AskDefine | Define overconfidence

Dictionary Definition

overconfidence n : total certainty or greater certainty than circumstances warrant [syn: certitude, cocksureness]

User Contributed Dictionary



  1. An excessive degree of confidence

Related terms

Extensive Definition

Confidence is generally described as a state of being certain, either that a hypothesis or prediction is correct, or that a chosen course of action is the best or most effective given the circumstances. Confidence can be described as a subjective, emotional state of mind, but is also represented statistically as a confidence level within which one may be certain that a hypothesis will either be rejected or deemed plausible. Self-confidence is having confidence in oneself when considering a capability. Overconfidence is having unmerited confidence--believing something or someone is capable when they are not. Scientifically, a situation can only be judged after the aim has been achieved or not. Confidence can be a self-fulfilling prophecy, as those without it may fail or not try because they lack it, and those with it may succeed because they have it, rather than because of an innate ability.
Choking refers to losing confidence, especially self-confidence, just at the moment when it is needed most and doing poorly as a result e.g. in sports. This is found as a common plot device in literature and film, and is usually devised to result in a total alteration of a character's life.


Usually when someone is referred to as 'confident' they are referring to self-confidence. Self-confidence is faith in one's own abilities. One who is self-confident is not necessarily loud, brash, or reckless.
Confidence as a psychological quality is related to, but distinct from, self esteem. Confidence may be considered to be made up of a number of components. For example, Confidence Club defines confidence in terms of 5 components: 'social confidence', 'physical presence', 'stage presence', 'status confidence' and 'peer independence'.
Losing confidence is no longer trusting in the ability to perform. It may be reasonable as the result of past failure to perform, or unreasonable, because one "just has a feeling" about something or is having doubt. Confidence in someone is having faith and trust in that person. One considers that person reliable.

Confidence in others

People may have confidence in other people or forces beyond their control. For instance, one might have confidence in the police to protect them, or may have confidence that a sports team will win a game. Faith and Trust are synonyms of confidence when used in this sense.
overconfidence in Finnish: Luottamus

Synonyms, Antonyms and Related Words

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