So, my understanding is that, unlike SO, the accepted answer is usually the one the user finds most useful, rather than correct (questions obviously being subjective).

Given this it seems odd that people accept answers so quickly - often within minutes of the first answer being posted.

Should there be some threshold which has to be passed before an answer can be accepted? After all, while the questioner's opinion of the right answer is important, accepting an answer discourages further answering and limits the sharing of experience on the subject.

Edit: In light of Jeff's response that there is already a 15 minute limit. Shouldn't the limit be slightly higher - a few hours, maybe a single day (to allow all timezones to comment?) - given the more subject / sharing nature of questions here?

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    Is it possible users just feel pressured to accept some random answer due to training from other stack exchange sites that's irrelevant here? E.G. make it worth their time, keep your acceptance rate high, generate some rep, it's rude not to accept an answer, etc. Dec 17, 2010 at 15:21
  • possible duplicate of How to encourage thoughtful answers to complex questions?
    – user8
    Dec 17, 2010 at 15:23
  • @Mark - There's an overlap but they're not the same (at least not in the way it's been answered there). My point is not about more thoughtful answers, it's about more answer of any sort. I'm not talking about days before acceptance, I'm talking about a few hours just to stop the first answer acceptance. Dec 17, 2010 at 15:31
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    I've noticed that this has been happening a bit more lately. And in some cases the "accepted" answer seems to be not as good (at least to me) as one that was posted later in the day.
    – Walter
    Dec 17, 2010 at 15:39
  • Maybe there could be a warning between 15min. and 1 hour that informs the user of the unique nature of Programmers, and suggests that they only accept the answer if it is really answered? Some questions (may be rare) can actually be answered completely in a short time period.
    – Nicole
    Jan 28, 2011 at 17:51

2 Answers 2


There is already such a limit, it is 15 minutes.

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    Ah, OK, shall edit to suggest a slightly higher limit... Dec 17, 2010 at 15:33

I think a good compromise should be a popcorn timer. As answers come in extend the cooldown so that there's enough time for the long-winded among us to give their answers.

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