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- A preferenceD↷ for a certain state of the world, expressed by an individual or by a society. Value judgments - in contrast to valuation - include all kinds of statements of preferences, not only monetary valuation.
- Assessment is about estimating impacts that may have either positive or negative value judgments attached to themselves or to the factors causally affecting them or to the factors causally affected by them. These values must be acknowledged in the process of making the assessments, not only in the decision making phase, otherwise there is a risk of compromising the relevance of the assessment. Combining phenomena of physical reality with the value judgments related to them requires methods to distinguish these two things from each other and bringing the value judgments to explicit scrutiny within an assessment.<section end=glossary />
Assessments typically consider complex networks of natural and societal phenomena that are of, at least potential, interest to many organizations and individuals with different perspectives to the issues at stake. These organizations and individuals are not only possible sources of relevant knowledge, but also, and perhaps in particular, societal actors with plural values regarding the issues of assessment. Due consideration of these values is crucial in assessments, in particular if assessments are considered as processes of invoking social learning upon societally important matters. Also value judgments, like factual statements based on evidence, can be subjects of systematic scrutiny in assessments.