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What is the difference between being objective and being subjective in science?

Jeffrey Rodriguez

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Donald Ward on May 21, 2019

Objective means things that can be directly quantified, measured and observed, without being open to interpretation. Subjective can mean that something involves hunches, gut feelings, things that only a person can know, or things where you have to guess on the measurements. For example, an objective way to fit someone for eyeglasses would be to directly measure the light that reaches the retina of the eye. That is how autorefractors work. Bounce off of low-power infrared light and measure how it comes back. A subjective way to fit the glasses would be to show the patient a series of calibrated slides and ask them which looks better and is more easy to read and use the numbers that they represent.


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