Bruce and/or Susan:
If you're trying to see "what's your favorite type of ice cream," then "I don't like ice cream" doesn't answer the question. "none of the above" could answer the question, but stating you don't like ice cream doesn't answer the poll question.
The statistical information doesn't have to include all people because you can't poll all people anyways - plus, you're not getting everyone who hits the site to take the poll. So, the percentage of people who don't like that type of food, doesn't really create a useful number.
It's hard to state what I mean, exactly, but statisically speaking, whether someone or not likes the food in question in the poll is rarely an important number, because what you really want to know is, of those who eat ice cream, what do you like.
For example: Best place for pizza: NY, CT, Chicago, Gary IN, Philly, I don't like pizza.
"I don't like pizza" is irrelevent. What's the use of that statistic? If you're trying to figure out where to have the next Roadfood pizza meet up, the percentage of people who don't like pizza doesn't matter. They won't come no matter where its held. And if you're trying to see what pizza people prefer, "prefers none" won't help you - unless you're going to change your food choice.
None of the above works if one likes the food, but prefers a different choice, but then you have to do some statistical balancing to figure out what percentage of those people just don't like pizza rather than some other region not listed - like Scranton (that's for you Mosca).
I guess the point is, that expressing that you dislike a food in most polls seems unhelpful. Most important part of BBQ? Rub, woodchips or charcoal used, quality of meat, the sauce, I don't like BBQ.
Well, if you don't like BBQ, then your opinion on what makes BBQ good, is irrelevent to the discussion.
Most of these polls seem to come from some current topic being discussed in the threads. They seem to come out of "since we're talking about what we're making for SuperBowl Sunday, lets see what people make for the game." In a case such as that, "I don't like football" is completely irrelevant. It's not like any useful statistic can be used from those few people who respond like that. And, who cares if you don't like football. You're probably communist, but, since we can't discuss politics, that opinion has no place here.
It's about as useful as someone coming into a thread like "what I'm making for SuperBowl Sunday" and saying "I'm not making anything because I hate football." In that case, the thread, doesn't apply to you, move along.
Which is different that someone showing food they made, and more or less asking for comment.
None of the above, or all of the above, could be useful sometimes. A rating system would be really useful for some of those polls - especially ones that look really lopsided, but you know the 2nd favorite item is well loved, but it looks pathetic in numbers in a one pick scenario and a rating system would show the love better. But, I know thats a much more involved software program to do that kind of a poll.
I probably haven't made the world's strongest case on the matter - it's late in the day, I'm ready to go home, so I'm not putting my usual "all angle" position on the floor here where I can dig my heels in and swing from a grounded position. Ultimately, it just bugs me and I see not point to say, "I don't like hotdogs" when someone asks you what toppings you like on hotdogs. What can I say. We all have our limits. ;o)
<message edited by Scorereader on Wed, 07/28/10 5:26 PM>