After visiting Math.SE for a few months, I have noticed that people answer simple questions very quickly; you see some times up to ten answers for a basic question. But, few members even touch harder problems, and mostly ignore the questions that need some sort of thinking.

It is understandable that everyone tries to answer questions that are somehow related to his/her field, it is too annoying to see many answers for a simple limit problem for example, while many other questions are ignored!

I believe that, this will decrease the reliability of Math.SE as a source of highlevel information.

My interpretation is that the reason of this phenomenon is the fact that you can increase your reputation by answer simple questions much faster than thinking and answering harder questions.

I understand that there are some efforts in order to remove or discourage simple/trivial/or duplicate questions, but my question is: how can we encourage people to answer harder questions as well?

I'm sorry if this question is duplicate itself; please let me know to remove it, although I didn't find a similar one by searching the archive.


I think it is appropriate to add a feature that encourages answering of harder problems, or discourages answering the questions that already have many answers.

  • $\begingroup$ I don't see any concrete (feature-request) here — so I'm removing the corresponding tag. $\endgroup$
    – Grigory M
    May 22 '14 at 18:38
  • $\begingroup$ I am sure this is a duplicate, but I am not certain that is the question it is a duplicate of. $\endgroup$
    – Alexander Gruber Mod
    May 22 '14 at 19:15
  • 1
    $\begingroup$ @AlexanderGruber Well, there is, say, Concern about lesser attention towards relatively advanced questions and many, many others. 'Proposal...' is less of a literal duplicate — but it has, IMHO, advantage of being more constructive... $\endgroup$
    – Grigory M
    May 22 '14 at 19:19
  • $\begingroup$ @Grigory That's a good point. $\endgroup$
    – Alexander Gruber Mod
    May 22 '14 at 19:29
  • 4
    $\begingroup$ @GrigoryM: The feature requested is to add some sort of encouraging incentive for answering harder problems, or discouraging answering of the questions that already have many answers. $\endgroup$
    – Alt
    May 22 '14 at 20:48
  • $\begingroup$ How does one decide which problem is hard and which one's easy? $\endgroup$
    – Shubham
    May 24 '14 at 10:23
  • 1
    $\begingroup$ @Shubham, That's a very good point, and I personally don't know "how"; but one solution could be voting for hardness of a problem, or redundancy of an answer, etc etc. $\endgroup$
    – Alt
    May 24 '14 at 19:25

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