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I have some concerns about the current wording of our "self-help" close reason.

The current wording is thus:

Questions about the behavior of an individual person are off-topic. If you are concerned about a potential medical issue, please seek the advice of a medical professional. For more information, see Why was my self-help question closed as off-topic?.

Looking at some of the questions closed as "self-help", there seems to be a bit of confusion among users about what this means (here, for a recent example). Authors of questions that are clearly about the behavior of an individual object because their question is not "self-help" or about the "behavior of an individual", even though it is clearly about an isolated case (in the example, about an isolated case of verbiage).

Are there thoughts on how we can clarify this message more for users? I'm specifically thinking of two issues:

  1. This close reason is used pretty often for non-medical questions (though it is also used for questions regarding diagnosis as well). Is there any way we can add or clarify text so that the reason clearly applies to both cases?
  2. Users seem confused when their question is closed on "the behavior of an individual" when they are describing their own thoughts of multiple people. Is there any clever and concise way we can speak to this in the message? Perhaps something like "... of an individual person (including the author) are off-topic"?
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    I should add that, with the new close reason, it may be the case that this question no longer matters (that behavior of an individual in such a way may be primarily closed as not enough context, instead of "self-help"). Still interested in other's thoughts, though – mfloren Aug 1 '17 at 19:10
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    I was about to add a similar comment @mfloren. The 'self-help' question was often misused (in its literal sense) to close questions which can now more appropriately be closed using the new close reason. Moving forward, I suggest to only use 'self-help' for obvious cases where the OP is seeking medical advice. – Steven Jeuris Aug 2 '17 at 8:31
  • @StevenJeuris Awesome, makes sense to me. Thank you! – mfloren Aug 2 '17 at 14:12
  • That said, perhaps the starting sentence "Questions about the behavior of an individual person are off-topic." could now potentially be dropped/rephrased. – Steven Jeuris Aug 2 '17 at 14:37
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    @StevenJeuris Sure: I'll write this direction as an answer with some possible wording... – mfloren Aug 2 '17 at 16:41
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As shown in the comments, one option would be to focus this close reason on medical advice, specifically. In this case, perhaps the following would be more appropriate (italics show the changed sentence):

Medical questions about an individual person are off-topic. If you are concerned about a potential medical issue, please seek the advice of a medical professional. For more information, see Why was my self-help question closed as off-topic?.

  • I am not too fond on this one. I would rather like to move in the opposite direction: focussing more on the individual behavior than on the medical stuff. Often a question is based on individual experiences but is in no-way self-help. Regardless, the self-help stamp is pressed on such a question, and the OP may not understand or agree with the feedback provided (as you already indicated). Moving towards medical, leaves a void for "individual behavior" question – Robin Kramer Aug 3 '17 at 12:03
  • Fair enough: I'll see if I can add another phrasing! – mfloren Aug 3 '17 at 15:00
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    I retract my previous opinion, with respect to the following discussion :, cogsci.meta.stackexchange.com/q/2288/11318 – Robin Kramer Aug 15 '17 at 5:57
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Another option would be to treat "medical advice" as a subset of "behavior of an individual". A potential phrasing would be:

Questions about the behavior or views of an individual person are off-topic. For more information, see Why was my self-help question closed as off-topic?. Please note that "self-help" is a generic term referring to questions that are applicable only to the asker or a very limited population and is not solely limited to self-improvement or medical questions.

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