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3:13 AM
i'm a bit confused about this closing: cogsci.stackexchange.com/questions/770/…
to me, the question seemed very well formed-- the problem was defined very clearly
i think the answer might be of general interest to the cogsci community
and i kind of doubt this is actually a "self" help question (is he really in the world finals programming competition?)
i upvoted it
this one is clearly self help @ cogsci.stackexchange.com/questions/763/…
but is voted +4
can't we be a little lenient on the "self-help" questions if the answers may have practical value?
i'm all for closing vague self-help questions like "how do i increase my happiness?" or "how do i convince chicks to date me?"
but if they're clearly defined problems involving constructs commonly used in cogsci, i dont see the need to close
 
 
1 hour later…
4:22 AM
@Jeff except that question did not show any initial research in terms of how cogsci might actually address the question. The subvocalization question (which I did not upvote because it is too self-help for me; but did not downvote since it is clearly stated and explained) at least tries to use cognitive science terminology and describe some cognition going on
@Jeff I would be fine with voting to close the subvocalization question if we had a more clear self-help question policy.
 
4:51 AM
@Jeff I raised this issue on meta
 
5:18 AM
1
Q: Do we need a self-help question policy?

Artem KaznatcheevI remember this being discussed before, but cannot remember where to find a specific policy if we have one. Do we want some sort of formal stance on self-help questions? It seems that we are currently dealing with self-help type questions in an inconsistent matter as raised in this chat discuss...

 
 
7 hours later…
12:25 PM
I think the point raised in this meta answer is very good. This would fall in line with my concern over "I read one popular article"-type questions that I raised before in chat.
 
1:15 PM
@ArtemKaznatcheev I stand by the reasoning that this site isn't helpful for ANYONE when it has very low content and turns off the majority of people that look at it
Experts read popular articles too and many enjoy tearing into the ridiculous claims they make
 
1:27 PM
@Artem that meta answer seems more to me about what's appropriate for here vs skeptics-- the programming competition Q would not be appropriate on skeptics
clearly about a popsci article, no research
voted +3
if the programming Q was closed for lack of research, that should be clear in the comments so that the OP knows
but it seems to be have been closed based on being "self-help", and for that, i disagree
 
@Jeff I upvoted Ben's comment not because the 'self help' reference but the part that says: " If you're aware of specific techniques they use and you want to know their effectiveness/if they're supported by data that would be a good question for here though."
It's a bit of a broad question isn't it?
I don't think we even have to start discussing whether it's self help or not.
 
@BenBrocka at this point, first-time visitors are going to be greeted on our site with a page full of Qs. they might not even know it's low volume. i'd be more concerned about quality, which might turn me off
@Steven I don't think it's very broad at all. he's asking what factors mitigate stress/pressure when solving algorithmic questions
by this site's standards, i think that's pretty well defined
 
"At World Finals teams are more likely to have small errors in the programs and they have a harder time finding their errors.", "Teams going into the contest are told that they are going to make more errors and that they should slow down, but they still go on to make the same number of mistakes.", "So how do you deal with pressure in these kind of situations?"
That's his question right?
 
@Jeff they can also see that most of the latest activity was 12 hours ago or later if they start to look around...
 
Phrasing it in a more general way: How do you deal with high stress situations?
 
1:33 PM
@Ben
@Ben if you're a first time SE user, you might not notice and probably won't care about the dates
 
@Jeff yet it's got an excellent cog sci rooted answer
 
"what factors mitigate stress/pressure when solving algorithmic questions" ... Well phrasing it like that does make it sound better. But ... let me find a reference here. :)
 
As long as the answers are interesting, high quality and scientifically based this doesn't seem like a good "problem" to be "solving"
We don't need less answerable content
 
@Steven yes i think it could be phrased better, but isnt this the discussion we had a few weeks ago about turning people off? i think we need to stop giving comments and closing questions unless there's a really good reason... and i find it hard to make the distinction between this question and several others that were upvoted
 
If these "pop sci" questions all get answers like this I'm more than happy to entertain them:
5
A: Does "The Brain Machine" work?

H.MusterYou have to break down the question in two parts. (1) Is it possible to entrain brain oscillations by presenting oscillating lights or tones? Yes, it is possible to evoke "response phenomena" in the brain by presenting participants with oscillatory stimuli. The technical term for this phenomen...

The answer can be more interesting than the question
 
1:36 PM
My problem with that particular rephrasing of the question is, in which way is it grounded in his question that solving algorithmic problems might have a particular different effect under stress than any other activity under stress?
 
