Recently several questions have had an answer accepted after only being open for a few hours and garnering only one or two responses. This is potentially stopping other relevant answers being left because it appears that the question has been completed.

Would restricting the ability to accept an answer until the question has been open for, say, 24 hours increase the chance that more people will provide an answer? Or would this deter people from actually accepting anything (something that is a bit of an issue here at UX.SE anyway?

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Sounds like a fair proposal to me. –  Matt Rockwell Jan 17 '12 at 13:46

2 Answers 2

There is already a time limit on how soon you can accept an answer on a new question - however, currently it's only 15 minutes.

I would assume that this value is configurable (or could easily be made configurable) on a per site basis - like the number of answers required before a question gets turned to CW - so it wouldn't be too difficult to tweak this for the particular site's audience.

NOTE: There is a separate restriction on accepting your own answer - which you can't do for 48 hours.

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Word of Shog says it's not configurable site-by-site like the CW answer limit. –  Ben Brocka Apr 30 '12 at 21:24
    
@BenBrocka - that's unfortunate. –  ChrisF Apr 30 '12 at 21:28
    
Yeah. Seems reasonably uncommon so far though, some polite comments should help –  Ben Brocka Apr 30 '12 at 21:38

Or would this deter people from actually accepting anything (something that is a bit of an issue here at UX.SE anyway?

Probably this.

Don't forget, askers can change the answer they've accepted if a better one comes along. Trying to enforce patience via technical measures will almost certainly just lead to frustration and fewer accepted answers overall. You're better off attacking this by working to educate users as to their options, namely that they don't have to accept until a helpful answer comes along, that they can change it at will (and this is not rude!), and that answering a question with an accepted answer can still be very useful.

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