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I've opened a question trying to point out every doubt I had on a language of development: I thought it could be constructive.

I'm pretty proud of the formulation of this question since it gives almost nothing as understood. While I was studying math at university many books were giving many concept as known.

At the moment in which I'm writing 5 persons downvoted the question saying: "How about learning something about 1) JavaScript objects ({}), 2) jQuery callbacks 3) jQuery plugins?"

Actually there is a cognitive error in this sentence. He thinks (opinion) that I've lacked of effort, but actually I've studied Javascript at the university (fact). I've also tried to google for it (fact), but without the exact knowledge of what to look for I could not find an explanation. I'm making an assumption interpreting his sentence.

Another guy simply answered in a constructive way.

I think that this cognitive error is pretty diffuse. How is it called? Is it an attribution error? Can it be motivated by the need for feeding self-esteem while putting no effort in making something constructive?

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  • $\begingroup$ Maybe he wasn't judging, maybe he was actually giving you a legitimate answer (in a very concise form) $\endgroup$
    – user6682
    Oct 31 '14 at 10:33
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    $\begingroup$ The person who answered your question doesn't seem like they hold irrational beliefs; it seems like they just wanted to give you tips on what to Google to find the answer. I think he was just too lazy to explain all the questions you asked, so he simply gave you some keywords to Google (in a comment instead of an answer) and figure it out for yourself. It's not as constructive as answering all the questions in a long, detailed, amazing answer, but it's definitely constructive. $\endgroup$
    – user6682
    Oct 31 '14 at 10:40
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    $\begingroup$ By the way, I don't think you should have gotten downvoted, but I do think it's hard to explain so much stuff in an answer. So I find it his answer acceptable - even the accepted answer is very brief and doesn't really explain much to someone who doesn't know about objects, callbacks, and plugins. $\endgroup$
    – user6682
    Oct 31 '14 at 11:09
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    $\begingroup$ I don't understand the downvotes either. I don't think there's any cognitive errors/biases/self-esteem issues in play here though. $\endgroup$
    – user6682
    Oct 31 '14 at 11:12
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    $\begingroup$ Why do you doubt that people here get pleasure out of improving the quality of this community? $\endgroup$
    – user6682
    Oct 31 '14 at 11:50
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The competence you have and the competence you need has a big gap to understand the code.

You said that

He thinks (opinion) that I've lacked of effort, but actually I've studied Javascript at the university (fact).

My assumption (might be wrong) is that you have taken one or two courses of JavaScript there. If you have studied JavaScript at the university, that does not prevent you to study more of it at your own to understand the basic code syntax better.

Overly exaggerated example of this case would be that someone asks at Physics forum: "Could you explain me the theory of relativity in detail?"

...and the person has just taken one physics course in high school.

If many users ask that kind of questions, expect answers and get them on Stackoverflow, then it is full of similar questions and more experienced users have nothing else to do than to explain things in words of one syllable. In that case the forum would not work efficiently.

I did not answer to your questions, because I think that you are approaching this problem from a wrong angle.

Anyway, you are correct that users in Stackoverflow should behave more constructive way. People are more critical there to the formulation of the questions than in other StackExchange sites for some reason.

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  • $\begingroup$ I almost completely agree on what you are saying (+1). But one guy answered in a very profitable way.. And my question was specific to a JQuery plugin. And the concept were not so basic. And the next time someone asks a similar question he can be redirected to my question (marked as dup). The real question is: "does the question and answer add an information gain? or in common terms, are they useful? are they teaching something which may be useful for many?". I would say that it can be useful just for a few... million people. But also I got downvotes instead of explanations.. and a last stuff $\endgroup$
    – Revious
    Oct 31 '14 at 10:41
  • $\begingroup$ "If many users ask that kind of questions, expect answers and get them on Stackoverflow, then it is full of similar questions and more experienced users have nothing else to do than to explain things in words of one syllable. In that case the forum would not work efficiently." this belief that you give as objective has many assumptions. One very big is that: "If many users ask that kind of questions". When you want to be objective you have to split any belief and wonder: "why I think this will happen? am I sure?" and also "why I am sure it's bad?" and when you give an answer you should again $\endgroup$
    – Revious
    Oct 31 '14 at 10:44
  • $\begingroup$ Examine your answer and wonder: "I think it's bad for this reason, but have I really considered everything? Forecasting the future is not easy. Economics show it pretty clear. Inflation is good or bad? It's really really and hard question and it depends a lot, you could write a book on it.." $\endgroup$
    – Revious
    Oct 31 '14 at 10:46

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