false-perceptionThe other day I was out of town and hungry, so I went by the famous “eat more chicken” restaurant that has those salads I like.  Getting out of the car was a woman in her 30s dressed as a cow, hauling two young children out of the car, also dressed as cows.  My husband made the comment, “That’s really odd”.  Thoughts came to mind of an over-exuberant mom who was putting these two kids through more than what was really necessary.  Later that evening, back in Orlando, I happened to drive by the same fast food restaurant.  However, this location advertised on its sign that on that particular day was some sort of a cow celebration, and anyone dressing up as a cow received free chicken.  Suddenly, my opinion of that mother I saw earlier in the day transformed in my mind into a conscientious mom who was going to a lot of trouble to get her children to this cow celebration and save some money in the meantime.  This seemingly simple occurrence reminded me of how we all form judgments given the information we have at hand.  Keep in mind, this was just a random thought in the back of my mind that I considered a little odd.  I did not put any amount of brain energy into even thinking much about it.  But the above example hits home about this one truth:  Our perception of a situation can change our entire opinion of others.