In fact it very often is in the cognitive sciences
 
@Ben that's exactly my point, i think someone (besides me) could provide a great answer to the programming Q
 
"we are being asked an open-ended, hypothetical question: “What if __ happened?”"
2
A: What level of initial research is expected on questions?

Steven JeurisWe somewhat established non-experts are welcomed here. Of course there is a good chance that 'consensus' mainly originated from this site having more non-experts than experts. Is this a problem? This is really difficult to analyze. In its current form this site is trying to be open to experts a...

 
@Jeff my comment about that skeptics meta question was unrelated to the program-contest question. It was just a general draw-attention-to comment I left when nobody was in chat
 
oh
 
1:37 PM
That programming question is terrible from a Q&A perspective
There's no specific focus, it's not calling for any sort of useful research, it's awkwardly localized
 
@Jeff I don't like this question, especially its original form
 
@StevenJeuris why wouldn't it? some people have trouble writing when they're stressed, but they don't have trouble riding a bike. different tasks are differentially affected by stress.
 
@Jeff I'm amazed Josh didn't leave behind a comment. :O That would have been preferable, he usually does.
He's quite busy lately, (as am I).
 
It was an off topic rambling question with two upvoted comments that elaborated on why it's not on topic
What more do you want? Even more comments saying the same thing?
 
I will read this chat more later... I am experimenting with my sleeping patterns right now so have to go run and take a nap
 
1:41 PM
@Jeff Just stating that your interpretation of the question doesn't seem to be reflected in that question (at least not as I read it).
I read it as "How to handle stress".
 
@Jeff Riding a bike is procedural memory, it's totally different from a creative effort
 
@Ben yes, thanks for making my point
 
If the question actually was about "why does stress not impact procedural tasks" that would be a sweet question
...the actual question posed was not
 
@BenBrocka Being more welcoming to new users. Those comments work fine for people that know SE, but I'm quite certain they scare off new usres.
Not saying we should reopen the question, just that it could have been handled more politely.
Well, no actually it's quite polite sorry. :)
 
What's not friendly about it? We explained what's off topic about it and I explicitly told them how to ask a not-closable question
 
1:44 PM
I just prefer to explain newcomers why a question got closed, and at least leave behind one positive argument.
Always start out positive you know? :) I'm certain I read that somewhere.
 
i don't think the programming Q is particularly good, i just think the closing is too subjective
the brain machine question is much worse
 
@Jeff Which part of the FAQ does the brain machine question violate?
 
no research at all, belongs on skeptics
i mean, the article itself has several citations
did he try reading them?
 
That's when you don't up vote, but you don't close.
Or even down vote.
 
well, im trying to set my bar according to community norms
 
1:47 PM
@Jeff Well, closing as off-topic I don't agree with entirely either, I would have used NARQ.
 
i dont like the Q, but if others do, then fine
 
@Jeff Those should be left behind as comments, along with a down vote. :)
 
@StevenJeuris too many problems to pick one close reason :P
 
@StevenJeuris you're missing my point. i can't reply to my own comment, but look above. i was just complaining about too many comments and closings. leaving a downvote and comment doesnt help things
maybe ive changed my views on this over the past few weeks, seeing as how raising the quality of questions seems to be an impossible task
 
@Jeff That's just how SE works I'm afraid. :/
 
1:52 PM
so now im thinking that any question that could have a great answer should probably stay
 
If anything, we have to uphold the original FAQ (not even starting to consider any additions relevant for CogSci).
 
what part of the FAQ did the closed question violate?
 
@Jeff That's not what the FAQ says. "What's the hottest research in CogSci at the moment?" ... can have a great answer, but it's a terrible question.
 
@StevenJeuris it can't have a great answer by SE standards. too subjective.
 
@Jeff For starters, it sounds too localized. The entire 'story' he tells, in what way is it really important for the question he is trying to ask?
What is the real question he is trying to ask? As I said before, I interpret it as "How to deal with stress?" ... which is too broad and NARQ.
 
1:55 PM
i dont see 'too localized' in the FAQ?
 
But just the fact that the question isn't clear, (you seem to interpret it differently), also makes it NARQ.
 
@StevenJeuris the answer still has to solve a problem
 
@Jeff I hate the new FAQ layout: cogsci.stackexchange.com/faq#close
It got closed because it sounds as self help .. which on Meta has been discussed for this site specifically it could be off-topic.
 
