How to read reviews
I know that one of the first things I do when evaluating buying anything is to read the reviews.
Especially on Amazon.
What is so great about reading the review there is that you get to see all the different peoples opinions. But I always bring my salt.
One of the things that I learned over the years is that you learn to ask yourself several kinds of questions when reading reviews. Here are a few examples:
What was the reviewer trying to accomplish with the product?
Sometimes folks have unreasonable expectations.
Was the reviewer like me, or were they vastly different from me?
Context means everything, if the person seems to have similar taste it becomes a whole lot easier to accept the word at face value.
Do I think that the reviewer’s budget had an effect on the value expected from the product if it fell short?
If they felt like they spent a considerable amount (compared to overall budget) on the product, the stakes tend to be much higher than someone who may have made a more discretionary purchase.
These considerations can help you separate less valuable emotional charged reviews from honest and thoughtful reviews without being as susceptible to cognitive bias.
Originally published at Chris Handy.