Vote of the week: Words or numbers?
Written by Robert Niles
It's waaaay early, but I am preparing for next spring's Best Attraction in America tournament already. This time, the brackets will be set by New Year's, to allow me to introduce a daily feature profiling each of the participating attractions, before the tournament starts in mid-March.Tweet
This year's tournament will feature four brackets, for best roller coaster, themed ride, live show and multimedia show, respectively. Which 16 attractions get in each bracket will be determined by you - through the cumulative reader ratings submitted on the site.
That's why it is so important that Theme Park Insider readers click through our park listings and vote of the rides and shows they've experienced. Please take a look at our Guidelines for Rating, to get a sense of what you should be thinking about when deciding your ratings.
Although we rate attractions on a scale of 0 (Intolerable) to 10 (Perfection), when you are submitting a rating, you won't see numbers. Instead, you'll be asked to pick which one of 11 adjectives best describes the attraction:
Here's my question for you: Is that the way we should do it? Or should we simply ask you to pick a number - from 0 to 10, instead?
I switched from numbers to the descriptions years ago for two reasons - 1) to eliminate confusion as to whether 10 was the bad rating or the good one, and 2) to discourage "ballot stuffing" by people who just clicked 10 or 0 for everything.
But is this system discouraging people from voting by making it too confusing? You tell me.
For what it is worth, I have implemented a system to throw out votes from people who do try to manipulate the system with extreme voting. TPI's publish system converts all the ratings to their corresponding numerical value when computing attractions' average reader rating. But it throws out all votes from readers who vote all or almost all 0s and 10s. (Techie explanation: If the standard deviation of your votes is too high, or too low, bye-bye.) Doing this helps amplify the voices of the readers who take the time to submit thoughtful ratings that use the entire range of available choices.
If you have a suggestion, please leave a comment on how we can encourage better use of Theme Park Insider's rating system. And thanks for reading TPI!
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