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An opinion is a
judgement Judgement (or US spelling judgment) is also known as ''adjudication'' which means the evaluation of evidence to make a decision. Judgement is also the ability to make considered decisions. The term has four distinct uses: * Informal – opi ...

judgement
, viewpoint, or
statement Statement or statements may refer to: Common uses *Statement (computer science), the smallest standalone element of an imperative programming language *Statement (logic), declarative sentence that is either true or false *Statement, a Sentence_(lin ...
that is not conclusive, rather than
facts A fact is something that is truth, true. The usual test for a statement of fact is verifiability—that is whether it can be demonstrated to correspond to experience. Standard reference works are often used to check facts. Science, Scientific ...

facts
, which are true statements.


Definition

A given opinion may deal with
subjective Subjective may refer to: * Subjectivity, a subject's personal perspective, feelings, beliefs, desires or discovery, as opposed to those made from an independent, objective, point of view ** Subjective experience, the subjective quality of consciou ...
matters in which there is no conclusive finding, or it may deal with facts which are sought to be disputed by the
logical fallacy In philosophy Philosophy (from , ) is the study of general and fundamental questions, such as those about reason, Metaphysics, existence, Epistemology, knowledge, Ethics, values, Philosophy of mind, mind, and Philosophy of language, lang ...
that one is entitled to their opinions. Distinguishing
fact A fact is something that is true True most commonly refers to truth Truth is the property of being in accord with fact or reality.Merriam-Webster's Online Dictionarytruth 2005 In everyday language, truth is typically ascribed to things ...
from opinion is that facts are verifiable, i.e. can be agreed to by the consensus of experts. An example is: "United States of America was involved in the
Vietnam War {{Infobox military conflict , conflict = Vietnam War , partof = the Indochina Wars The Indochina Wars ( vi, Chiến tranh Đông Dương) were a series of wars fought in Southeast Asia Southeast Asia, also spelled ...
," versus "United States of America was right to get involved in the Vietnam War". An opinion may be supported by facts and principles, in which case it becomes an
argument In logic Logic is an interdisciplinary field which studies truth and reasoning Reason is the capacity of consciously making sense of things, applying logic Logic (from Ancient Greek, Greek: grc, wikt:λογική, λογική, lab ...
. Different people may draw opposing conclusions (opinions) even if they agree on the same set of facts. Opinions rarely change without new arguments being presented. It can be reasoned that one opinion is better supported by the facts than another, by analyzing the supporting arguments. In casual use, the term ''opinion'' may be the result of a person's perspective,
understanding Understanding is a psychological process related to an abstract or physical thing, such as a person, situation, or message whereby one is able to use concepts to model that thing. Understanding is a relation between the knower and an object of u ...

understanding
, particular feelings, beliefs, and
desires Desires are states of mind that are expressed by terms like "wanting", "wishing", "longing" or "craving". A great variety of features is commonly associated with desires. They are seen as propositional attitude A propositional attitude is a menta ...
. Though not hard fact, collective opinions or professional opinions are defined as meeting a higher standard to substantiate the opinion.


Collective and professional opinions


Public opinion

In contemporary usage,
public opinion Public opinion is the collective opinion on a specific topic or voting intention relevant to a society. Etymology The term "public opinion" was derived from the French ', which was first used in 1588 by Michel de Montaigne Image:ArmoiriesM ...
is the aggregate of individual attitudes or beliefs held by a population (e.g., a city, state, or country), while consumer opinion is the similar aggregate collected as part of
marketing research Marketing research is the systematic gathering, recording, and analysis of qualitative and quantitative data about issues relating to marketing Marketing is the process of intentionally stimulating demand for and purchases of goods and ser ...
(e.g., opinions of users of a particular product or service). Typically, because the process of gathering opinions from all individuals is difficult, expensive, or impossible to obtain, public opinion (or consumer opinion) is estimated using
survey samplingIn statistics, survey sampling describes the process of selecting a sample of elements from a target statistical population, population to conduct a survey. The term "Statistical survey, survey" may refer to many different types or techniques of obs ...
(e.g., with a
representative sample In statistics Statistics is the discipline that concerns the collection, organization, analysis, interpretation, and presentation of data. In applying statistics to a scientific, industrial, or social problem, it is conventional to begin w ...
of a population).


