What do you feel is the true purpose behind upvoting/downvoting answers or anything else on websites?

Why do we feel the need to upvote or downvote someone?

I know its just to say 'you agree or disagree' but why the need to let them know that?

I know we've all done it myself included... but maybe im more looking for the psychology behind why we feel the need to do it?

What do you think?


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Most Helpful Guy

  • If someone gives a good opinion, you give them an up vote to encourage them to keep on thinking that way.

    On the other end of things. Maybe somebody has a shitty opinion on things, but they just don't realize it. They may look at their opinion and its numerous down votes and be all like, "Hmm, a lot of people really hate what I said. Maybe I'm looking at this wrong? Maybe I'm just an asshole?"

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    • ""Hmm, a lot of people really hate what I said. Maybe I'm looking at this wrong? Maybe I'm just an asshole?"

      and of course i hardly see this happen. people are too stubborn.. or just don't care lol

    • Thanks for MH!

What Girls Said 7

  • I'm not sure if people do it to let the person know they disagree.. do you always check all your comments after days to see how many up or downvotes you got?

    I mostly upvote when the comment made me smile/laugh or when the asker has a serious problem and the advice is really sound and they should listen to him/her. I mostly downvote if the advice is a horrible advice to let the asker know they should ignore it.

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  • So people know which answers others generally agree or disagree with.

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  • Popularity is one of the reasons

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  • It's so our self confidence can get fucked up. Haha.

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  • It's quicker & easier then commenting that you agree or disagree.
    Or it could be just to fuck with the commenter?

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  • We like to make the person who made a brilliant/funny comment feel good about themselves, relaying our positive reaction back to them. And the same but opposite goes for those who make idiotic/destructive comments where we feel we must let them know we do not approve and to let others scrolling down know in advance that they probably should avoid reading that comment altogether.

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  • I don't think anybody really feels a need, they just do it to agree or disagree, not like they feel they need to.

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    • But why do they want to?

    • When we talk to people in general, when they voice an opinion, we usually say that's true, or we say no and give a reason. It's just part of human convo or interaction. This site is mainly discussing things and giving opinions, so makes sense we'd do it more here, albeit not in words but in arrows lol.

What Guys Said 10

  • perhaps to show that people may and might not agree with you... sometimes numbers can affect someone's emotion... like if there are a lot of people who is disagreeing with you compare to the ones who's agreeing with you... that gives an impact... sometimes I'm in shock knowing that I'm not expecting to see people who are agreeing or disagreeing or just even thinking about taking their time to read your question...

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  • The main point for most of them is as a sorting mechanism to allow the most helpful/useful/interesting/funny posts rise to the top, and bury the bad ones. This website doesn't sort in that way, but it does allow you to get a consensus of what other people think is helpful or not.

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  • Actually self-expression without explanation is one of the core components behind most social expressions. It's nothing more than "real-life" voting brought to an internet level and it gives you some kind of understanding of the people you are interacting with.

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  • Why the need? Well from a bigger picture you can kind of gauge how the community (GAG) feels about your opinion by upvotes and downvotes.

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  • It depends. I automatically upvote anyone that posts an opinion to one of my questions. It's like a "thanks for participating" thing, I guess.
    Other times I upvote if I think the opinion is funny and if I agree with it. I downvote if I find them offensive or if I strongly disagree.

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    • So you just want to let them know all this with an upvote/downvote?

    • Yeah, pretty much. I'd rather downvote an opinion instead of replying to a person with "I'm sorry, but I strongly disagree with you."

  • The more opinions the better. I think the reason they do it is to get a perspective of how others feel of a certain opinion. See it from there point of view.

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  • "i like this comment" = upvote

    "i don't like it" = downvote

    not any particular purpose at all

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  • I'm with @Klaatu51 here, there's really no other purpose other than that. :\

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  • Just like other websites such as 9gag and YouTube where you can get hundreds to thousands of likes, it is a sign of great approval. When one made a valid point in the statement people will like it because he or she have expressed it more effectively more than the 'liker' could have... It is also an indication of what the majority of the people's point of view.

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  • The upvote/downvote thing just emphasizes how fickle people are, nothing more.

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