@StevenJeuris i have the exact opposite problem. i hate when people post short questions without any details. too many interpretations. more details the better. it's a good way of pre-empting a long comment thread about being vague
 
But it's only a part really of why it got closed.
@Jeff True, but then we get into the 'hypothetical' aspect again.
What reason is there to believe that this particular problem statement is any different than another?
... than another 'stress' situation.
He doesn't say anywhere something along the likes of, ... while when doing exams, there is no problem for those same people.
 
1:59 PM
@StevenJeuris what about it?
 
@BenBrocka The way it hides information by default, and you have to click to see more.
 
anyway, gotta go
thanks for listening! he
 
@Jeff Thanks for the input! :)
I'll post a new question, "How to deal with pressure in a chat room?"
;p
"How to deal with pressure in sport finals?"
"How to deal with pressure in chess contests?"
"How to deal with pressure on a friday afternoon, the day after having arrived in London, trying to get some actual work done?"
.... just saying. ;p
 
@StevenJeuris it's set up for scannability. It's way too long to expect people to read top to bottom
 
@BenBrocka Well, it might be personal, because I still expect to see that bullet list of close reasons there but it isn't anymore. :)
Either way .... work! :)
 
2:09 PM
@StevenJeuris there is, it's just hidden under the much more important text that explains that not good fits for this site are closed
 
And the far more important "Why does this site look so neutral?"
:)
I would bump up the clsoe reasons a lot more
But their reasoning must be, they'll notice when their question does get closed.
 
@StevenJeuris exactly. And I'd rather not start people off with the immediate fear "is this too localized?!"
Just focus on expressing the scope properly and emphasize that these are questions, not polls, not "plz help me", not forum threads
 
True, but that's why I dislike it. :) Those are exactly the parts that I never have to look up. ;p
 
Because you've already read it numerous times :P
 
How about answering terrible questions with at least remotely connected, but good answers and then edit the question until it fits the answer. :D
 
@HMuster Ideally you should edit the question to make it something good before answering :P
@StevenJeuris I could never get into ted. I just don't like absorbing info through video/audio
 
@BenBrocka You prefer absorbing it through papers? :O
 
Looking back, skimming, searching...none of it works in video
 
Video/audio does limit you to the speed of the speaker though, that's true. But I usually watch/listen to stuff like that as a form of entertainment. ;p
Not education.
 
2:40 PM
Can't listen casually either, you have to sit and listen to the whole thing
 
Although often it can be educational.
 
I don't watch stuff for entertainment often either :P
 
A collegue of mine downloads these talks, and plays time at a rate 2x
:) It's amazing apparently how well your brain can cope with that. :)
 
@BenBrocka Edit the answer before answering? ;)
 
@HMuster technically that too (copyediting!) but I meant make the question not suck...regardless of whether you're going to answer it
 
2:42 PM
@BenBrocka Yes, I knew. Was only kidding...
 
More then not, the question is what attracts the google hits.
And see, CogSci is growing. We have one awesome new all round user (main/meta and even chat!) :)
 
@StevenJeuris exactly why popular stuff is a great way to get eyeballs, and hopefully some experts (experts google the popular stories too....often to make fun of them :) )
 
I'll gladly post lame questions, just to be made fun off, so we can get more experts. :)
If only that would work instantly. :)
 
Asking google friendly questions makes this much of a difference:
(the 22 views one was actually asked earlier)
 
Speaking of which .. my 'does your brain flip the image perceived by your eyes' question got a lot of google hits. :)
Not 55k though. :/
 
2:46 PM
@StevenJeuris exactly. And I didn't know the answer to that one, "popular science" aside
 
Way too little skeptical people in the world.
 
Just because something's popular doesn't mean every single person in the field already knows the answer
@StevenJeuris few
 
Way too few?
Oh haha ... I believe I made the very same mistake previously in this chat room. :)
Thanks for correcting me.
 
Well, unless you're complaining that skeptical people tend to be short
 
@BenBrocka Then it would still be incorrect grammatically. :)
 
 
5 hours later…
8:01 PM
Some have said this is more on topic for Cog Sci than UX, I don't particularly agree. Thoughts?
2
Q: Why are modern ads so fast-paced and flashy compared to older ones?

Matt ChanI once took a class in television production at my local cable studio, and one of our assignments was to go and watch TV with the sound off and pay attention to the ads. The lesson was to look at how fast-paced ads were compared to those from an earlier time period (such as 20 years ago). I have...

(Plus, frankly, I'm tired of migrating questions here which then don't get answers...)
 

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