What Is Social Judgement in Psychology?


Vincent White

Social judgment is a psychological concept that refers to how individuals evaluate and interpret information from others based on their own beliefs, attitudes, and values. In simpler terms, it is how people make judgments and form opinions about others based on their social interactions.

What is Social Judgement Theory?

Social judgment theory is a theoretical framework that explains the process of social judgment. This theory posits that people evaluate information based on three categories: latitude of acceptance, latitude of rejection, and latitude of non-commitment.

The latitude of acceptance refers to the range of ideas or opinions that an individual finds acceptable or agrees with. The latitude of rejection, on the other hand, refers to the range of ideas or opinions that an individual finds unacceptable or disagrees with. Finally, the latitude of non-commitment refers to the range of ideas or opinions that an individual has no strong feelings about either way.

How Does Social Judgement Work?

Social judgment works by categorizing incoming information into one of these three categories: acceptance, rejection, or non-commitment. Once an individual has categorized new information in this way, they then compare it to their own pre-existing beliefs and attitudes. If the new information falls within their latitude of acceptance, they will likely accept it as valid; if it falls within their latitude of rejection, they will reject it; and if it falls within their latitude of non-commitment, they may remain neutral.

However, social judgment also involves a level of bias. Individuals are more likely to accept information that is consistent with their existing beliefs and attitudes (known as confirmation bias) while rejecting information that conflicts with these preconceived notions. Additionally, individuals may also adjust their latitudes depending on how important a particular issue is to them.

The Importance Of Social Judgment

Social judgment plays a crucial role in human interactions as it allows individuals to make sense of the world around them. It helps people to evaluate new information and determine whether it aligns with their beliefs and values. Social judgment also helps individuals to form opinions about others based on their behavior and actions.

However, social judgment can also lead to misunderstandings and conflict if individuals are unwilling to consider ideas that fall outside of their latitude of acceptance. This can cause individuals to become closed-minded and resistant to change.


Social judgment is a complex psychological concept that plays a crucial role in human interactions. By understanding how social judgment works, individuals can become more aware of their own biases and work towards being more open-minded. Ultimately, social judgment allows for the sharing of ideas and perspectives, which is essential for personal growth and societal progress.