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Evaluative judgments are, by their nature, inextricably bound up with culture and context. Thus, where there is sociocultural diversity, there very likely is some diversity in the expected and preferred evaluative processes and practices that undergird judgments of merit, worth, value, quality, significance, and congruence. Maximizing accuracy, appropriateness, respect, and excellence calls for openness to the decentering realities and complexities of difference and diversity. The presumption of similarity and single reality theories often leads evaluators—as well as other practitioners—to overlook, if not explicitly dismiss, such diversity as extraneous nuisance variation and noise.

When not dismissible in such oversimplifying ways, socioculturally grounded differences are often defined as problematic targets for amelioration and correction. Difference tends to be almost automatically interpreted as deficient and deviant. It is not ...

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