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A rating is a form of vote, but differs from traditional democratic voting in the following ways:

  • There is a maximum of one rating per answer, rather than one rating per user; users may rate every answer, or any subset.
  • Ratings can be negative (disapproval) as well as positive (approval)
  • Ratings are on a scale (e.g. -10 to +10) rather than being binary (yes/no)

In other words, a rating is essentially a range vote.


For user friendliness, we might as well let users pick their own scale and simply normalize all ratings to a common scale before aggregating them.

Some people may not be comfortable with voting more complex than just indicating "yes/no", so possibly the default scale should be something simple like -1 to +1 (accompanied by clear verbal cues like "against" and "in favor") -- and just make sure the link to change your scale preference is easy to find.