Subjective information or writing is based on personal opinions, interpretations, points of view, emotions and judgment. It is often considered ill-suited for scenarios like news reporting or decision making in business or politics. Objective information or analysis is fact-based, measurable and observable.
Examples of Objective and Subjective Writing
Here are some examples of objective and subjective statements:
- "47% of Americans pay no federal income tax. These people believe they are victims and would never vote for a Republican candidate." In this quote (which paraphrases Mitt Romney), the first statement is objective. It is a measurable fact that 47% of Americans do not pay federal income taxes. However, the second statement is Romney's personal point of view and is entirely subjective.
- Apple only allows apps that the company has approved to be installed on iOS devices. The company does not care about openness of their platform. Once again the first statement here is objective, while the second is subjective because fans of the company could argue, as Steve Jobs did, that iOS is indeed an "open" platform.
Objective vs. Subjective Reality
A popular thought experiment asks this hypothetical question: if a tree falls in a forest and there is no one to hear it, does it make a sound? The objective reality in this scenario is that the tree did fall in the forest and made a sound. The objective view is not dependent upon there being an observer for the event. However, there is a school of thought in philosophy that believes that our perception of reality is governed by our senses, which are limited and flawed. Therefore, there is no objective reality that we can discern, and all reality is subjective. Reality is a social construct, a common denominator of the subjective experiences and perceptions of society forms our reality.