One of my pet peeves is judgementality – the way people draw a negative response to what they imagine to have happened, on what they superficially see – but without actually checking with the target of their judgement to discover the facts.
It’s where the recent craze for ‘shaming’ comes from, among other things – where people are ‘shamed’ by others who judge them without knowing the context.
You know, somebody who hasn’t had an ice-cream for months finally decides to have one, and they’re walking along happily, when some stranger brushes by and says ‘you shouldn’t eat ice-cream all the time, you’ll get fat.’
It’s a form of bullying, and a very cowardly one at that. Finding out the facts isn’t difficult, and it’s not just polite – it means there’s less risk of injustice.
Judgementality usually involves various cognitive flaws – including the ‘recency effect’, and the supposition that what somebody’s just been seen doing is something they do all the time, everywhere.
Alas, judgementality seems so common that I can’t help thinking it’s part of the human condition. I suspect, in fact, that it’s a self-worth issue: by asserting their judgement over somebody else, somebody feels better for doing so.
Copyright © Matthew Wright 2016