Sometimes I write answers and use fancy Greek letters which fools naive people to think that I am a Mathematician (which I am not). So I sometimes put a disclaimer in bold (e.g. Disclaimer: I am not confident, I made this answer only after thinking for 30-60 minutes).

I think such confidence disclaimers are helpful to be a good stackexchange citizen to make the lives of others a bit easier.

But at the same time, putting such confidence disclaimers manually is not elegant.

So I think that it would be nice if, each answer, has a drop down menu that contains a list of confidence scores (e.g. "little confidence (just started thinking)", "moderate confidence", "high confidence (expert)") with the the default value of "unspecified".

Choosing a value from this list would cause the answer to be represented in a different way to indicate the self-claimed confidence degree of the guy who answered the question.

But when the default confidence "unspecified" is chosen (which is chosen by default), everything works as normal the way stats.stackexchange.com works as if this feature doesn't exist.

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    $\begingroup$ I like the idea, or at least the intention, but isn't it easier, more flexible and effective for the responder to add precise wording to explain any caveats, for example: "I'm not sure about this last bit, but the theory I explained above is well established"? $\endgroup$ – Kelvin Mar 30 '16 at 1:46
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    $\begingroup$ I think this could not done unilaterally by CV. Is it a good idea? Modesty beats arrogance, but if you have an idea you can rate no higher than "little confidence (just started thinking)" perhaps it should get more thinking. It's not a good use of the forum to post diffident and tentative answers. Anything wrong or misdirected will usually be queried, but energy is dissipated dealing with such answers. Conversely, expertise should just be self-evident. If I see "I am an expert on X" it usually diminishes my respect. If you are, then you can give a good answer directly without self-promotion. $\endgroup$ – Nick Cox Mar 30 '16 at 2:04
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    $\begingroup$ I downvote because by I don't like the proposal (and fully agree with @NickCox). Please don't take it personally, up/downvotes on Meta mainly express agreement/disagreement and are not related to the quality of the question. $\endgroup$ – amoeba Mar 30 '16 at 9:16
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    $\begingroup$ I think this just won't run as it's quite contrary to SE ethos, but the surrounding issues deserve reflection and discussion. SE is keen to give signals on how far you should be inclined to trust members (that's a major purpose of reputation) and also that no answer is immune to criticism or improvement. There's no contradiction there. SE already allows you to add words of diffidence, although they are subject to edits by others. Although this idea is meant to encourage caution, it could lead to people being tempted to deflate others who describe themselves as expert but do not appear so. $\endgroup$ – Nick Cox Mar 30 '16 at 9:34

I don't think this idea has legs, mainly for the reason given by @Kelvin: there are already adequate resources in the English language to indicate just where & why you have doubts about your own answer; selecting from a drop-down menu would be crude by comparison. The Dunning–Kruger effect would further diminish the utility of such self-assessed confidence levels.


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