Subjective vs. Objective: Difference, Definition, Pros and Cons

The difference between subjective and objective is quite huge. An interpretation can be objective or subjective depending on the basis it is made upon. The words that are backed by facts are objective while the ones that are far from facts are subjective. The latter are solely biased interpretations with no rational logic backing them.
Subjective vs. Objective: What's the Difference Between Subjective and Objective?

The difference between subjective and objective is quite huge. An interpretation can be objective or subjective depending on the basis it is made upon. The words that are backed by facts are objective while the ones that are far from facts are subjective. The latter are solely biased interpretations with no rational logic backing them.

Understanding the Objective vs. Subjective Definition

For a better understanding of the subjective vs objective debate, we need to first analyze what they define.

Definition of Subjective:

Subjective encompasses all matters that are based on feelings or personal beliefs. These matters are not supported by facts at all.

Definition of Objective:

The matters or decisions that are based on facts rather than personal beliefs or feelings can be called objective.

Listing the Pros and Cons of Subjective and Objective

For an in-depth analysis of subjective and objective, let us look at their pros and cons.

Pros of Subjective:

  • It aids in better expression due to the involvement of personal interest.
  • It leads to the satisfaction of making the judgment one wanted to.
  • It aids in building social relations.
  • It gives freedom of speech to all on public platforms.

Cons of Subjective:

  • It involves biased decisions.
  • The outcomes are not reliable enough.
  • Results cannot be measured because factual statements are not available to support them.
  • It cannot be used in businesses built on acuity and professions involving impartial decision-making.
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Pros of Objective:

  • It involves rational thinking.
  • The results are reliable enough to be acted upon.
  • The outcome can be measured as it is backed by facts.
  • It can be used in business decision-making and other works involving diligence.
  • It aids in spreading awareness on social platforms.

Cons of Objective:

  • Social relations cannot be built due to a lack of feelings involved.
  • A lack of personal interest might lead to rushed conclusions.
  • Freedom of speech gets compromised to a great extent.

What are the Similarities Between Subjective and Objective?

  1. Both subjective and objective analyses are a form of expression.
  2. The main aim of both subjective and objective analyses remains the same. Both tend to reach a concrete solution for the situation in hand.

What are the Key Differences Between Subjective and Objective?

  1. The primary difference between subjective and objective lies in the way the decisions are made. Fact-based decisions come under objective while the biased ones come under the scope of subjective.
  2. The results of a subjective analysis cannot be measured while objective ones can be measured.
  3. The reliability of subjective items is questionable while the objective sources are completely reliable.
  4. You cannot predict a subjective outcome due to the human emotions attached behind it, while objective outcomes can be predicted well in advance if you have the data and facts that support it.
  5. Subjective analysis is less likely to be impartial due to the strong influence of personal beliefs, while the objective is more likely to be impartial due to the absence of human emotions in making decisions.
  6. Subjective is more suitable for personal blogs, comments on social media, artistic works, and literature. Objective can be applied well in reporting news, forecasting weather, bibliographies, textbooks, and encyclopedias.

Usage of Subjective vs. Objective Data

In the nursing profession, subjective and objective data is collected from the patients. A clear demarcation is made between subjective vs objective data to interpret correct results. While both these data are collected from the patients, they are different sides of the same coin.

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The subjective data is collected by communicating with the patient about the symptoms they are experiencing. The pain, discomfort, abnormal sensations, and physical discomfort experienced by the patient is recorded. The patient’s personal beliefs concerning previous illness, research of symptoms on the internet or other perceptions might influence this data to a large extent. Among the ‘signs and symptoms’ of a disease, it relates to the ‘symptoms’ part.

The objective data, on the other hand, is collected by physical examination, observations by a medical expert by touching, hearing, and seeing the patient. It can also include the medical tests conducted by the doctors to detect the root cause of pain or discomfort. Among the ‘signs and symptoms’ of a disease, it relates to the ‘signs’ part.

While collecting the subjective and objective data, there can be some instances of overlapping as well. A few examples of such situations might include:

  • Patient expressing fever as a symptom and the nurse observes a high temperature on the thermometer.
  • Patient complaining of pain in eyes and the nurse finds swelling in the nerves on examination.
  • Patient discusses the extensive hair loss problem and the nurse observes patches of baldness.

Observing Subjective vs. Objective at a Glance

BasisSubjectiveObjective
MeaningBased on feelings or personal beliefsBased on pure facts
RationalityDoes not involve rationality Involves rational thinking
Measurable The results cannot be measuredResults can be measured as they are based on facts
Biased ResultsResults are biased due to feelings or preconceptionsResults are unbiased due to facts involved
Reliability Unreliable as facts are ignoredFully reliable with data and facts backing it
Suitability in making business decisions Not suitable due to lack of rationalitySuitable due to facts and rationality involved
PredictableFeelings or personal beliefs makes the results unpredictableRational thinking and facts makes the results predictable 
Partial Completely partial due to the involvement of personal beliefsFully impartial as beliefs and feelings are not considered
SpontaneousSpontaneous in nature as preconceptions are involvedFully calculated and planned rather than spontaneous
Suitability for NEWS reporting Not suitable due to lack of reliabilityPerfectly suitable because of reliability and facts involved 
Suitability for textbooks Not suitable because of partial decision-makingCompletely suitable because of impartial decision-making
Suitability for blogs Suitable only for personal blogs, not informative onesSuitable both for personal and informative blogs
Suitability for social media Completely suitable as social relationships are build with feelingsSuitable to spread awareness through social platforms

Comparison Video

Subjective versus Objective Comparison Chart

Subjective vs. Objective: Difference, Definition, Pros and Cons

The Final Words

Both subjective and objective play an important role in our lives at some point in time. All our actions and decisions are either based on subjective analysis or objective thinking. They are two sides of the same coin, varying in results. You just need to apply them in the right situation for getting the best results.

Image Courtesy

  • Priscilla Du Preez on Unsplash
  • Austin Distel on Unsplash
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