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So far, I've asked three questions on CogSci:

Of them, they all have more than 20 views and a couple of up votes each, but only one has an answer. Although that answer gave me some more information to go off of (which was helpful), I wouldn't consider it a very helpful answer and would like more answers that address the question.

Looking at the statistics, 83% of questions have an answer. I believe that is defined as 83% of questions having at least one answer with at least one up vote. However, that also means that 17% don't have answers.

So, my questions:

  1. What can I do to get better answers to my questions? I don't have any comments guiding me to elaborate or provide more information that can help people provide high quality answers. Sharing them on my Google+, Twitter, or Facebook profiles won't necessarily help me since most of the people I'm connected to are in the field of software development. Without feedback, I can't improve my questions, so I'm just waiting around.
  2. Are we missing a key segment of a potential audience? 17% of the questions don't have answers. Is there a common thread across those 17% of questions in terms of subject matter that might indicate professionals in a certain area are missing? I haven't analyzed yet, but perhaps someone has and can shed some light on this.
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    Thanks for starting this discussion Thomas! I think we all agree that we need a larger critical mass of users to get better answers... but that's not enough of an answer to your question. Let's see what our community has to say about your specific points! – Josh Apr 23 '12 at 13:52
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    Due to the nature of the field there are some questions, especially "big" questions which may not have answers, so I'm not overly concerned about a 20% unanswered rate yet. However I have noticed we're lacking in the more social-psych fields, and we * definitely* need more users. As for your specific questions, I don't note anything actually wrong with them...I just don't know the answers myself. – Ben Brocka Apr 24 '12 at 1:59
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I think that a large portion of current (April 2012) users of the site have a more computational/cognitive orientation rather than a social/organisational psychology orientation. I'd guess this is related to the cross-over interests of the existing stack exchange community. As a consequence, I think some of the more technical questions related to social/organisational psychology are often not getting the attention they deserve.

That said, it's great to see your questions on the site as I really hope the site in due course can achieve a good balance of coverage across the full range of topics in cognitive science and psychology.

  • Perhaps if some of the other sites, like The Workplace and Project Management take off, that will attract a different crowd with more of an I/O background. – Thomas Owens Apr 24 '12 at 1:13
  • The Workplace looks promising. At present it seems more tolerant of anecdotal and opinion answers than cogsci.se, although I'm sure users of the site would appreciate answers grounded in science. – Jeromy Anglim Apr 24 '12 at 1:37
  • I haven't seen too much psychology based stuff at all on Workplace yet I'm afraid. I'm not sure there are any other SE sites with applicable crossover other than (sort of) UX, which hasn't been a big source for users either honestly. Ideally we need people from outside the SE community that are in fact experts – Ben Brocka Apr 24 '12 at 1:56
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Jeromy has touched on the problem with having a dearth of experts in a wide range of subfields. I agree with this notion, and I am not sure what to do about it either.

I think your questions themselves are top notch. If there's anything they are missing, it is a direct citation of your initial research. It helps to do so, not so much to "prove" that you've done your homework, but so that others can (potentially) pull the papers and follow what you know so far. As not everyone is connected into an college library, even abstracts would give us something to go on (http://psycnet.apa.org seems to be free, but PsychInfo is behind a paywall).

All of us have at least a couple of questions that are waiting around, so you're not alone by any means. If you decide you don't want to wait, and answer your own questions, I'm sure you'd have an eye or two to critique the broad strokes of the answer.

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