The Overconfidence Effect sends a chill down my spine. It says that the more certain you are of something, the more likely it is that you are wrong.
Is that not one of the scariest things you have ever heard? It means that I, a person who makes swift and confident decisions, could often be wrong!
The Overconfidence Effect happens most often when we don’t see all the various perspectives of a situation. In other words, we are not seeing the big picture.
The Rubin’s vase above is an excellent example. If you said it is a picture of a vase, you would be right. It is a picture of a vase. However, I might say that it is a picture of two faces, and I would also be right. We could stand yelling at each other in defense of our facts, but both of us are correct.
However, neither one of us is seeing the entire picture. Rubin’s vase is both a picture of two faces and a picture of a vase. It’s a great metaphor for life. If we are very certain of something, we are probably missing the big picture.
So, the next time that you feel absolutely certain about something, pause and take a step back. Are you seeing the entire picture? Is there another way of looking at this situation that is equally valid? Keep in mind that anyone who disagrees with you also has a reason. It’s a good idea to find out what that reason is so that you can make a decision based on the complete picture.
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