The last three days, my older son and I took short 25 to 30 mile rides on the Schuylkill River Trail. On all three days we were hit with torrential rain storms. On the third day my son noted that others we saw on the trail during the rain were much more likely to nod, wave, or in some other manner acknowledge our presence or greet us. He said he had been counting, and around 40% of riders did this. He also commented that on days with perfect weather (sunshine, low humidity and moderate temperatures) he usually noted a 10 to 20% rate of people greeting one another. Finally, he suggested that perhaps it was because people “braving” the foul weather felt more of a sense of kinship with others who were doing the same.
This is somewhat of a big deal for him and me in that I have been pushing him the last several months to do more than just use the SWAG (scientific wild a$$ guess) method for reaching decisions (something he’s prone to do). I acknowledged that collecting the data was the first step, but that it would be premature to reach a conclusion regarding the data. He grinned and said, “Got it. We need to test my hypothesis.” So, the question is how might one realistically test this hypothesis? We’re open to ideas and suggestions. In the meantime and as a first step, how many of you could either confirm or reject the hypothesis based solely on your own behavior. Are you more prone to acknowledge/greet others out of a sense of kinship when there is some level of hardship involved?