Feel vs. Think - take an objective look...

Greetings fellow Audiogon members,

The title of this new thread speaks volumes. Way too much for an explanation here and now. As an experiment, I would like for each of you, at your convenience while browsing any of the discussion forums in Audiogon or any other 'chat' venue for high-end audio - including the major high-end magazines, to pay close attention to the frequency of the use of the word 'feel' or 'I feel' as opposed to the use of 'think' or 'I think' in the context of discussing the various preferences, likes/dislikes, etc., of audio gear.

There is much to be learned about this otherwise minor detail and certainly much more than the casual observer would take into consideration. As a matter of personal opinion, I would venture that entire companys' fortunes and/or viability in the high-end audio community are based upon the aforementioned phrases and their underlying cause/effect upon purchase considerations.

Check it out -
I think, therefore I feel; I feel, therefore I don't think! I believe that it was John Boorman who was quoted back in the '70's as stating, "[people] try to sell the sizzle rather than the steak. Advertisers, as well as politicians, sell perceptions of the truth, rather than the truth itself." This is probably not the actual quote, but surmises that context of his observations.
I absolutely agree. I have been continually bothered by the illogical and subjective standards employed by those who review equipment. I think it wouldn't bother me so much if they weren't implying that their procedures were objective, or at least I don't think I'd feel so irritated.
Amen, brother! You have identified a linguistic source of irritation for me: the use of the word "feel" when people actually mean "think". The oral and written use of our language, not to mention general literacy, has deteriorated greatly during the past 25 years, and this example is but one of many. The word "feel" should be used to describe an emotional state or reaction, e.g., "I feel angry", "I feel discouraged", or "I feel sad". By contrast, the "think" should be used when alluding to an idea, opinion, or thought that you have, such as "I think Lamm Audio gear is better than Quicksilver", etc.
I'd like to point out that neither "I feel..." nor "I think..." are fact. They are both subjective. The difference is where our perception comes from. However just about ALL appreciation of music comes from feeling and/or our subjective interpretation of acoustic signals. We would have to watch every word we use to filter out our opinions and would be left with something quite lifeless and stale in the process. And THAT is my considered opinion!
Are you by chance drawing a comparison to the Myers-Briggs personality tests? FWIW, I'm ENTP. And I think that's pretty accurate....
If you say you think something then someone may be expected to ask you to explain your rational and you will have to satisfy them to gain credibility - "think" implies that you have been considering something tangible. When you say you feel something you get a pass - everyone knows that what you feel is your emotional response. Works great in advertising - that is one reason there are so many testimonials - and so few statements of fact.

At least thats what I think I feel. :-)
So, are we experiencing the gradual demise of subjectivism??? I ask this because most of the sound effects (voicing, etc) I can now also correlate to design parametres or measurements. I'm not an EE, only practical. (Cables, of course, are too exotic for my feeble knowledge.)
I pretty much agree with Pbowne. As to where the perception is from, I think "I think" derives from personal observations, and "I feel" does not. On the other hand, I have absolutely no qualm against reviewers or whoever that uses "I think" or "I feel" in their statements. The reader just have to learn how to judiciously take it with a grain of salt and when to agree. This should be inherent in the reader's literal literacy and ability to read between the lines literacy.
ENTJ, INTJ..who.....whom cares? The real concern is the real. We debate tubes vs. transistors...silver cables vs. copper..and the real point(s) are missed.

Ladies..and Gentlemen, your cd players have zinc/steel signal traces..that lead to zinc/steel female RCA output connectors with fake gold plate. Worse than this, they have one dollar, or less, op-amps as the "audio sections".

So, much of what you debate is not the issue..

The prudent high-end buyer will make his choice on emotion, subject to fact.
As I'm sure many of you know, Myers-Briggs measures our personalities in terms of "preferences". The thinking vs feeling scale (one of four) relates to how we prefer to make decisions in the world around us. Thinkers can give detailed explainations of how they got to a decision, where feelers can describe what emotions drove them to a decision. Both can be perfectly valid, and most of us are capable of using either depending on the circumstances (although we each have our strong preferences and may not be aware of which we are using).

High end audio attracts and offers much to both types. Some of us spend our time looking at the specs and designs and drawing conclusions that we can substantiate with great detail and logic. Others spend their time listening to music and relating to the experience. Both can be just as convinced of their decisions and proud of their end systems.

My guess is that a good reviewer has to be fairly balanced at both and that should be revealed in their choice of words in the review. "I think this componant is better because the design is..." or "I feel this componant is the better choice due because it is more involving...".

Advertizers would have to appeal to both as well, although maybe not in the same ad. If I buy an amp because of the power needed to drive a speaker, I am thinking. If I buy an amp because I am imagining the reaction of my friends when they see it, I am feeling. Anyone ever done both?

So, high end sellers have an opportunity to use these ideas proactively to get us to buy. All is fair...
Interesting thread. In the classroom whenever I prefaced an answer with "I think" more often than not the clever educator ensconced for my enlightenment would interject "You think?! Don't you know?!" In the age of instant karma, delving past the foibles of human nature occasionally requires the use of one's own judgement and imagination.
If you apply thought, or think about what you buy, then you will own Sony or like, and perhaps as high end as Best Buy's JBL or Klipsch.

How is it we all arrived here? Something moved us. The sound of some systems is better than others but hey they measure the same. So if you think they are equal, but if you listen you will likely feel that one is a clear choice over the other hence you "feel the music" more readily or what ever it is you hear.

Listen to a pair of Maggies vs a pair of Klipsch, on paper they produce similiar charts but--- they sure sound very different don't they.

So what we are left with is feel.

Define love, how do you feel about some one!

My point is made, what your realy not getting is with reviewers it's his opinion. Do you agree with his points of veiw or not. For me usually not.

M. Fremer on vinyl I tend to agree with more than not, and thats about as close as it gets to a reviewer.

So cheer up and quit analyzing so much and go flip a disc.

After reading this thread & the responses, I reread the review I just wrote on Luminous Audio Synchestra Silver Refs just four threads below this one. Didn't even think about the "think vs. feel" conundrum, rather wrote more what I heard & the accompanying feeling it left me with. I wrote my review purely as a home stereo owner, wishing to let others know I've found a great cable with no financial gain to realize from increased sales by virtue of a positive review. I'm sure not all reviewers write from this perspective & would think your comments are geared towards the *for profit* crowd. The only reason I mention the review I just wrote is simply because I just wrote it & used "I think" & "I feel" in it. I'm not writing this as a defense of my review, rather as a comment on your observations. That actually sounds defensive but words w/o the accompanying feeling are just words & you have to read between the lines.

With that said, your comments probably have merit in regards to some of what you've brought up. As you and many others know, you could dissect just about anything you read & the writer could justify anything he writes, so it's a matter of being able to sift through the minutia.

You bring up an interesting point of view & I'm sure for anyone who reads this thread, they'll pay attention to this for a while, I think.
Loontune says it well.

Again, buy on feelings.....justified by fact.