Don't Judge A Book By It's Cover....If That's Possible At Least


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We've been told since we were little kids: don't judge a book by it's cover. And as we all know, that saying goes beyond picking a book out at the library. Whether you want to admit it or not, chances are you have judged someone on their appearances. The way they dress, the things they like, the color of their skin, or who they hang out with are all things we can notice at first glance. However, most of the times there is more than what meets the eye. Why do we do this to ourselves? We automatically group people together based on what we see on the outside and to some people, what's on the outside is all that matters. But, is that their fault? 

I've often wondered if there is a was a way to stop yourself from judging people, and according to this article it seems as though we aren't even the ones responsible for our own judging. I know what you're thinking, how are my judgmental thoughts about people not my fault? It's definitely a confusing thought and takes some time to comprehend, but I'll do my best to summarize what the article says. Basically the brain is one big machine and one of it's main functions is to put preferences on things. The brain constantly wants to find a better way of doing something, or "expansion" as the article calls it. Since the brain naturally wants to put a preference on something over another thing, your best chance of preventing judging is by just letting the brain do what it's meant to do. As the article says, "Let the mind move the way it wants to move. The natural expression of the mind is never a problem. All problems arise when "you" judge the mind, when you try to suppress the mind or take your mind personally. It's a "human" mind, it's not you, it's not personal. Let the mind be, don't identify with it." If any of what I just said interested you at all, I would highly recommend reading the rest of the article I posted above, it's an extremely interesting viewpoint that is thought provoking.

Now, all that I just said is according to one article. And that one article didn't have any scientific proof or tests to back up the authors theory. So whether you want to believe it or not is completely up to you. I did find another article that touched on the same topic. The main point that this article tries to get across is that with enough repetition, you will be able to train your mind to do or not to do something. The example from the article talks about judging people, " If you were told each day that you should not judge a book by its cover then you will grow up as an adult who never judges people by appearance." The article laters talks about how media has influenced our judgmental ways, but thats a topic for a different day. So what do you think? Do you think you can actual train your mind with enough repetition, and if so how much repetition is needed? Do you think you and your mind are two different "entities" per say and you really shouldn't feel responsible for judging people? I think after doing some of my research I've only gotten more confused with this topic, any groundbreaking ideas...anyone, anyone?
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Photo courtesy of http://www.keepcalm-o-matic.co.uk


5 Comments

This is a topic I have never even really thought about. I have heard the motto never judge a book by it's cover, but I never thought about it the way you present it. Thinking about your blog, I do believe we can train our brains. When I think about everything I have learned, I had to use repetition to get the hang of things. Walking or even talking, you only got better at those things if you repeated them. I do believe that if you repetitively tell yourself to stop judging others, you probably could. The problem I see with that is that people probably won't do that. Humans are programmed to see something or someone and automatically get an opinion or idea about it.
There is an article on 3 Causes for Judging People: http://tinybuddha.com/blog/3-causes-for-judging-people-how-to-accept-yourself/
Although I wish people would repetitively tell themselves to not judge others, it seems like it would be challenging

Mackenzie,
You're correct; we've all been hit over the head numerous times to not judge people based on their appearance. The cliche saying is true; some of the most amazing people I would have never gotten to know if I based it off of their appearance. Whether or not the judgments that we make are our own faults is a question that is up in the air though. I have learned that people make judgments based on their social schemas. We as humans can make pretty accurate judgements about a person right after an encounter with he or she because of what we have dealt with before. This article provides an experiment that shows that only after 3 minutes of meeting someone, people could make accurate depictions of their personality. So the point that you bring up about judging someone solely off of their appearance is involuntary, but the judgement after talking to a person for a short period of time is based off of a thought process.
http://io9.com/5792790/why-we-really-can-judge-people-on-first-impressions

The impressions we get from someone's appearance are lasting and often influence the way we think of them. Whether or not you want to spout idealistic phrases like, "It only matters what's on the inside," the truth is that we respond both psychologically and biologically to the way another person looks without ever meaning to. That is not to discredit someone's personality, however, because that can have a strong influence as well. I disagree with one of your article's statements: "If you were told each day that you should not judge a book by its cover then you will grow up as an adult who never judges people by appearance." In this case, there are far too many third variables to issue a statement that generalizes literally everyone (and attempts to downplay this with the pronoun, "you").
Here's a link to a page that expands on how we subconsciously categorize people superficially, among other things: http://www.succeedsocially.com/judge

I completely agree with this article, most people judge people by their own looks. Naturally, people group together by who they look most alike and who they have the most in common with. For example, many people from different types of religions tend to group together. Also, many races and cultures also group together. All of this causes cliques. Cliques can lead to bullying, drama, racisism, etc. There needs to be an end to this.
Here is another view point to this:
http://www.wikihow.com/Judge-People-Based-on-Their-Appearance

I feel that the way you are raised from your family plays a huge part in if you judge a person by their appearance or not. Even though judging others does happen, I feel that sometimes we judge people on appearance based on our own safety even if those people were completely safe. I found this website http://psych.princeton.edu/psychology/research/pronin/pubs/Pronin%20Gilovich%20Ross.pdf that talks about the "perceptions of bias in self versus others" where they do an observation study and shows results of those participants. Most were found to feel that they were more unbiased than others. I also came across a video called Carlsberg's Social Experiment (disregard the actual video being an advertisement in general) and focus on the concept of how people really do judge based on the appearance of others. This video has a group of bikers in a movie theatre leaving only two seats open right in the middle of all of them. A few clueless couples were selected to be tested if they would sit in those two seats or not. Watch the video and see if you would sit in those seats! http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zEnhYlzqKUk

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