Overconfidence in opinions

This example occurred to me on a recent jog.

A woman was jogging on the sidewalk on the other side of the street from me. We were both running in the same direction.

She was ahead of me. I caught up to to her. She kept my pace for a few hundred yards, then she slowed down and I passed her.

Later I turned to see where she was. She had crossed the street to my sidewalk, but was a good distance behind me.

I thought to myself, maybe she thinks my side of the road is faster.

Then I thought, if I told the story just like that, most people would discount that immediately as a case of mistaken cause.

They may think, no you left her behind because you’re faster. How dumb is it to think you can get faster simply by running on your sidewalk?

I thought to myself that would be a great example of how something that sounds dumb, could make sense with a wee bit more information.

It’s winter. There’s snow and ice on the ground. My side of the road had seen more sun which had melted the snow and ice off my sidewalk. Her side of the road still had patches of snow and ice because it was shaded from the sun by embankments and trees.

So, indeed, she did get faster simply by crossing the street.

This example reminds of many conversations I’ve had over the years where a person forms an opinion and doesn’t budge. They believe they have all the information they need and stick to their guns.

But, if they were just a bit more imaginative or open to other bits of information, maybe they wouldn’t be so married to their opinions.

3 thoughts on “Overconfidence in opinions

  1. …..or she thought you were a stalker and wanted to keep you where she could watch you instead of the other way around!

    • Could be, though I think she would have let me pass her much easier than she did. I neglected to mention that while she was keeping pace with me, I upped my pace a couple times to try and shake her, and she responded. So, another good example where a little more information might change your opinion.

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