Judgement: An Instinctual Thing?

a big thank you
Drawing by Adrian Serghie

These days a very interesting idea popped in my mind: is our judgmental opinion related to our instincts? Maybe we are somehow programmed to judge other people as a survival instinct. Maybe we cannot help ourselves doing it.

Crowd and survival

As you know, in our early days, our survival as individuals and as a species depended of our crowd. The stronger we were, the more successful we could be at hunting. We needed trustworthy people around us that were also healthy, strong and smart. We had to rely on our crowd because we couldn’t survive solo. This meant that we had to be careful about the ones we associated with, don’t you think? And how could we do that? We formed opinions based on what we saw on them and also based on our past experience. For example, if someone died because of a cold, then we would’ve been very careful not to stay close to those who sneezed.

So we started to judge people based on what they did. Even though that’s not necessarily linked to our survival now, the habit sticked to us. It became part of our basic toolkit of instincts. We now judge everybody because this way we know whom should we avoid. Is it fair? Of course not. But what if we cannot help ourselves? What if our mind is wired in such a way so these thoughts and opinions have a top priority in modeling our behavior?

Hold on…

Don’t get too entitled to judge everybody just because you might be wired this way. Yes, it is true that these thoughts will automatically come, but that doesn’t mean you have to believe them. You can question them to see if they’re real or not. Not everything that goes through our head is real. Sometimes it’s just part of our imagination, created by our own messed up core beliefs.

What do you think? Can other people’s judgement be an instinctual thing?

14 thoughts on “Judgement: An Instinctual Thing?

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  1. There have been studies that found that children develop moral judgement quite early on. Like many things that humanity is born with, I think judgement is something we learn to temper, as the instincts we relied on for survival are no longer needed as often. Our complex social interactions require a more nuanced approach.

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    1. I think children develops it early because
      (1) parents oversimplifies everything with good and bad notion.
      (2) children begins with a binary judgement but fails to proceed further due to obeying/imitating the grownups.

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  2. I believe the judgement of other’s can be based on instincts but I also believe it can be associated with one’s past negative experiences with someone or something. I think this can cloud a person’s judgment of other’s instead of actually seeking the whole truth.

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  3. I’m not sure if it’s natural or not, and I’m not proud of it, but I think I do a lot of judging over the course of a day. I “judge” people by how they talk to their kids, what kind of car they drive, their appearance, the way they drive, and on and on.

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    1. “Judging” can be good but with the acceptance how people are. Their behaviours are constrained by their characters, and characters are framed through experiences and experiences are, well, different for different people. You see, it’s not binary on an absolute scale, but certainly, when put relatively to a single observant like a gambler can be a friend to a drunkard but not to a saint. So, you can still “judge”, remembering the results are relative to your well-being and preference, in contrast to the absolute good or bad. Did I sound preaching ?

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  4. I don’t thin it’s instinctual. I think it’s formed by the people around us as children, by what we are exposed to, and how others react. If anything, I feel it’s more of a “fitting in with X crowd” than instinct. There may be the instinct to align ourselves with whom we feel will give us the most protection, but the judgement is learned.

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  5. INSTINCT has a good and bad benefits of it. It always there to evaluate the real situation so that we cannot mis-interpret or over laugh the real situation. Then here is judgement we cannot denay that is a human nature that we carry through out the year.

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