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- Psychology & Psychiatry
Is it better to give someone Information or Your Opinion?
What is the Value of Reliable Information?
Sometimes it is best to just give people *information* rather than *your opinion*. Supplying reliable information allows the reader to form informed opinions on their own. The brain, subconsciously, interprets information and forms opinions often on its own without you realising. Your opinions is how you make sense of the world and the things you care about. One who is able to supply reliable and accurate information will garner a reputation of being truthful and earn trust.
But What is Information and Opinion?
Information is statistics, dates, events etc. but reliable information is that which comes from a trustworthy, competent, reputable and reliable source. For example: a reputable source if discussing science would be NASA or CERN because they are the research leaders.
Opinion is the interpretation of information i.e. analysis of the statistics, dates and events. For example, WW2 has statistics in terms of a death toll, it has dates such as duration, and is an event which happened therefore it is information. The interpretation of ‘why’ WW2 happened is an opinion.
Are Some Peoples Opinions more Valid than Others?
The opinions of a historian will weigh heavier discussing WW2 in comparison to a florist. But a politicians opinion of WW2 would have equal weight to a historian because politicians make sense of the world based on an historians interpretation of history. History and Politics are intertwined subjects, and depending on which historians opinion a politician adopts, will influence a politicians opinion. Therefore, some people's opinions are more valid than others, and, experts in different fields of knowledge are sometimes interlinked.
Can Opinion become Factual Information?
Sometimes an 'opinion' can become 'fact' if many start subscribing to the same idea thereby generating a consensus. For example: Ronaldo is the best footballer in the world equates to a fact because a lot of people shared the same opinion in the 2014 FIFA Ballon D'or Awards.
However, Messi is the best player in the world may well also be fact if it is your opinion. The point I am making is that one opinion is fact because a majority subscribe to the same opinion; and the other is also fact because it is *your opinion*.
When can there be only one Opinion?
Sometimes there can only be one valid opinion. For example the 2014 Football World Cup was held in Brazil, there can be no other opinion which is true unless you play 'verbal gymnastics'. An example of 'verbal gymnastics' concerning the 2014 Football World Cup would be to say 'the Football World Cup was held in South America'.
What is the Value of having Knowledge?
To have knowledge is to have pockets of information that you utilise to draw conclusions in your mind. The more knowledge you have of a subject, the more broader your conclusions will be. To know 'that you don't know something' is also a sign of intelligent thinking which will lead you towards those areas where you are weak, thus those areas that need more focus.
How to Give a Credible Opinion?
If you are going to give an opinion, thus your interpretation of information, then try to *synthesise* and *not regurgitate* the opinions of others, unless, you are convinced of someone else’s opinion or know no better yourself. To synthesise is to gather information as well as understand the opinions of others whom have commented on a subject; take different opinions that often conflict or vary and come to your own, complimentary or unique understanding.
Notwithstanding, coming to a new understanding is also dangerous and may lead to arrogance if you become unmistakably convinced that you are right and everyone else is wrong. Hence, it is best to keep an open-mind and consider the possibility that others are right and have insight and you may be wrong.