I was reading something (I don't remember what), where it was suggested that, on Quora, users who receive upvotes are temporarily more likely to give out upvotes. There's some period of time for which this "generosity" lasts, and then people return to their normal levels.

Are there statistics for this sort of thing on SE in general, and Math.SE in particular?

  • 4
    $\begingroup$ The data on who voted what and when exists but is not public. If the Data Explorer allows looking at temporal correlations between incoming and outgoing votes for any user, it could be useful (and the inquiry could be repeated for any site and maybe specific user groups). If not, I somehow doubt higher-ups are going to give us much data on this. $\endgroup$ Apr 3 '18 at 20:56
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    $\begingroup$ @Joonas: If my memory serves me right, all voting information on the DE which concerns time is zero'd out for the date. So all votes from the same day will publicly have been taken at exactly midnight. And of course, no user information can be extracted either. So this is really something that only the SE overlords can say. But it's an interesting question nonetheless. $\endgroup$
    – Asaf Karagila Mod
    Apr 3 '18 at 23:30
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    $\begingroup$ @AsafKaragila The accuracy of one day might tell something, but not much. And we'd have to account for the fact that people tend to give and get votes when they are on the site, creating a natural correlation unrelated to any encouragement. (I would actually like to know what percentage of all votes comes within 30 minutes of posting, but I assume it's substantial.) $\endgroup$ Apr 3 '18 at 23:50
  • $\begingroup$ Rep earned through upvotes doesn't necessarily correlate with reciprocation (passing it forward), save for mutual upvoting of asker/answerer of a given question. It's an interesting speculation, but not readily verified nor nullified. $\endgroup$
    – amWhy
    Apr 4 '18 at 22:13
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    $\begingroup$ Indeed, ironically, some of the highest rep users (having received a great deal of rep from upvotes) have some of the worst records on casting upvotes for others, when one considers upvotes \times 10 divided by rep earned. $\endgroup$
    – amWhy
    Apr 5 '18 at 23:47
  • $\begingroup$ In general I would guess this is true, but Math.SE is in some ways kind of abnormal. $\endgroup$ Apr 6 '18 at 17:45
  • $\begingroup$ Personally (on where I'm a regular of other SE sites), it doesn't affect me since I already have a principle to vote based on quality, but it might be true for new users, since reaching 15 rep allow them to upvote other (new users') posts (though unfortunately, usually based on their interest, regardless of the quality) $\endgroup$
    – Andrew T.
    Apr 8 '18 at 14:18

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