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Agnius Balabonas

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Is judging people good or bad? What are the effects both good and bad of both of the alternatives?

You've probably been hearing a lot about judging being bad.. But is it really true?

A lot of people people say that judging is bad.. but what I usually see that same people that say that judge.. They might not judge on looks, but they still judge:
whether on friendliness, achievements, openness or talents.

But whatever you judge on, you still judge based on your values.

So I'm interested in psychological effects of judging or lack of judgments on both the judge and the judged.

Would changing the word judge into making quick distinctions about people change the way you view it.

(Would like to see some references to studies, if possible)

Topics: judgement
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    Jan 31 2012: I think I gained some very valuable insight from all the comments so far.

    I think both philosophical and scientific views offer something to this discussion.

    To Edward: I think values was maybe too vague word to use. And you've pointed many important points.

    Though I think one persons objectivity may vary from another. Objectivity only exist when based on something, therefore there is no absolute objectivity.

    From some points of view, wanting to be objective or smart is also a value. But I understand your point.

    And I'm happy there is some constructive discussion.
    • Feb 3 2012: "I think one persons objectivity may vary from another."

      As a definition, objectivity refers to a conclusion absent emotion, which never changes. If, by your statement, you mean the amount of data someone has to work from and with, then absolutely. No two people share identical experiences or memorize the exact same data. The data we're privy to makes us biased based on us being different people. If someone has never been mugged in an alley, they will tend to be more trusting to strangers in alleys. This doesn't mean the choice is more or less subjective, simply a lack of (or anecdotal) data to work from.

      To put a formula to it, an example could be represented by this:

      Person A, who has knowledge in certain areas but not others, meets person C and makes a judgement based on the data person A has at his disposal:

      (You can imagine the categories these represent at your leisure)
      2+3-1+x

      Person B, who has knowledge in certain areas but not others, also meets person C and makes a judgement based on the data person B has at his disposal:

      x+1-2+2

      Neither person needs to be subjective to come to a vastly different conclusion, they simply need a vastly different data set to work from. Neither is being biased in their judgement, their lifetime of experiences create the bias. However, if they were being biased in their judgement (subjective), then the odds of their judgement being correct would go up. Even if they had all the best data, they would come to an incorrect conclusion. So, the more emotional a person you are, the more likely your judgement will be clouded, no matter how much you know.

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