I often come across interesting questions which I can not answer. As a consequence, I cannot verify the given answers, while some seem to be helpful. Is it recommended to upvote such answers, where my knowledge doesn't reach to verify them?
I have previously argued that knowledge is probably one reason one wouldn't vote on a question, so I'd be inclined to say, yes, if you don't understand the answer, you probably shouldn't vote on it.
I'd say yes, but with considerable moderation.
There's a large gray zone between
- "I know exactly what the answer should be", and
- "I have no idea what the answer should be".
And probably most askers, to give an example, find themselves in this gray zone: they know enough to be able to formulate the question but (supposedly) don't know what the answer is. Of course, authoritative references might give you confidence a given answer is correct, but often you cannot be sure.
Therefore I think it's natural to upvote answers one can't assure are correct, when they seem particularly informative and clear; and I admit I probably do that with larger likelihood when they are written by high-rep. users and even more if positively commented and considerably upvoted.
I'm aware of the bandwagon effect and other possible pitfalls and know that this is probably precisely the mechanism behind the few highly upvoted wrong answers one can find here. But the SE is clearly designed to allow all users to vote, not only specialists.
As an aside, if the answer is at a level you expect to understand, then not understanding it is a measure of the answer being unhelpful, by definition, which means you should downvote it:
voting down a post signals [...] that the post [...] fails to communicate information`.