Group opinion

In some social sciences, especially
political science Political science is the scientific study of politics Politics (from , ) is the set of activities that are associated with making decisions In psychology, decision-making (also spelled decision making and decisionmaking) is regarded as ...
and
psychology Psychology is the scientific Science () is a systematic enterprise that builds and organizes knowledge Knowledge is a familiarity or awareness, of someone or something, such as facts A fact is an occurrence in the real world. ...

psychology
, group opinion refers to the aggregation of opinions collected from a group of subjects, such as members of a
jury A jury is a sworn body of people (the jurors) convened to render an impartial Impartiality (also called evenhandedness or fair-mindedness) is a principle of justice holding that decisions should be based on objectivity (philosophy), objective ...

jury
,
legislature A legislature is an deliberative assembly, assembly with the authority to make laws for a Polity, political entity such as a Sovereign state, country or city. They are often contrasted with the Executive (government), executive and Judiciary, ...
,
committee A committee or commission is a body of one or more persons subordinate to an assembly. A committee is not itself considered to be a form of assembly. Usually, the assembly sends matters into a committee as a way to explore them more fully than w ...

committee
, or other collective decision-making body. In these situations, researchers are often interested in questions related to
social choice Social choice theory or social choice is a Theory, theoretical framework for analysis of combining individual opinions, preferences, interests, or welfares to reach a ''collective decision'' or ''social welfare'' in some sense.Amartya Sen (2008) ...
,
conformity Conformity is the act of matching attitudes, beliefs, and behaviors to group A group is a number A number is a mathematical object used to counting, count, measurement, measure, and nominal number, label. The original examples are the natura ...

conformity
, and
group polarizationIn social psychology Social psychology is the Science, scientific study of how the thoughts, feelings, and behaviors of individuals are influenced by the actual, imagined, and implied presence of others, 'imagined' and 'implied presences' referr ...
.


Scientific opinion

"Scientific opinion" may reflect opinions on scientific concerns as articulated by one or more scientists, published in scholarly journals or respected textbooks, both of which entail peer-review and rigorous professional editing. It may also refer to opinions published by professional, academic, or governmental organizations about scientific findings and their possible implications. A related—but not identical—term,
scientific consensus Scientific consensus is the collective judgment, position, and opinion of the community of scientist A scientist is a person who conducts Scientific method, scientific research to advance knowledge in an Branches of science, area of interest. ...
, is the prevailing view on a scientific topic within the scientific community, such as the
scientific opinion on climate change right , upright=1.5 , Surveys of scientists' views on climate change, Academic studies of scientific agreement on human-caused global warming among climate experts (2010-2015) reflect that the level of consensus correlates with expertise in cli ...
. Scientific opinion(s) can be "partial, temporally contingent, conflicting, and uncertain" so that there may be no accepted consensus for a particular situation. In other circumstances, a particular scientific opinion may be at odds with consensus.
Scientific literacyScientific literacy or science literacy encompasses written Writing is a medium of human communication Communication (from Latin ''communicare'', meaning "to share") is the act of developing Semantics, meaning among Subject (philosophy), en ...
, also called public understanding of science, is an educational goal concerned with providing the public with the necessary tools to benefit from scientific opinion.


Legal opinion

A "
legal opinion In law, a legal opinion is in certain jurisdictions a written explanation by a judge or group of judges that accompanies an Court order, order or ruling in a Legal case, case, laying out the rationale and legal principles for the ruling. Opinion ...
" or "closing opinion" is a type of professional opinion, usually contained in a formal legal-opinion letter, given by an attorney to a client or a third party. Most legal opinions are given in connection with
business Business is the activity of making one's living or making money by producing or buying and selling products (such as goods and services). Simply put, it is "any activity or enterprise entered into for profit." Having a business name A trad ...

business
transactions. The opinion expresses the attorney's professional judgment regarding the legal aspect of the transaction. The opinion can be "clean" or "reasoned". A legal opinion is not a guarantee that a court will reach any particular result. However, a mistaken or incomplete legal opinion may be grounds for a professional malpractice claim against the attorney, pursuant to which the attorney may be required to pay the claimant damages incurred as a result of relying on the faulty opinion.


