Newspapers, stories, ads, social gatherings, at your workplace, at home, on the street – everyone everywhere is trying to convince you of something and make you think like as they do.
In a world bombarded by the information of all kinds, it is essential to know the difference between objective and subjective claims.
You need to have a good grasp of these concepts in order to be able to dig through all that chaos and see where the truth lies and what might be false. Therefore, let’s have a look at what objectivism and subjectivism imply exactly.
An objective piece of information or claim is one that is completely unbiased and always based on factual data. It is independent of any individual, meaning that it isn’t affected by any opinions, feelings, tastes, or past experience, and it stays the same regardless of who observes it.
Objective information is verifiable by evidence and is measurable. An unbiased viewpoint merely states observations and facts, without commenting on them or adding one’s own opinions. You can introduce your own theories, as long as they’re backed with proof.
To take a look at a few examples, a scientific study is objective (or it should be), and so are dictionaries, maths problems, statistics reports, or encyclopedias.
Subjectivity is the opposite of objectivity. A subjective claim is based on reality as seen through the individual’s perspective, and so it is affected by his or her values, beliefs, past experiences, feelings, and so on.
It is not necessarily incorrect, but it is biased and cannot be verified by facts. It depends on the individual and may vary from one person to another, from one place to another, and from time to time.
For instance, corpulent women were considered the epitome of beauty years back, while nowadays almost everybody is looking for tall, skinny models. Likewise, art is a subjective matter, as well as whether a movie was good or not – it all depends on preference.
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Still not quite sure if you’ll be able to distinguish subjective from objective information? The table below will help you out.
|An objective claim is completely true and unbiased.||Subjective information is biased, depending on the person’s perception of reality.|
|Objective claims are based on evidence and facts – they are facts.||Subjective claims are opinions.|
|Objective information originates outside of a person’s mind and it doesn’t change regardless of who’s analyzing the same situation||Subjective observation has its basis inside an individual’s mind and it can change wildly from person to person.|
|Objective statements can be proven.||Subjective statements are not verifiable.|
|Objective information can be found in dictionaries, user manuals, textbooks, news reports (well, in an ideal world at least), and hard sciences.||Subjective information can be found in diaries, biographies, blogs, editorials and fiction writing.|
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