closure of the question
  • the asker might read the other question, and possibly upvote it, or one or more of its answers
  • the asker might or might not interact with (vote, comment, edit) their own question or its answers again

Is it possible (using the data dump or as a developer) to put any numbers to these possibilities? I have a theory that for some users, the very first close vote is enough to send them to the other question, where they solve their underlying problem (they get their code working) and they never interact with the question they asked again. If this theory is true, the original question should somehow be closeable faster: perhaps by letting the asker cast a binding vote, perhaps some other mechanism.

On the other hand if this is not true, and most askers dispute the suggestion of duplicate, or continue to interact with their own question and its answers right up to the point of closure and beyond, then why do we have the asker-only banner rather than just a comment?

So, who can provide some numbers for reactions to that first duplicate vote?

  • How will you determine that they don't intend to come back and edit/improve the question that was flagged as a duplicate? – Joe W Jan 7 '14 at 18:27
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    I am hoping for some sort of retrospective: eg for very 100 questions that get one dupe vote, x are edited after just 1 vote, y are edited after they are on hold, z are never edited, that sort of thing. – Kate Gregory Jan 7 '14 at 18:32
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    While I do think that allowing the author to cast a binding vote to close as a duplicate would be nice, I don't really see upvoting a possible dupe as conclusive evidence that the author feels it is a true duplicate. Perhaps it is related, and helpful, but insufficient, for example. – Servy Jan 7 '14 at 18:32
  • Well, that doesn't really make much sense as they can't cast a binding "reopen" vote either -- what if they find that it isn't really a duplicate later? – Qantas 94 Heavy Jan 8 '14 at 2:53
  • @Qantas94Heavy I guess the point of this question is to explore that whole "later" thing. Do askers feel their questions are or aren't dupes? Do they keep working on the question they asked, switch their attention to the one identified as a master, just go away, or what? I find it very unlikely someone would agree "yup, that's the same as mine I am going to use its answers" and then later change their mind. – Kate Gregory Jan 8 '14 at 13:47
  • Does the data dump even show who casted a vote to close? So wouldn't the first one be impossible? – Gelatin Jan 8 '14 at 20:50

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