Judicial opinion

A "
judicial opinion A judicial opinion is a form of legal opinion In law, a legal opinion is in certain jurisdictions a written explanation by a judge A judge is a person who wiktionary:preside, presides over court proceedings, either alone or as a part of a J ...
" or "opinion of the court" is an opinion of a judge or group of judges that accompanies and explains an order or ruling in a controversy before the court. A judicial opinion generally lays out the facts that the court recognized as being established, the legal principles the court is bound by, and the application of the relevant principles to the recognized facts. The goal is to demonstrate the rationale the court used in reaching its decision. Judges in the United States are usually required to provide a well-reasoned basis for their decisions and the contents of their judicial opinions may contain the grounds for appealing and reversing of their decision by a higher court. Judicial opinions are discussed further in the articles on
common law In law, common law (also known as judicial precedent or judge-made law, or case law Case law is the collection of past legal decisions written by courts and similar tribunal A tribunal, generally, is any person or institution with authority ...
and
precedent A precedent is a principle or rule established in a previous legal case A legal case is in a general sense a dispute between opposing parties which may be resolved by a court A court is any person or institution, often as a government inst ...
.


Editorial opinion

An "editorial opinion" is the evaluation of a topic by a newspaper as conveyed on its
editorial An editorial (US), leading article or leader (UK) is an article written by the senior editorial people or publisher of a newspaper A newspaper is a periodical Periodical literature (also called a periodical publication or simply a period ...

editorial
page.


See also

*
Doxa Doxa (; from verb )Henry Liddell, Liddell, Henry George, and Robert Scott (philologist), Robert Scott. 1940.δοκέω" In ''A Greek–English Lexicon, A Greek-English Lexicon'', edited by Henry Stuart Jones, H. S. Jones and R. McKenzie. Oxford. ...

Doxa
*
Editorial An editorial (US), leading article or leader (UK) is an article written by the senior editorial people or publisher of a newspaper A newspaper is a periodical Periodical literature (also called a periodical publication or simply a period ...

Editorial
*
Epistemology Epistemology (; ) is the concerned with . Epistemologists study the nature, origin, and scope of knowledge, epistemic , the of , and various related issues. Epistemology is considered a major subfield of philosophy, along with other major ...

Epistemology
*
Justified true belief A belief is an attitude that something is the case, or that some proposition In linguistics and logic, a proposition is the meaning of a declarative sentence. In philosophy, "Meaning (philosophy), meaning" is understood to be a non-linguist ...
*
Opinion poll An opinion poll, often simply referred to as a poll or a survey, is a survey (human research), human research survey of public opinion from a particular sampling (statistics), sample. Opinion polls are usually designed to represent the opinions o ...
*
Perspective (cognitive) In philosophy, a point of view is a specific attitude or manner through which a person thinks about something. This figurative usage of the expression dates back to 1760. In this meaning, the usage is synonymous with one of the meanings of the te ...
*
Soapbox A soapbox is a raised platform which one stands on to make an impromptu speech, often about a political Politics (from , ) is the set of activities that are associated with Decision-making, making decisions in Social group, groups, or ot ...
* Speaker's Corner *
Truthiness Truthiness is the belief or assertion that a particular statement is true based on the intuition Intuition is the ability to acquire knowledge Knowledge is a familiarity, awareness, or understanding of someone or something, such as facts ...
*
I'm entitled to my opinion I'm entitled to my opinion or I have a right to my opinion is an informal fallacy in which a person discredits any opposition by claiming that they are entitled to their opinion. The statement exemplifies a red herring or thought-terminating cliché ...
*
Scientific evidence Scientific evidence is evidence Evidence for a proposition is what supports this proposition. It is usually understood as an indication that the supported proposition is true. What role evidence plays and how it is conceived varies from field ...


Notes


External links

{{Authority control Belief Concepts in epistemology Subjective experience es:Opinión (periodismo)