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A number of times I've seen what I consider to be valid but open-ended questions get an accepted answer within just a few minutes of being asked (example, accepted answer within 15 minutes, only three answers at the time). What's the point behind accepting an answer on a question that invites discussion and opinion before there is any discussion or opinion?

Note: I'm not arguing about whether such questions should be allowed or should be community-wiki -- this has been discussed elsewhere. I just don't get the motivation behind asking such a question, then effectively shutting down discussion by indicating that you have your answer already.

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  • I don't see an accepted answer on that question... But +1 for the comment!
    – Shog9
    Dec 8, 2009 at 21:24
  • 1
    You can see the comment on the answer that previously had been accepted, though.
    – tvanfosson
    Dec 8, 2009 at 21:26
  • Ah, so I can... That OP is a bit confuse!
    – Shog9
    Dec 8, 2009 at 21:31
  • It's not even a real question anymore.
    – random
    Dec 8, 2009 at 23:56

4 Answers 4

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  1. The site nags you to accept an answer (when you upvote and on the profile page)
  2. The site rewards you with points for accepting an answer.

Case closed.

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  • Really -- it nags you when you upvote? I guess I haven't asked many questions lately.
    – tvanfosson
    Dec 8, 2009 at 21:59
  • Only for new users. I think the cut off point is 100 rep.
    – Macha
    Dec 8, 2009 at 22:10
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I think typically these are newer users who don't understand the way the Trilogy sites work. As a result, I think that as soon as they see any halfway valid answer, they rush to accept. Perhaps they see the accept rate listed on other users' entries and are misguidedly trying to keep it at 100%?

In any event, I find a lot of those questions to be frankly uninteresting, and I just tend to avoid them.

Per your wishes, I'll save my discussion on their appropriateness for elsewhere.

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It could be a case of overlearning.

There is a certain pressure to accept answers, expressed in comments to questions. Perhaps some take this a little bit too literal.

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  1. It's a new and inexperienced user.
  2. There's a couple of fishy behaviours going on with that account. The question looked like it was posted by a bot when it came up yesterday.
  3. The speedy comments and race to accept indicate someone trying desperate to be seen as interested, fitting in and trying to get rep. As opposed to primarily being interested in the answer.

All pretty normal behaviour for a new user...

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  • 1
    If it's a bot, then it appears on the face of it to pass the Turing Test.
    – tvanfosson
    Dec 8, 2009 at 17:47

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