I cannot help but feel as if every new question here is voted to be 'closed' for one reason or another. Given that CogSci.SE is still in beta and really does benefit from the traction that answered questions bring, I am thinking that this can do more harm than good to the community. I feel as if close votes are discouraging to the new members who are unfamiliar with the 'rules' of this website. I myself have been here for a few months now, and I still find it difficult to ask an 'acceptable' question.
Here are the types of questions that are often closed prematurely, in my opinion:
Self help questions. While it is clearly not in our best interest to provide medical or personal advice to other users on the forum, I do think that we are far too quick to close questions like this. For example, this user asked for the meaning of a memory test that they took, and thus the question was immediately rendered unanswerable. Though it was phrased as a self-help question from the get-go, I see questions like this that often begin from a personal experience and end on a very interesting question that could be answered in a very generalized way, thus benefitting future users, as well. Looking at the most popular tags on this website, we have 'cognitive psychology', 'social psychology', 'perception', 'emotion'...all very personal subjects. It makes sense to me that a large portion of psychology-related questions would come from a personal experience or a personally-relevant curiosity, and I fear that we are too quick to close questions like these. The idea is that we do not want to offer personalized advice, but in the instance of the question I mentioned earlier (and even in questions like this one), wouldn't it be just as easy to provide the answer instead of a 'self-help' answer? And furthermore, could we not simply edit the question to make it less personalized and more broad? As far as I know, this is the only SE forum that is so vehemently against personal posts. And yet, the subject matter we deal with is highly personal in nature, so I fear that this is the wrong approach.
Questions that are too vague and/or broad. I think that we should exercise our abilities to compensate for the lack of experience of others regarding terminologies and overall field etiquette. I think that with a lot of questions in fields as broad as psychology and neuroscience, we have a lot of perceptions that we 'pick up on', yet don't know how to formulate in words that are rigorously scientific. Sometimes, we use metaphors to explain what we mean, which sometimes can seemingly slip back into self-help territory. It can be discouraging to receive a close vote despite an honest attempt to explain the question. Instead of voting to close these questions, why don't we ask for clarification beforehand, and then edit the questions ourselves? Or, better yet, we could ask the original poster to edit the question to be a bit more specific? I don't see this as a forum of academics asking other academics, per se; I moreso see it as a forum for the inexperienced to ask the marginally more experienced.
Questions that are similar to other questions. This is a given, but at the same time, I think that the best approach would be to first consider what kind of answer you would have given to the current question. Unless you would respond short of copying and pasting an answer from another question, I think it would be better to answer every new question afresh. After all, we are still in beta and its not like we have a wealth of similar questions on the forum already. I also (more often than not) see some sort of follow-up response following a 'my question is different because XYZ...' format when a duplicate question is suggested. Another thing to consider is the fact that we have a new batch of members coming in and out all the time, and so the answers that one similar question from December '12 received might be different (and perhaps less insightful) than the answers that question might receive today. There is also newer and more relevant information that is constantly being released in the fields that pertain to cognitive sciences.
These are just a few examples I can think of on the top of my head. What do you all think?