Whether someone’s words are factual or based on a mere assumption, we need to give ourselves room to gauge them.

As we discussed earlier, we have managed to understand how people sometimes make value judgments about us, by taking from fleeting thoughts that they have of us. In these cases, it becomes clear that it is important to look at what we perceive about things said to us in order to make a rational evaluation of a statement made towards us. Continuing from this notion of perceiving judgment, we’d like to discuss the difference between a factual statement, and an assumption, and the process of evaluating this difference.

When someone says something to us, we often end to try and respond as quickly as possible to them, with a rebuttal flavored by our own opinion. Sometimes, because of how bad we can be at listening to people’s words, we often either brush them off or agree with them right away, in order to progress with a conversation. Thus, we often jump the gun and give in a response without evaluating what someone has said to us.

Knowledge is at the intersection of truth and belief, but sound knowledge is based on facts.
Image: HAQx

A fact is something that is based on existing data. It is essentially a piece of information that is verified by the presence of sufficient evidence in the human world. Something that is more liminal and intuitive is an assumption. An assumption is basically an evaluation that is made without referring and corroborating a statement with other data. It is something taken for granted, without any supporting proof.

For example, if your client at work walks in 20 minutes late and you tell someone about it, the words you’d say would be ‘my client came in 20 minutes late!’ There are no voids and gaps within this statement. It is based on your observation of the time, and the arrival of the client. There is nothing that is taken to be true without evidence here. It is thus a fact, without question!

Image: I Like to Quote

On the other hand, an assumption would have a few more voids within its substance, as it is based notions merely taken to be true. For example, if you feel someone is treating you with hostility but not showing it directly, it often puts you in a spot where you are confused about their emotions. In this case, we often try to gauge what they’re feeling from our own intuition to produce an assumption like ‘He/she is being extremely passive-aggressive towards me!’ However, this is just based on what we think the person might be going through rather than verified information about it.

It’s clear that these situations pervade in most domains of our lives, and require us to gauge what people say quite carefully. Rather than being hell-bent on having a response to what someone says to you that may or may not be true, remember to give yourself some time in order to really gauge if what they are saying is based on true fact, or whether it is ‘taken’ or assumed as true.

An undergraduate in Psychology, Shantanu is an aspiring Educational Psychologist who will be pursuing his Master’s in 2018 at the Ohio State University. He is adept with psychometric and statistical research, and has honed his grasp over psychology through a 4 year undergraduate course in Liberal Education at FLAME University, Pune.