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KudoZ - Agree/Neutral/Disagree: Would it make sense to have a fourth option?
Thread poster: Cilian O'Tuama

Cilian O'Tuama  Identity Verified
Local time: 15:00
German to English
+ ...
Jan 23, 2007

I'm thinking of an extra option between "agree" and "neutral", something like "Sounds reasonable" or "I'd say so, but am not certain" (shorter, of course).

I can only speak for myself, but I'd certainly use it.
I very often refrain from agreeing because I don't want to misguide the asker into believing that an answer must be right if it gets so many "agrees".

As things are now, if you'd like to agree with a proposed answer but have reservations (e.g. because you don't feel sufficiently qualified, because context is lacking, because you do not wish to do any research etc.), you have to go to the trouble of putting your reservations in writing (= time consuming).
I often skip questions without commenting for this very reason. Maybe others do too.

[For the robot, two or more of these "partial-agrees" could be = one "agree". I'd suggest 3 or 4 (or more) = 1 agree (you could round down all fractions).]

IMO, we would not need something similar between "neutral" and "disagree". That end of the scale is less relevant.

What y'all think?

Or does anyone care any more?
C

Edited to change "one or more" to "two or more".

[Edited at 2007-01-23 00:09]


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Trudy Peters  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 09:00
German to English
+ ...
Agree with Cilian Jan 23, 2007

I agree wholeheartedly -- for all the reasons you mention.

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Anne Patteet  Identity Verified
Local time: 08:00
English to French
+ ...
It happens to me too, Jan 23, 2007

not to answer because of the same reasons. And a few of the "agrees" posted are obviously not based on real knowledge of the matter.

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Melissa Stanfield  Identity Verified
Australia
Local time: 23:00
Italian to English
+ ...
I agree too Jan 23, 2007

I think this is a great idea Cilian - I think a lot of people have had the feeling of not wholeheartedly agreeing, but feeling that the response is pretty close to the mark - and a lot of the neutral/agree comments reflect this.

As to how to word it - not sure. Umm.. perhaps your suggestion of partial agree, which would require less effort in the comment? Your robot suggestion is great too.

Melissa

PS: I still care and I'm sure lots of other people do too!

PS: With regard to what Anne said above - which I agree with too - perhaps the KudoZ guidelines would need to be altered to encourage people to award a full agree ONLY if they are 100% confident (or close to it - much like the confidence scale answerers provide in the first place.)

[Edited at 2007-01-23 02:49]


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Mulyadi Subali  Identity Verified
Indonesia
Local time: 20:00
English to Indonesian
+ ...
disagree Jan 23, 2007

i think it will only complicate things. it should be whether we agree or disagree. anything else in between, we can use neutral.
in the end, it's not (always) about who's right or wrong, it's really up to the asker to decide, cmiiw.


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Heike Behl, Ph.D.  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 06:00
Member (2003)
English to German
+ ...
Disagree Jan 23, 2007

Theoretically, one should only agree if one knows that the specific answer is correct. What somebody else believes as maybe correct doesn't really help.

How many times do people agree with the comment: "Sounds good to me!" And more often than not, they're wrong. So, maybe instead of offering a fourth choice - which I don't think would be really helpful for the asker - , a little reminder that Agrees should be as qualified in nature as the answers themselves.

Either one knows that the answers is correct from experience, or one has come to the same result after doing the necessary research, only to find that somebody else has already provided the answer. IMO, these are the only two situations in which anyone should agree. (Or in the reverse situation, disagree.)

Not agreeing with an answer when one isn't sure is a good thing!!
If you're just guessing, you're not helping the asker. If you have reservations, it would be more useful to the asker if you'd write the reason for them in the comment field than if you'd check any fourth option. If you're not sure but don't want to do the research to confirm - don't agree/disagree.


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Vito Smolej
Germany
Local time: 15:00
Member (2004)
English to Slovenian
+ ...
what about "works for me"? Jan 23, 2007

the alternative in OpenSource for this kind of situation.

smo


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Inga Jakobi  Identity Verified
Germany
Local time: 15:00
Member (2006)
Chinese to German
+ ...
I agree with Heike Jan 23, 2007

Hi,

Heike Behl, Ph.D. wrote:

Theoretically, one should only agree if one knows that the specific answer is correct. What somebody else believes as maybe correct doesn't really help.


Not agreeing with an answer when one isn't sure is a good thing!!
If you're just guessing, you're not helping the asker. If you have reservations, it would be more useful to the asker if you'd write the reason for them in the comment field than if you'd check any fourth option. If you're not sure but don't want to do the research to confirm - don't agree/disagree.


I totally agree because for me it is quite important only to give (and of course also to get) agrees/disagrees when I am / the people are totally sure. What use would be a comment like "should be right"? This kind of comments can only be made if the asker is only looking for a nice expression as it is sometimes when one knows the meaning but can't think of the best way to put it.

