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Reasoning behind the discouragement of qualitative polls?


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I posted about this somewhere else but I thought I'd expand upon it here and, as the title suggests, I'd prefer some good reasoning as to why these types of polls are not really allowed on SFO. To be honest, it's been a little annoying seeing perfectly good topics get intervened in because of this.

As you've already guessed, I disagree with the locking of many of the polls that are qualitative, yes it might not be ideal in some scenarios (like a poll with over 9000 options), but locking the topic or removing the poll in most instances just seems....wrong.  Polls are one thing that makes forums interesting and appealing and for them to be removed based on the whim of the admins because they're a pet peeve or whatever to me seems like flawed bias reasoning. 

If I post a poll, and I give 5 answers (out of a possible infinite number) and I ask the members to vote for the one they would be most likely to do or vote for why honestly should the poll in this be removed if the members are only allowed to vote for one of the five?  It makes no sense to me and I've never seen any other forum ban or strongly discourage qualitative polls.

Don't get me wrong, I think there should be rules about how many options should be allowed in a poll and stuff like that, but the status quo right now really isn't making a whole lot of sense to me.  :?

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Honestly don't know myself. I do seem to remember it's mainly been DZComposer who's been closing polls for this reason, and I'm sure he will give us a satisfying reason for why he believe it's necesary.

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Qualitive is hard to answer in poll form, because the poll-maker would have to anticipate an improbably amount of solutions. In some cases (like my Corpse of a Robot poll), the vague answer is what you want, but that's a minority of polls. Sure, you can always put an "Other Please Specify", but if people consistantly have to use it then whats the point of even having the poll?

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Qualitive is hard to answer in poll form, because the poll-maker would have to anticipate an improbably amount of solutions. In some cases (like my Corpse of a Robot poll), the vague answer is what you want, but that's a minority of polls. Sure, you can always put an "Other Please Specify", but if people consistantly have to use it then whats the point of even having the poll?

That reasoning is valid at times but still it's no excuse to ban ALL qualitative polls.  What you suggested could be circumnavigated by adding additional poll instructions such as "Pick the option that most likely resembles what you would actually do" to questions with only a finite number of definite, or in some cases realistic answers.

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Because qualitative questions have more answers than can possibly fit into a poll.

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That reasoning is valid at times but still it's no excuse to ban ALL qualitative polls.  What you suggested could be circumnavigated by adding additional poll instructions such as "Pick the option that most likely resembles what you would actually do" to questions with only a finite number of definite, or in some cases realistic answers.

Well, my Robot poll wasn't banned, for that very reason. In this sense, not ALL qualitive polls are banned, they are mostly discouraged. In some situations the vagueness of qualitive polls is wanted, but for the most part it might as well be a discussion.

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Because qualitative questions have more answers than can possibly fit into a poll.

Yes, I already know your personal take on the whole status quo and that's why I attempted to address possible improvements.  Could you give me a more detailed breakdown touching on the points that I brought up and why you think the community would see these as either a good or not so good idea?

Well, my Robot poll wasn't banned, for that very reason. In this sense, not ALL qualitive polls are banned, they are mostly discouraged. In some situations the vagueness of qualitive polls is wanted, but for the most part it might as well be a discussion.

Well, maybe I mentioned "banned" in the sense that it happens more than it actually does.  I agree with your point, but I just want to find some middle ground on the whole ordeal here. 

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I usually don't lock the threads over a qualitative question, I just remove the poll because the poll is pointless. A question like "Why do you like Star Fox" is best answered in a regular post, not by picking from a list of canned answers that people would repeat in a post and expand on anyway, making the poll moot.

If you have a real reason to collect quantitative data on a qualitative question, at least communicate it. It isn't pointless if you have a reason to do it other than just posting it as a poll for the sake of posting it as a poll.

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I usually don't lock the threads over a qualitative question, I just remove the poll because the poll is pointless. A question like "Why do you like Star Fox" is best answered in a regular post, not by picking from a list of canned answers that people would repeat in a post and expand on anyway, making the poll moot.

If you have a real reason to collect quantitative data on a qualitative question, at least communicate it. It isn't pointless if you have a reason to do it other than just posting it as a poll for the sake of posting it as a poll.

This makes more sense.  Thank you :)

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