I asked a question that got quite a lot of attention and plenty of answers (perhaps in part because I managed to use a subject that was click-baity but appropriate): Having a second bite of the data-apple without p-hacking

The answers are all really useful and each helped me understand the situation from a different perspective. However, I'm trying to solve a practical problem, and not a single one of the answers has really made me go "yes, brilliant, this is clearly the way to do it". That's perhaps because my question actually has no easy answer.

But now I don't know if I should accept an answer as correct. I think all the answers have some merit, but none of them has given me the obvious way forward I was hoping for, and I'm not qualified to judge which would generally be regarded as best.

Should I find some criteria to accept one of them or can I just leave it with no definitive answer?


1 Answer 1


You don't have to accept any answer.

In your circumstances, one strategy is just to do in your thread what you do here, explain your difficulty and thank people and commend their answers. Not accepting an answer otherwise can seem unappreciative in some sense (at worst rude, at best a little thoughtless) of people's time and effort.

This last is more personal. If torn between different answers, I would say encourage someone with (relatively) low reputation by accepting their answer. People with large reputations don't yearn strongly for much more, so far as I can tell.

  • $\begingroup$ Thanks, that makes sense. I think I'll leave it unanswered for now but I'm still mulling over the issues a lot (I have to solve this issue one way or another) and once I have decided the way forward, I may go back and accept the answer that inspired me most. $\endgroup$
    – Amorphia
    Commented May 3 at 9:43
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    $\begingroup$ Awarding bounties could be an alternative, but in the specific case of OP this would require giving up a lot of their own reputation. In addition it's impossible to give equal bounties to every answer, so it might be somehow unfair. $\endgroup$
    – J-J-J
    Commented May 3 at 13:37
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    $\begingroup$ Always possible to add a short comment to each answer explaining the dilemma. In this case most of the respondents do not seem short of rep anyway. $\endgroup$
    – mdewey
    Commented May 7 at 12:48
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    $\begingroup$ Agree, personally I find it annoying when I answer something, I'm the only (good?) answer, and am left unvoted/unaccepted despite the poster seeing my answer. However if there's multiple (good) answers, then it's fair to not pick unless one stands far above. $\endgroup$ Commented May 9 at 7:43
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    $\begingroup$ We all like to be appreciated. If anyone is completely indifferent to that, I am lost in admiration. Sometimes the explanation is just that people don't even know that you can accept an answer. It is also remarkably common to encounter posters who think that the Internet is something designed to give them an answer to which they are entitled, just like their phones. $\endgroup$
    – Nick Cox
    Commented May 9 at 8:01

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