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May be my Norwegian upbringing or that I now live the UK, but when I like an app I often give it 3/5 stars, which to me is "not bad" (which means "good" in the UK). 5/5 would be amazing life changing rating and I don't get that excited by any app. I have give 4/5 to a few apps that is installed on all my devices.

So the problem with world wide rating is that are so different depending on your location and culture (and age).

Although I only install apps that have 4.5 star rating so I am being hypocritical...

Anecdotal tangent: A long time ago when I was in school in Norway, grades was marked on sort of 1-5 rating. (LG=Not very Good, NG=Quite Good, G=Good, MG=Very Good, S=Exceptionally Good. http://no.wikipedia.org/wiki/Karaktersystemer_i_Norge#Grunns...) As I was usually among the best I mostly got a grade in the range of MG ie a 4. The top rating was practically impossible and I only got that on a few occasional tests but never on a full year's grade. MG+ was the more likely top grade to aim for. (They have since changed and expanded the grade system)

When I then moved to the UK in my last years of schooling, grade A seemed to be handy out all over the place. I do remember having to have meetings with the head of the year to be put into the best Maths set even if my average from Norway was not of the top grade and trying to explain that top grade in the two countries was not equivalent.

I think the purpose of the rating system motivates how people rate. Since the App Store appears to give importance to mean average data, I am given motivation in that direction:

If I think the app is good, and other people should download it, my rating makes the most difference if I award a score of 5.

If I think the app is OK but not worth downloading, I can most effectively indicate that by scoring it a 1.

If I want people to read my review (as Turkish reviewers have observed), I should perhaps rate it a 1 as well.

So, if I want my reviews to have an observable effect, I should (perhaps) rate everything 1 or 5.

(Or, I could decide what rating I want the app to have, then rate it a 1 or 5 depending on which direction I need to move it)

The motivation initiated by Apple here is bad - by simplifying everything to a single figure average, we lose all the nuance that you are trying to give with your Norwegian-style ratings.

> (Or, I could decide what rating I want the app to have, then rate it a 1 or 5 depending on which direction I need to move it)

You just re-discovered strategic voting. And that's why the rating system should display the median and not the mean. For the median, you can skip step two: just vote what you want.

I also have a Norwegian upbringing. If I like an app (and consider it "good"), then I give a 5/5 rating. If I like it, but find a few flaws in it, then I give a 3/5 or 4/5. As for 2/5 and 1/5, that means I don't think it's worth it for most other users.

Interesting. Maybe app stores should show a helpful chart to explain the star rating, so that the results are more uniform.

In my case,

5 stars = Does exactly what I want; 4 stars = Does most of the things I want, minor features missing; 3 stars = Has a few useful features, the rest are irrelevant; 2 stars = Frequent crashes and major bugs; 1 star = Does not install or start at all no matter what I try (very rare).

I mostly give 4 stars, but there are a lot of 5 star worthy apps, as well (Pocket Informant and ES Explorer, for example).

I don't believe you are a hypocrit for realizing the bulk of voters believe 5 is "good," and adjusting accordingly.

I live in Germany, where the old people all like to critizise everything and the young people are as enthusiastic about apps as any American.

Bimodal rating distributions everywhere. Help!

It's not necessarily that people tend to have extreme feelings about an app - it's just that if they don't feel strongly about it (positively or otherwise), they don't bother to vote.

Similarly, as a Brit I'm not sure whether I've ever given an app, or film, or whatever a 'perfect' score. Really enjoyed it? A sold 4 from me.

Edit: Never mind, I made a mistake reading your comment.

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