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fremen_warrior's avatar

Questioning answer clairvoyance anyone?

Asked by fremen_warrior (5471 points ) September 23rd, 2012

Jellies… do you ever ‘predict’ what kinds of answers a question you ask will get… and think to yourself: how do I restructure that question so that “so and so” won’t get posted (as in a very predictable/cliched/stereotypical/“mainstream” type of reply you just KNOW someone will HAVE to post)? Do you ever think about these things, and roll your eyes before it even happens, or is it just my (mostly dormant nowadays, but still occasionally making a play for my mind, guerilla-style) OCD flaring up?

Discuss. (no pressure, I welcome all kinds of replies :P)

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13 Answers

Hawaii_Jake's avatar

Some of my questions get typical responses, but others garner surprises. I relish those. I take careful consideration of my wording to winnow out the dross. I don’t begrudge the mainstream replies. They come regardless. I live for the gems, the fun ones, and the truly well-thought posts.

DWW25921's avatar

I knew you were going to ask that question… You probably knew someone was going to say that. I didn’t want to disappoint you. People are generally predictable in their own ways, to a point.

Shippy's avatar

I would say it is all in the question, but it is also all in the reader.

Jeruba's avatar

I wish I could. I would estimate that more than half of the questions I write draw responses that reflect a misunderstanding or misconstruing of the question. I wish I knew how to anticipate that and write them so it doesn’t happen. I try, but if I use the details section to clarify or elaborate and people don’t read the details, I don’t know what else to do.

For instance, I recently asked a question in which I explicitly said this isn’t about the validity of the premise. I’m just interested in examples of this phenomenon, however you name it. And sure enough, someone wanted to argue the validity of the premise.

It just makes me want to say “Bah!” and cancel the question.

filmfann's avatar

The Magic 8 Ball says: All signs point to yes!

thorninmud's avatar

The human brain is a finely-tuned social information processor. Put a person in an environment with several interacting players, and that person’s brain will set to work mapping the relationships between the players, learning how each responds in various circumstances, trying to understand the general dynamics of that group. This capacity is a huge factor in the evolutionary success of humans.

So throw a human into Fluther, and with time he’ll be able to predict the way individuals and the group as a whole will respond.

fremen_warrior's avatar

@thorninmud now that is an answer. Have not thought about it this way. Thanks for the new perspective

ucme's avatar

Some people are like a fucking stuck record, yes.

wundayatta's avatar

Sure I do. Earlier today, I was going to add something to my details, but I realized that would allow people to avoid the real question and just provide a summary answer. I didn’t want summaries. I wanted stories. So I left off that detail, and so far, I have been rewarded with stories, not summaries.

CWOTUS's avatar

I knew @thorninmud was going to say that.

zensky's avatar

I always know what a certain jelly whose name rhymes with See groan is going to say.

WillWorkForChocolate's avatar

Sometimes I can predict some of the answers I’ll get, and sometimes every single answer catches me off guard. It’s rare when that happens, but very interesting! I don’t know that I would change my “asking methods” to avoid it, though.

wundayatta's avatar

@WillWorkForChocolate Just as an observation—you often ask leading questions. I’m not saying you shouldn’t, but I’ll bet there’s a difference in the kind of answers you get when you ask leading questions compared to the ones that aren’t leading questions.

Leading questions tend to be polarizing. People often get annoyed with the question itself and challenge it. I don’t know whether you do it on purpose, or not, but if not, you could play around with the way you formulate your questions if you want to try to get a different kind of discussion on them. If you are doing it on purpose, then the more power to you.

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