The Uncertain Mind
Individual Differences in Facing the Unknown
Psychology Press – 2000 – 206 pages
Series: Essays in Social Psychology
This book discusses individual differences in how people react to uncertainty. The authors show that while some people are relatively comfortable dealing with uncertainty and strive to resolve it (uncertainty-oriented), others are more likely to avoid uncertainty, preferring the familiar or the known (certainty-oriented). They go on to examine the implications of an uncertainty orientation for understanding processes of self-knowledge, social cognition and attitude change, achievement, motivation and performance, interpersonal and group processes, and issues relating to physical and psychological health concerns. Research is discussed which links this uncertainty orientation to each of these issues, raising important practical and theoretical questions for each. The book also considers possible implications for people of both orientations of living in times that may be characterized as being uncertain.
"…we found this volume to be both scholarly and stimulating (a conjunction not always achieved in our academic literature). We await further developments in this productive research program." -- Keith E. Stanovich and Richard F. West
Preface. The Uncertain Mind. Uncertainty and Society. Previous Approaches. Individual Differences in Uncertainty Orientation. The Development of Uncertainty Orientation . Theory of Personality Functioning and Change. Cognitive, Moral, and Ego-Identity Development. Cultural Differences in Uncertainty Orientation. The Self,/b> . Theories of Self. The Uncertainty-Oriented Person and the Self. The Self and Achievement Behavior. Self Discrepancy Theory. Achievement Behavior . The Theory of Achievement Motivation. Integration of Motivational and Cognitive Theories. Cognition. Uncertainty and Certainty Schema. Social Influence and Information Processing. Social Comparison. Memory and Categorization Differences. Attitude Change. Group Dynamics. Close Relationships. Cooperative Learning. Social Identity. Groupthink. Intergroup Conflict. Power. Psychopathology . Depression and Control. Self-Penetration Theory. Prevention and Protection Motivation. General Issues. Conscious Thought and Rational Behavior. The Dynamics of Action. Uncertainty Orientation and Society. Appendix.