The value of an opinion.

I’ve been thinking about research today, mainly about how I go about it and the sort of information I value most. It’s come to mind because a chance encounter today has led me to start thinking seriously about a purchase I’ve been thinking casually about for a while.

I’m really not that great at big purchases. I’m okay at little purchases – books, Lego, treats for my friends’ boys – but bigger stuff, higher value stuff? That I’m not good at at all. I’m the sort of person who will research a purchase endlessly, seek as much information as I can, finally make an informed decision about what’s best to buy and then decide after all to not make the purchase because I might not be making the best choice. Eventually I’ll talk myself into it, I’ve never been disappointed yet, but the process is a slow one.

I’m at the stage at the moment of reading as much as I can. I’m drawing up a list of the things I need to know before I can make a decision, and starting to answer the questions. No matter how much I might read though, and thanks to my library degree my research skills are solid, I still find myself wanting to hear the opinions of actual people who I know and trust. No matter how much I might see something in black and white I still like to hear it from a living, breathing source. This feels pretty illogical to me, I know that the facts I can find are more reliable than personal opinions so why the latter means so much I’m not quite sure. In the short term I guess I’d better find some people to chat to while I’m trawling the Internet for facts so I can make a purchase decision this side of Christmas. 

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