Emotionally judging things as being 'good' or 'bad'. Not in the moral sense, rather as inducing either a strongly positive or negative emotional response.

It's not 'narrow-minded' or 'prejudiced' or 'intolerant', since the person may be very open to new experiences, but most of them are either 'great' or 'horrible' afterwards with little middle ground.


4 Answers 4


I think opinionated may convey the idea:

  • unduly adhering to one's own opinion or to preconceived notions


  • Opinionated feels about right. Thanks Josh61
    – kostja
    Mar 10, 2016 at 10:19

A more technical term for what you have described is dichotomous:

  1. dividing into two parts
  2. relating to, involving, or proceeding from dichotomy

Dichotomous thinking is associated with various mental disorders, from autism to borderline personality disorder, as well as with mood disorders such as depression and a whole range of eating disorders.

Commonly referred to as black and white thinking or all-or-nothing thinking, psychologists define it as splitting:

Splitting (also called black and white thinking or all-or-nothing thinking) is the failure in a person's thinking to bring together both positive and negative qualities of the self and others into a cohesive, realistic whole. It is a common defense mechanism used by many people.1 The individual tends to think in extremes (i.e., an individual's actions and motivations are all good or all bad with no middle ground). From wikipedia

Nowadays, popular criticism of dichotomous perspectives touches on everything from political affiliation and religious belief to gender identity and racial constructs.


Dichotomy / Dualistic / Manichaeistic.

  • 1
    Hi, David. Welcome to English Language and Usage. I am not the downvoter, but let me explain something to you. It is not encouraged to post an answer without any research/reference/link that can support it. Please edit your answer after taking the tour and visiting our help center for additional guidance. If you post such a short answer, it will be flagged and deleted by democratic voting process.
    – user140086
    Mar 10, 2016 at 11:04
  • I upvote because your words would have been my reply....
    – DAVE
    Mar 10, 2016 at 13:09

How does plain old binary work for you?

  • not really well - while I could say "she's opnionated in her tastes" or even "he's dichotomous with new people", both expression sound a bit strange with 'binary'
    – kostja
    Mar 11, 2016 at 10:26

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