Subjective vs. Objective: Differences between Objective vs. Subjective

There are many words in the English language that sound very similar but have completely opposite meanings. One of the examples is the subjective vs. objective pair: with only a couple of letters different, these two words are actually antonyms. Still, many people say that something is subjective while they mean that it’s objective, thus causing a lot of confusion.

Subjective vs. Objective: The Main Differences

Key Takeaways

  • SUBJECTIVE information is anything that is based on personal opinion, judgment, feelings, or point of view.
  • On the other hand, OBJECTIVE information is factual and based on observations and measurements.
  • In contrast with subjective information, everything that is objective can be put to the test and proved.

Subjective vs. Objective

Defining Subjective vs. Objective

Subjective: An Overview

Subjectivity refers to how we, as individuals, interpret the world around us. It’s grounded in personal perspectives, emotions, and experiences. When we express subjective viewpoints, these are statements that are contingent on our personal biases or internal frameworks. For example:

  • I feel hungry.
  • The movie was exciting.

Objective: An Overview

In contrast, objectivity deals with facts and information that exist independent of our feelings or biases. It is the attempt to observe and report things as they are, free from personal influence. Objective statements rely on empirical evidence that can be universally verified. Here’s what objective statements might look like:

  • The temperature is 22°C.
  • The book has 300 pages.

When to Use Subjective vs. Objective

You can say that Paris is the capital of France. This is an objective fact because this is general knowledge. No matter how much you argue with this, it will still be the truth, and you’ll find proof in any geography book you open.

But what if you say that Paris is a beautiful city? This is exclusively your opinion; there are people who’ll agree with you, and there are those who won’t. There is no way that you can prove this information. You think that Paris is beautiful because you’ve seen great pictures of this city, because you’ve been there and liked it, or because your friends shared their amazing experiences of visiting it. However, someone else might like other cities much more and have a million reasons to justify their point of view. When there isn’t only one correct answer, it’s always an opinion. Therefore, the fact that Paris is beautiful is subjective.

Key Differences between Subjective vs. Objective

Objective information is what we rely on for unbiased, fact-based understanding. It’s grounded in reality, observable, and verifiable by others. This type of information is extinct from personal feelings and experiences. Subjective information, on the other hand, is deeply rooted in personal perspective and emotion. It’s the lens through which we view our personal experiences, and while it might not be measurable, it is crucial to our individual understanding and decision-making processes.

Here’s a quick table to outline their differences:

Objective Information Subjective Information
Based on facts Based on opinions
Impartial Personal
Can be corroborated Varies by individual
Remains constant Can change with the mood

Tip to Remember the Difference

When you think about which word to use, ask yourself, is what you’re looking at a fact or an opinion? Will everyone agree with you on the subject, or is there a possibility that different people will have different points of view? If it’s a fact, then it’s objective. If it’s an opinion, then it’s subjective.

Subjective vs. Objective Examples in Sentences

Examples of Subjective

  • Art is often considered subjective, as its beauty lies in the eye of the beholder.
  • Her review of the book was subjective, influenced by her personal feelings about the author.
  • The decision to choose the best candidate was subjective, based on the hiring committee’s individual preferences.
  • Subjective experiences, like emotions and sensations, cannot be measured with the same precision as objective facts.
  • In matters of taste, such as food and music, people’s opinions are highly subjective.
  • The nature of the questionnaire was subjective, asking participants to describe their personal levels of happiness.
  • Subjective interpretations of the law can lead to different outcomes in similar cases.

Examples of Objective

  • In court, the jury is expected to give an objective verdict based on the evidence presented.
  • The objective of the game is to score more points than the opposing team.
  • The teacher set clear, objective criteria for grading the students’ projects.
  • The research study aimed to make an objective assessment of the new drug’s effectiveness.
  • Objective reality is that which exists outside of our perceptions and beliefs.
  • When evaluating job applicants, it’s beneficial to use objective methods like skills testing.
  • The objective findings of the investigation were documented in the final report.

Subjective vs. Objective: Practice and Exercise

Instructions: Read each sentence and determine whether it is subjective or objective. Then, explain your choice.

  1. The movie was boring.
  2. The temperature outside is 75 degrees Fahrenheit.
  3. Chocolate ice cream is the best flavor.
  4. The sun rises in the east.
  5. I feel happy today.
  6. The painting is beautiful.
  7. Water boils at 100 degrees Celsius.
  8. Pizza is delicious.
  9. The car is blue.
  10. The novel was written in the 19th century.

Answers and Explanations:

  1. Subjective – This sentence expresses the speaker’s opinion about the movie.
  2. Objective – This sentence states a verifiable fact about the temperature.
  3. Subjective – This sentence expresses a personal preference for chocolate ice cream.
  4. Objective – This sentence states a scientific fact about the direction of the sun’s movement.
  5. Subjective – This sentence expresses the speaker’s personal feeling of happiness.
  6. Subjective – This sentence reflects the speaker’s opinion about the painting.
  7. Objective – This sentence states a scientific fact about the boiling point of water.
  8. Subjective – This sentence expresses the speaker’s opinion about pizza.
  9. Objective – This sentence describes the color of the car in an objective manner.
  10. Objective – This sentence provides a factual statement about the time period in which the novel was written.

Frequently Asked Questions

What are subjective and objective perspectives?

We see subjective information as based on personal opinions, feelings, and biases. It’s personal and can vary from person to person. On the other hand, objective information relies on facts and evidence that are universally acceptable and can be verified independently of personal feelings.

How can we differentiate between subjective and objective information?

When we’re trying to tell them apart, we look at the basis of the information. If it’s an opinion or based on personal belief, it’s subjective. If the information is factual, measurable, and verifiable, without personal feelings involved, it’s objective.

Can a statement be both subjective and objective?

Usually, a statement is either subjective or objective. However, a statement can present both types of information. For example, if we say, “The cake contains 250 calories per serving, and it tastes delicious,” we are combining an objective fact (calorie content) with a subjective opinion (taste).

Why is understanding the difference important?

Understanding this distinction is crucial because it affects how we communicate and how our messages are received. It helps us recognize when it is appropriate to share personal opinions and when to rely on factual information, especially in academic writing, journalism, and other professional scenarios.