Anonymous asked in Yahoo ProductsYahoo Answers · 1 decade ago

Reliability of answers?

First off i think Yahoo Answers is great .

However, how do YOU judge the reliability of the answers you get?

With the right verbage and presentation anyone can pose as a professional (legal, medical etc) and throw out some really bad advice.

Do you take the answers with a grain of salt?

I'm curious as to what people think about this.

11 Answers

  • 1 decade ago
    Favorite Answer

    I think I'm able to differentiate b/w the answers where the person doesn't really seem to know anything about what they're advising me on, and yet they sound so confident about the advice they give, as opposed to the ones that are giving me insightful, un-biased and useful information that seems very well thought out and educated. but I won't take their word for granted-ultimately I'll make my own decision.

    Then there are the ones that are opposing whatever I'm inquiring about, and rather than offering useful advice/info, they choose to condemn my question. Those folks tend to irritate me.

    I also will not automatically trust advice if it's coming from a lender for example, since they tend to talk you into doing something regarding your finances that isn't necessarily in your best interest, since the lender gets bigger commissions with some transactions.

    Nor will I trust people who are PRO prescription medicine and knows nothing about alternative medicine yet they feel they can advise me that natural is bad or just as bad as prescription medicine. They do not know who they are giving this advice to! I grew up on and continue to use natural medicine so I am well educated on the topic. Or those advising against home births, etc.

    I do not attempt to supply advice on topics I know nothing about, and it would be nice if others would do the same.

    If you're uneducated on a topic, and know nothing about it, how is it that you feel you are educated enough about it to advise others?

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  • 1 decade ago

    I'm much more an answerer than an asker.

    It's interesting to see how many people research the answers; why not just do that from the start? (I suspect you've got a very unrepresentative sample of participants here.)

    I am alarmed, however, to see how many people use Best Answers previously given as a criterion. From my experience here, "Best" is a misnomer much of the time, and a lot of people cheat. And a lot of people get high percents in some of the lamer categories.

    Most of the time I answer, I read the whole question to make sure I'm answering what they want to know.

    I try to be complete in my answers, and usually explain WHY I say what I say.

    There are a lot of different kinds of questions here: facty ones, advicey ones, "make this intelligible to me" ones, and all kinds of non-questions as well.

    The kinds of answers, and criteria for judging, then, are also varied.

    I would think that if you're judging reliability, you're looking for things that make sense, given what you already know or think.

    Sometimes you can tell when people know what they're talking about, as their answer makes sense, hangs together well, uses reasonable and moderated language.

    Answers that respect the complexity of things seem better to me, than the absolutist stuff (usually).

    I've seen questions here disputing the very notion of this site: If you don't know, it's impossible to know which is correct; if you're asking for opinion, you just want someone to agree with you.

    These are both wrong, as often you CAN tell which answers are most plausible.

    Also, I often disagree yet get picked Best because I explained my answer, and showed I understood the asker's perspective.

    Giving balanced answers helps here, for some askers.

    I've had quite of few people comment when choosing me "never thought of that."

    Though sometimes people pick a Best because they disagree and want to leave nasty comments. This cracks me up, as people coming upon the question later, through searching or browsing, then see this opposing view on top, label led Best.

    But it's like any other reading. Sometimes the sanity of the person is just apparent in what they say and how they say it.

    There are a lot of people who post completely false "facts" though.

    It's all very tricky; but very interesting, no?

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  • 1 decade ago

    You have to research the answers anyway. They might give you a lead, point you in the right direction. Medical questions answered by anyone in a forum, community etc. are\is not the right place to stop looking because the answer sounds decent. Experts can be found, but where...may be difficult. Mayo Clinic, WebMD & legit sites may also have varying ideas. Taking answers with a grain of salt...yeah if they don't check out. You can get 20 different answers for the same question sometimes.

    Source(s): Me.
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  • I would look at whether the answer seems to be well written first as a sign of someone who put some time into it, and then do a little research to follow up on what the answer was. I would also feel more secure if there were multiple people with similar answers.

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  • Anonymous
    1 decade ago

    Yo Darlin',

    Thing is -- you have to use a touch of "common sense" in making determinations about such things in this forum !!

    You definately don't want to be taking advice from people that you don't know OR have any way of knowing where they are "coming from" or the experience that they may or may not have on ANY subject that is critically balanced on matters of extreme importance !!

    And, as with most things found in open forum within the internet -- one HAS to take most all of it --- with the "grain of salt" !!

    Y-A, if anything for sure, is mostly an entertainment forum for folks and meant for the exchange of ideas --- and, with that in mind -- and, the knowledge that with the world that we live in -- there are definately some WHACK ideas ---- you simply have to read what is posted--- think about it sensibly -- and follow your "gut instinct" about what you're finding here !!!

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  • I've seen some good and bad advice for answers. I guess I read it, think if it sounds like good advice and try to check other sources. Some answers are simple enough to just check on internet or not worthy of bothering with. I guess it starts with good sense on picking the good from the bad and doing whatever checking you can on your own. I rarely would take one persons advice unless I already had some idea the person was on the right track.

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  • 1 decade ago

    I look to see if they looked at all of the details I posted and if they even answered my question. Then I research their answer a little.

    Also it depends on what you asked. because if you are trying to fix something like a game or whatever, you can try it out and see if it works or not.

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  • ronnny
    Lv 7
    1 decade ago

    Have to judge for yourself. Sometimes good and other not. A lot of the time not quite answering your question.

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  • 1 decade ago

    Well, first do they sound liek the know what they are talking about.

    secondly, best answer rating

    lastly i look if they have answered a lot of questions on these subjects, etc.....

    I love this forum, it is addicting

    Source(s): ~R
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  • Anonymous
    1 decade ago

    i judge how many times they have been choosen for the right answer and then i will do a little reaserch on the answer they choose to see if it it right

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