Are many audiophiles only seeking approval of the next purchase?

I find a good num of forum posts to be in this realm.  Facts ignored only posts that agree are considered of worth. 
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When I visit audiophile friends many have just made a purchase. They will ask me what I think after a brief listen. What can you say but thats great good buy to say otherwise is hurtful. In forums many are seeking consensus since they want to do something and are seeking agreement that its OK to do so. Consensus is how you get lite beer to be the best selling and most consumed. All of humanity is not at the same level of experance or education. If I seek consensus the inexperance or highly biased has as much sway as the expert. 
Yes. Absolutely. Some folks take decades to discover what some already know here. Many folks never get further than their comfort zone. Some kick themselves when it finally dawns on them that equipment selected by leading artists, top sound engineers and multimillion $ facilities have merit far beyond what you generally find peddled to domestic consumers.
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Often I get the impression that many are looking for validation of a purchase they've already made. I've seen posts where people are hammering on some reviewer wanting to know when they were going to review the ABC Combo Dac and coffee maker. They swear it is the best ever and the best they have ever owned and when, darnit, when are you going to review it? My feeling has always been, why do you care, you've already bought it.....UNLESS....they are a shill! LOL
I still laugh at an old cartoon in Stereophile :
2 guys standing in front of massive stereo,one guy asks the other,so how do you like it?The other answers,
I don’t know,it hasn’t been reviewed yet!
 As a working retiree supporting 2 aging family members my expendable money is very tight..When I post here looking for feedback I damn well want to read the good & bad opinions..This way I know what to listen for when I finally demo whatever piece of gear it might be..
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Probably some.

I use reviews, form information and audio friends as a sounding board mostly. When I'm looking to make an upgrade or side step I like to have as much information about the items I'm looking at as possible. I take every comment I read with a grain of salt of course. I don't trust everyone but I'm also not able to listen to everything I'm interested in so its nice to use others experiences and trials for what they offer. Also sometimes I learn something from others about a different product I was not aware of or a product mismatch that I had not considered.

If 5 people say this item sounds warm and one says its harsh I'm going to go with warm sounding not harsh, but keep in the back of my head what maybe is causing it to be harsh on that one persons system so I can avoid that combo.... for example. I'm sure most of us do something similar

Learn form others mistakes and experiences when you can is always better then forging ahead into the unknown reinventing the wheel over and over.

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Not without it, I guess, so what ? Let the people be. Anyway, man has a right to be an a......, so does a woman.
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Now that there are no brick and mortar stores to go into and sit down and hear the gear..well..this is all that people have.

This on line commiseration thing.

Which is also ripe for promotion/inducement of gang/thug behavior.

Part of it is due to only 10% of what we communicate by and though, when in person... only 10% of that direct person to person behaviour is in the on line communications.

Our body and mind looks for the 100% connection and uses that lowly 10% written data to self create the other or missing 90% of the communication data.

What this means is that...more than anywhere else in the world, by a huge margin, almost incalculably so..that our behaviour on line is almost entirely us (our own reflection) and has very little to do with our interactions with others.

To clarify... when we fly off the handle or go down some given road, in our on line interactions, it’s is almost entirely a self enacted/created mirror behaviour and has almost nothing to do with the given other.

This does not explain the seeking approval part but it can be seen as being endemic to the puzzle.

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Words are flowing out like endless rain into a paper cup,
They slither while they pass, they slip away across the universe
Pools of sorrow, waves of joy are drifting through my open mind,
Possessing and caressing me.
Jai guru deva om
Nothing's gonna change my world,
Nothing's gonna change my world.
Nothing's gonna change my world,
Nothing's gonna change my world.

“You can’t kill kill.” - Charles Manson
Confirmation bias is a phenomenon wherein decision makers have been shown to actively seek out and assign more weight to evidence that confirms their hypothesis, and ignore or underweigh evidence that could disconfirm their hypothesis.
I buy with expert insight into my purchase don't need anybody's ok but mine.
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Well, we have to at least visit and hang out with insane, otherwise we’ll never know the difference.

Knew an old professor who kept his sanity card in his wallet.

He was discharged from the psyche ward many decades back, after a short visit.

He was declared legally sane.

He would show it to people who were acting crazy.

He was legally sane..but how about them? Hmmm?

That such zany fun can be had in this world...
Seeking approval of the next purchase by asking around is a really bad way to go...seriously...what if somebody doesn't like your ideas? Leaving the house, talking to anyone about anything, and listening to anything at all other than those voices in your head will lead to nothing but trouble. However, endless boasting about how amazingly great your system sounds can be gratifying and help you get over your shortcomings, therefore making those trips to the therapist less painful.
Yeah, it's similar to religious evangelism. It seems to me there's more than a little seeking for validation. 
So what , to be validated is a normal human need , always has been and always will be .As is wanting to show everybody your new toy , nothing wrong with either .
What is clear from even light reading of almost any forum is that what sounds great to you in your home may not impress me... and in my house may actually sound poor... for a number of well understood reasons. 

Audio is not unlike Automobiles... very personalized. 

After a while, you know which posts seem credible... but at the end of the day, you can’t know if it will work for you unless you can try it in your system.... and sometimes you will try a well reviewed product and it will be disappointing.