chapter  3
Ironic effects of need for closure on closed-minded processing mode: The role of perceived control over reducing uncertainty
ByMałgorzata Kossowska, Marcin Bukowski, Sindhuja Sankaran
Pages 13

Uncertainty can be defined as the implicit and explicit feelings people experience as an outcome of being unsure about themselves, i.e., self-image, personal attitudes, aspirations, beliefs, emotions, or self-knowledge (e.g., De Cremer & Sedikides, 2005; Van den Bos, 2001).1 Although, to some degree, uncertainty in our lives may be stimulating, too much of it could be uncomfortable. Thus, people strive to reduce feelings of uncertainty about themselves, their social world, and their place within it – they are interested to know who they are and how to behave, who others are, and how they might behave (e.g., Van den Bos, 2001). Being properly informed in this manner renders the social world and one’s place within it relatively predictable (Kruglanski & Webster, 1996). It also allows one to plan effective actions, avoid harm, know whom to trust, and so forth (Roets et al., 2015). Thus, cognition under uncertainty is guided by personal motivation to reduce it rather than by relatively involuntary and automatic processes (e.g., Berger & Calabrese, 1975; Hockey, 1986; Kruglanski, 1989). Although experiencing uncertainty may sometimes be sought out (e.g., Sorrentino, Bobocel, Gitta, Olson, & Hewitt, 1988), usually people are motivated to reduce this state by adhering to personal goals, values, or cultural worldviews (for overview: Jonas et al., 2014).