In English, a subjective statement or a likewise question is often introduced by either of these phrases:
- I reckon [that] … – Do you reckon [that] …? (dialectal)
- I think [that] … – Do you think [that] …?
- I believe [that] … – Do you believe [that] …?
- I feel [that] … – Do you feel [that] …?
The first three have been dealt with in Are there any differences between "I believe" vs "I think" vs "I reckon"? already, but feel hasn’t been covered as far as I can tell. To me, I think is the strongest statement about the validity of what follows, but I believe can imply at least as strong an endorsement. When I hear or see I feel introducing a testable statement it leaves me with the impression that the individual uttering it neither has the commitment shown by I believe nor the expertise required for I think and lacks the confidence of either.
Am I right to do so or do most native speakers use think, believe and feel interchangeably in a truly synonymous fashion? What are the reasons to choose one over the other then, different levels of politeness perhaps or just personal habits?