PSY 301 Week 5 Paper: Don’t Judge a Book by its Cover

Don’t Judge a Book by its Cover

PSY-301 Social Psychology

No, a book should never be judged by its cover. Even though it happens all the time, and sometimes we don’t even realize we’re doing it. “People will make better decisions when they accurately judge the personality of others, and knowledge about the process of accurate judgment may help people make more accurate judgments” (Letzring T. D., 2008). The proverb “Judging a book by its cover” is a relevant theory because it is useful in being applied to an every day situation. It is something that helps us understand human nature and daily interactions.

It seems that often time’s people make decisions of others based on their assessments of personality and outside appearances. Whether it is hiring someone as a babysitter, finding someone to be your spouse, or even getting hired for a job other people are judging that person. “Some times peoples actions qualify them for being subjects of some bad talk and tagging here and now, but there is not unique or unanimous way of categorizing them, which is probably the case with any other of certain people’s acquaintances with whom they are in no conflict and who actions are in fact of little concern to them” (Žikić, B., 2015). Everyone deserves a chance, just because of how their appearance is on the outside does not mean that is how they will be as a person on the inside. A person’s morality, sociability, and competence are all important characteristics to evaluate. But getting to know a person first and understand them is more important. For example, a person can act a certain way and others be quick to judge them right then. But once we get to know why they are acting a certain way our judgment can be way off. “In social situations, for example, the crucial factor in our evaluation of other people is often the feelings that they elicit in us” (Clore, G. L., & Huntsinger, J. R., 2007). Our minds just naturally seem to search for the negative in a person or situation, but often if you dig deep enough you can find the good in the person or situation.

Looking at your own behavior can be a big help when it comes to not judging others by what is on the outside. “Sometimes, we may be judging someone for something that we do ourselves, or have done” (Markway, B., 2014). I have often been told that judging someone does not define them; it only defines you as a person. This is a very true statement. For example, when I worked at the Vet’s office we were short staffed and were letting people shadow us and if we upfront “liked” them then the office manager would give them an interview. After they left their shadowing we would get together and discuss how we felt about them. Thinking back now we really didn’t get the opportunity to get to know them, we were really just judging them by them sitting there watching how we worked which did not seem quite right. Therefore, we could have potentially missed out on some good help because we judged them. If they didn’t have a natural hair color because it was not allowed that was something I noticed everyone would judge on. Before judging someone it is important to know all the facts about this individual. It is important to hold off until you know all the facts. Judging can not only cause psychological problems for you but also for the person that is being judged. Sometimes others want to feel like they belong and they can not when they feel as if they are because of being judged they are deprived from belonging and feel lonely. “Someone can be lonely, even when that person has frequent contacts with others” (Feenstra, J., 2013). People can pick up easily when they are being judged.

Culture does play a role when it comes to judging others. “European Americans are inclined to account for someone’s behavior by making assumptions about their personality, while Asians are not (at least not without some context), according to the researchers” (Parry, W., 2011). There are also no two people in the same culture who are going to act or respond to things the exact same way so that opens up room for judgment to start. Things have been said like Latin Americans have an interdependent mindset, so when someone in a different culture is dependent that leaves room for judgment to occur because they are not viewing things the same way.

With the given information there is proof why one should never judge a book by its cover. Everyone has different mindsets, cultural views, and even sociological views. When one is being judged by their “cover” they really are not getting a real chance. When this occurs then it opens the door for mental illnesses to occur, loneliness to occur, and even desocialization. Whether it is a person doing the judging or the person being judge it allows opportunity for psychological problems to arise. It is really important to realize the truth behind the saying, “judging others only defines who you are as a person.”


Clore, G. L., & Huntsinger, J. R. (2007). How emotions inform judgment and regulate thought. Trends in cognitive sciences11(9), 393–399.

Feenstra, J. (2013). Social psychology. Retrieved from

Letzring T. D. (2008). The Good Judge of Personality: Characteristics, Behaviors, and Observer Accuracy. Journal of research in personality42(4), 914–932.

Žikić, B. (2015). What Makes People Good or Bad? (Mis)Anthropological Essay on Searching for Social/ Cultural Reasons on Judging the Other People. Issues in Ethnology and Anthropology10(4), 927–943.

Markway, B. (2014, October 24). 10 Reasons to Stop Judging People. Retrieved from

Parry, W. (2011, April 13). Culture Influences Judgment of Others. Retrieved from