Criterion – Concept, examples of use and lack of judgment

We explain what the criterion is, the origin of the term and its various meanings. Also, what is an evaluation criterion and the lack of criteria.

A criterion is what is taken into account to do something, such as the alphabet to order books.

What is the criterion?

By the word criterion, in general, we mean a standard or scale from which it is possible to know the truth or make a decision determined. What we need to take into account, or that should be considered in a timely manner, make up the criteria with which we make or judge a matter.

This word comes from the Greek kriterion, with the same meaning, and which in turn comes from the Greek verb krinein, translatable as “sift”, “divide” or “separate”. Seen this way, the criterion is figuratively what helps us to classify, divide or separate a matter into its parts.

For example, if we must organize a set of books on a library shelf, we can apply an alphabetical criterion by titles or by authors, an editorial criterion (depending on the company that published them), or even a thematic criterion, thus creating compartments or classifications. among which all the books are distributed.

The criteria for a matter, therefore, can be immensely varied and are part of the rational apparatus with which the human being faces reality and formulates judgments, opinions or thoughts. That is why people often “change their criteria”, that is, they change the parameters with which they judge a reality and therefore also change their opinion or verdict on it.

Hence, the word criterion ended up being more or less synonymous with “opinion” or “point of view”, and also with rationality or good sense: when someone does something “according to their criteria”, we understand that they do it according to their understanding, such as product of a conscious decision.

The same happens, in the opposite sense, when it is said that someone “lacks criteria” (that is, they have no idea) or have “poor criteria” (that is, they think little or badly about things).

Evaluation criteria

The evaluation criteria, as can be seen from the previous explanation, are the scales that we use when determining a result, especially of an exam, a test or an evaluation of some kind. This is about what we take into consideration to be able to discern between what is right and what is wrong, between correct and incorrect answers, and so on.

For example, school teachers use an evaluation criterion already structured, with which they can know which of our answers in an exam are good and which are not, in order to evaluate us without intervening (or doing it as little as possible). ) their personal affections or their subjectivity. Given that an evaluation criterion can be explained, transmitted and revised.

Severability criterion

Severability criterion
One criterion for divisibility is that all even numbers are divisible by 2.

The criterion of divisibility is a rule of mathematics that allows us to determine if a number is divisible by another, throwing an integer as a result, or not.

Generally, these criteria state that one number is divisible by another as long as it complies with certain precautions; for example, all even numbers are always divisible by 2, or by another even number. Or for a number to be divisible by 3, the sum of its digits must always be a multiple of 3.

So: when a number does not meet the established divisibility criteria, we will not be able to carry out the division and obtain whole numbers as a result.

Lack of criteria

There is talk of “lack of criteria” to indicate that someone performs an action or a value judgment without being clear about the things that should be taken into account for it, that is, without having much idea of ​​what he is doing or saying.

Thus, a person may lack the criteria necessary to make certain important decisions, or to carry out some planning, just as someone who does not know according to what point of view a set of books should ideally be classified.

On the other hand, it is normal that “lack of criteria” is used as a synonym for “poor criteria”, that is, that lack of criteria is equivalent to having bad criteria. In colloquial speech the term is used to say that someone reasons very poorly or in a hurry, who does not take into account the important things when doing it, or who acts in a way erratic, clumsy or little aware of the consequences.