But should this option be introduced, it could be called "positive".

My two cents...

[Edited at 2007-01-23 07:32]


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Levan Namoradze  Identity Verified
Georgia
Local time: 17:00
Member (2005)
English to Georgian
+ ...
Disagree Jan 23, 2007

Mulyadi Subali wrote:

i think it will only complicate things. it should be whether we agree or disagree. anything else in between, we can use neutral.
in the end, it's not (always) about who's right or wrong, it's really up to the asker to decide, cmiiw.


Why shall we complicate the things more and more? I absolutely agree to the opinion above.


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PAS  Identity Verified
Local time: 15:00
English to Polish
+ ...
Positive neutral Jan 23, 2007

Don't agree with the idea. Too many options spoil the broth.

I think the (subconscious) origin of this idea may be that many people use "neutral" to disagree, not wanting to use the brutally red "disagree".

If I don't want to use "agree", but I don't wholly disagree, I write "positive neutral" in the comment. By that, I mean more or less what Cilian intends - "maybe it's a good answer" or "the answer is OK, but not necesarily in this context" etc.

Pawel Skalinski


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Kirill Semenov  Identity Verified
Ukraine
Local time: 16:00
Member (2004)
English to Russian
+ ...
Can't agree with this Jan 23, 2007

Cilian O'Tuama wrote:
I'm thinking of an extra option between "agree" and "neutral", something like "Sounds reasonable" or "I'd say so, but am not certain" (shorter, of course).


Sorry, Cilian, but if in doubt or uncertain, just pass it by. I call it "a responsible approach to peer's comments". And it's no less important, than a responsible approach to answers.


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Ruxi
German to Romanian
+ ...
Neutral would do Jan 23, 2007

First of all I would say that I know cases where an answer gets many agrees, but the answer is not the good/best one.
In some cases the appropriate answer is right there (but just a cinderella), in some other cases it is not there at all.
On the other hand it is hard to give a perfect suitable answer for the asker, when you do not have the context. It is usually so few context for a question.
This is a hard problem I have noticed: the askers usually don't give enough context, either the term is only in a very short piece of text, or the asker does not know what conetxt to give.
Context does not only mean a quote of the text, but also some explanations about the whole document: purpose, field, aso.
Coming back to the original question, one can only give ideas on KudoZ. I consider KudoZ like a brainstorming .
Now my answer to the point:
1. If you mean to say to an answer: it works for me (like someone suggested above), you can do it using the "neutral" option too. Neutral means: not perfect, but not wrong and also some neutral comments abiut the answer, including : it could work but I am not sure.
2. You can also give your idea of answer, which would "work for you".
What the asker choses, is another question, I am affraid.


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Cilian O'Tuama  Identity Verified
Local time: 15:00
German to English
+ ...
TOPIC STARTER
...but better than no comment at all Jan 23, 2007

Kirill Semenov wrote:

Cilian O'Tuama wrote:
I'm thinking of an extra option between "agree" and "neutral", something like "Sounds reasonable" or "I'd say so, but am not certain" (shorter, of course).


Sorry, Cilian, but if in doubt or uncertain, just pass it by. I call it "a responsible approach to peer's comments". And it's no less important, than a responsible approach to answers.


So you think a partial-agree would be no more help to an asker than no comment at all?

Responsible approach, agreeing only when you KNOW - fine in theory. But it is not working in practice!

C


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Kirill Semenov  Identity Verified
Ukraine
Local time: 16:00
Member (2004)
English to Russian
+ ...
Ask the Asker Jan 23, 2007

Cilian O'Tuama wrote:
Kirill Semenov wrote:
...if in doubt or uncertain, just pass it by. I call it "a responsible approach to peer's comments". And it's no less important, than a responsible approach to answers.

So you think a partial-agree would be no more help to an asker than no comment at all?


Of course, no. Whenever I'm uncertain I usually use "Ask the Asker" field to elaborate on my ideas, doubts and opinion.


Responsible approach, agreeing only when you KNOW - fine in theory. But it is not working in practice!


The only reason is that many peers are not responsible enough.


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Fan Gao
Australia
Local time: 23:00
Member (2006)
English to Chinese
+ ...
It's fine as it is Jan 23, 2007

Cilian O'Tuama wrote:
I very often refrain from agreeing because I don't want to misguide the asker into believing that an answer must be right if it gets so many "agrees".

This is precisely what the neutral option is for. You either agree or disagree and anywhere in the middle you select neutral, plain and simple.

Maybe people are just afraid of upsetting others by not whole-heartedly agreeing. If that's the case then they should just either stick to agreeing with answers they know for sure are correct or post their thoughts in the "ask the asker" box.


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