The question How should I approach a situation in which I made a female roommate uncomfortable? has an accepted answer with a score of negative seven. Because the answer is accepted, an answer with a score of 60 and a bounty is hidden under it. The answer is quite long, so you have to scroll down quite a bit to see the popular answer.

This seems like as good an time as any to suggest that whether an answer is accepted should have no basis on how answers are ordered. All an accept mark means is that the OP found the content helpful; I'm not quite sure why the OPs opinion is more valuable than everyone elses. Is there any chance that this could be changed?


1 Answer 1


I'm actually less inclined to be in favor of this for IPS than I am for other SE sites. Here's why:

  • Other SE sites (let's use Stack Overflow as an example), deal with concrete, black/white answers.

    They tend to either be correct or incorrect (with the exception of answers that accomplish the same thing but have differences in styling preferences/conventions).

  • IPS posts often illustrate situations where it is impossible for an answer to be 100% correct and perfect.

    Even in our own lives (where we have all the details) our interpersonal solutions likely don't always go as planned (because the involved people are so variable).

  • Posts are much more personal here.

    While they can be read and translated to apply to the lives/situations of other users, each answer should be focused on helping the individual posting.

If an IPS user takes the time to read all answers and take action on what the general public considers to be a crappy answer but it's what works for them, I think the answer deserves to be listed at the top of their post.

Other users reading the post can easily see what the answer is voted as and decide to read other advice (albeit with a lot of scrolling) before taking action. Honestly, getting a larger set of advice before immediately taking action is probably wise to do for anyone browsing these forums.

p.s. For what it's worth, I am coming from a place of having an answer with 170+ upvotes that got shutdown by a +3 answer. I still think OP decision is valuable to display as primary.

p.p.s. In the case of this specific example you are discussing, the answer used to be quite small and not that great, but the answer-er recently went back and expanded a lot more on it. It could very well be greater advice now and deserving of it's place at the top. (I haven't read it myself).

  • I know a case where the accepted answer scored a -77, while the community's choice was one having +119.
    – NVZ
    Dec 20, 2017 at 18:30

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