Yes, you've read the answer. Go read again. That's what node rep is: feedback. To the author, to be precise.
Based off of that statement, I hope to show a much more meaningful purpose for node rep. It would be good to mention that node rep can help keep out some of the riff-raff, when you chose to sort nodes in a thread by their rep. (To do this, go to user settings
) Of course, it is based on the limited knowledge I have of psychology.
You have already stated that you care a great deal about your nodes' reps; it gives you pleasure. I do too, and I would imagine that many other monks around here do as well. The rep is your reward, and you want to get this reward as much as possible. This means that node rep encourages good behavior by positive reinforcement. In other words, you are doing something to recieve a reward, whether that something is write more nodes or write better nodes.
Positive reinforcement can be very powerful, and is often the best way to encourage a certain behavior. However, not everyone is alike, so the system doesn't always work as we'd like. Some don't care about the rep, or don't want to have a high reputation. In such cases, or any case where the frequency of the unwanted behavior increases, the node rep acts as a punishment.
So does node rep mean something more? Definitely, though not in every case. It is a way of making good behavior increase and bad behavior decrease, which is important in any community. The reputation of a particular node, then, is important not only to the author, but to the entire community. Then again, I am by no means a psychologist, so I may have it all wrong.
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