“10 points for the best answer!” – Baiting for Explicating Knowledge Contributions within Online Q&A

Document Type

Conference Proceeding


Online question answering (Q&A) provides a popular platform for people to interact with information online, both by asking and answering questions. Although previous studies have focused on factors that motivate answerers, these studies have not considered that questions offering potential rewards to answerers might provide extrinsic motivation to answer it. In the current study, we collected 25,878 resolved (i.e. one of the answers received a “Best Answer” rating from the asker) questions from Yahoo! Answers. Half contained an explicit offer to reward points, (i.e. “10 points for the best answer!”) in the question subject and/or content (n=12,939) and half did not (n=12,939). Findings indicate that although questions without explicit offers received more answers on average, questions with explicit offers to reward points received a “Best Answer” rating by the asker approximately five times faster than the ones without an expression. This suggests that an explicit offer to reward ten points within a question affects the resultant on the quality of the answers provided within online Q&A.