an appraisal of a situation and/or circumstances
Evaluation is the meaning a character finds in a situation or circumstances. Rather than just grappling with the bits and pieces, the character creates an understanding of how all the parts fit together. This gives him a better grasp of how to deal with the issue. The danger is that once he has Evaluated, the situation or circumstances change, yet he is still using the old evaluation as a unit of measure. Meanings change over time and need to be updated to maintain accuracy.
syn. appraisal, analysis, assessment, survey, examination