I noticed this post and I was fascinated by the answers given.
I am currently a 2nd year PhD student in Statistics and this page has helped me tremendously, up to the point where I decided to create a user and participate actively in the community.
I feel that getting badges and scores motivates me to to further participate but there are other factors that play in
- I intend to put my CV profile on my Curriculum Vitae (CV) for various reasons.
- I like to participate in discussions on topics that I am fascinated about with like-minded people. I also like the open criticism/academic vibe in the discussions.
- I feel that I am learning and becoming more sharp in the subjects the more I participate.
- I feel a sense of approval and recognition when I'm here.
When one looks into how many badges are awarded, there is an obvious trend. I.e. there seems to be a large stream of new users, that create profiles and then do not participate all too much.
There are rather few badges that have been given out for comments and voting specifically.
I feel that there are some things that can be done to further motivate new users to use this stack exchange and participate.
So my question is: Have these things been reviewed/discussed, are there any remedies that have worked in the past? Do we need to expose new users to other motivation factors?