Half a croissant, on a plate, with a sign in front of it saying '50c'
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Zero Sum Ratings

... to stop people from giving black and white reviews
  (+6, -2)
(+6, -2)
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Currently product services and people are rated with absolute numbers. For example, you will give your new fridge a rating between 0 to 5 on number of different criteria.

While this feels good, it's problematic because even though you'd like to make yourself believe that a fridge whose door fell off two days after purchase deserves an absolute 0 on all counts, it is not actually true. Yes it feels good to give it 0 as a "punishment" but objectively you have to admit that it's just not true. Maybe the fridge looks gorgeous. Maybe the fridge was really cheap. Maybe the person who dealt with your complaint was really friendly and helpful despite the horrible situation.

To fix this, I propose zero sum rating. You are given 100 points split among different attributes. For the fridge example, my rating would look something like this:

- Compressor Durability 10

- Structural Durability 0

- Price 40

- Value 0

- Appearance 20

- Service 30

Added together from thousands of reviews the percentages could be calculated to give overall score. Patterns that confirm your experience or negate it will emerge. If you are looking for a great looking fridge that is cheap, and are willing to roll the dice then this fridge is for you (let's say this is an upgrade prior to selling your property)

This system would also eliminate the common problem of people being shy to give bad rating, people defaulting for 3/5 just because they don't really care one way or another, or others being overly punitive because they are on some kind of a power trip.

ixnaum, Mar 18 2016

[link]






       I should add that there should always be a category of "je ne se qua" (unexplainable x factor). It will encourage the makers of the survey to come up with the factor that does describe the category. Or else, just leave it unexplained. Some people may actually be attracted to a fridge with a certain je ne se qua.
ixnaum, Mar 18 2016
  

       //a fridge with a certain je ne se qua.//   

       Would that be one of those hybrid Latin/French fridges?   

       The Halfbakery:   

       Utility - 5
Durability - 30
Safety - 5
Appearance - 30
Enjoyability - 30
MaxwellBuchanan, Mar 18 2016
  

       Yes and I can flavor your croissant with some juice squeezed from the fishbone.   

       NO! Fish or cut bait, I say! Yin and Yang. Good and Evil. Make your stand! All of this deep thought on making decisions is passe, I tell you. These days people go with the gut and the gut has 2 words: HUNGRY and GONNAPUKE.   

       Oh, unless you are European. Then this makes sense.
bungston, Mar 18 2016
  

       [-]   

       A power supply that fails deserves a zero. A power supply that sets fire to the kitchen, somewhat less than that.
FlyingToaster, Mar 18 2016
  

       //A power supply that sets fire to the kitchen, somewhat less than that.   

       What if you are trying to find a power supply that starts a fire? (for experimental reasons of course) You may even wish to compare which power supplies are better at starting fires before placing your purchase.
ixnaum, Mar 18 2016
  

       We would.   

       // What if you are trying to find a power supply that starts a fire? //   

       Whatever other sort could you possibly want ?   

       [+] for the idea.
8th of 7, Mar 18 2016
  

       So if a product has mulitple positive attributes, that will lower the score of each attribute. "I'm sorry but there are only 2 points left for your excellent service"   

       But overall, I like the idea! 2 points (and a croissant)!
tumblewit, Mar 18 2016
  

       Heya [tumblewit]. Looks like you have been here since 2012 - 'bout time to give in and post an idea.   

       But I agree with your point.   

       A zero-sum scoring system is really just dumb, because everything will get 100 points. Some things are simply better than others - why should everything get the same score?
MaxwellBuchanan, Mar 18 2016
  

       Interesting. While you named it a "zero sum" system, I think the more important feature of this system is that you're not rating individual aspects of the product absolutely, but pairs of aspects, relatively. In other words, this is sort of a rational rating system, in that you're providing a set of ratios (price-to-value, durability-to-service, et cetera) when you assign your rating points.   

         

       All that said, I don't think that the public should be rating refrigerators or other large appliances with abstract point systems. Someone who has only owned and operated three different refrigerators in his life probably doesn't have the experience to provide a review beyond, "It worked," or "It broke," and how it broke if it did fail. Rather, the public's role in product review should be limited to providing primary data so that the product-review website can interpret that data and form a meaningful score by which consumers can query the product database.
Cuit_au_Four, Mar 19 2016
  

       If it really is exactly 100 points per product, I agree with Max in that it's not going to work as a comparison review.
However, it might be useful to the manufacturer; it would tell them what needed improving the most.
Loris, Mar 21 2016
  

       // “Reviews” by the general public are usually diary entries, or more often, complaints //   

       Don't judge reviews just by the ones you get, [IT] - they may not be representative...
8th of 7, Mar 21 2016
  

       // even though you'd like to make yourself believe that a fridge whose door fell off two days after purchase deserves an absolute 0 on all counts, it is not actually true.   

       It doesn't matter how good the price or service is, when the fridge door is lying on the floor. You're right, it probably is not actually true on *all* counts, but I only care about one count in this scenario.
tatterdemalion, Mar 21 2016
  
      
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