Home > Quote/Snapshot > Uncertainty effects, causes, and living with

Uncertainty effects, causes, and living with

Writing about uncertainty for PE, I am struck by the lack of articles on the psychological impact of uncertainty, the causes of uncertainty and strategies to cope with uncertainty. The literature that does exist is about computer modeling, and the definition of uncertainty generally tends to be seen as risk, or as unknown outcomes. Rather what I have in mind is a complete chaos, the lack of predictability and the inability to plan for the future, or to know what reactions you actions will lead to. This comes from a personal motivation to examine the consequences of political uncertainty and disempowerment in the MENA region and how people cope with such an environment. No one knows what is going on or why, and what they can do to make it better.

I remember Simon Abou Maliq mentioned that in such situations, residents of African cities resort to explaining the sudden inflow of wealth to a person using magic, superstition, or conspiracy. I’m not sure but I would think it explain the high levels of general anxiety and paranoia which I have heard from my psych friends exist in the region. As to causes of uncertainty, I do not really know the political reasons behind it. Perhaps uncertainty itself is a strategy of being in such a violent and disempowered world. Or it could be a strategy of disempowerment. The fact remains you cannot know who is telling the truth, whose account of history is more accurate, who is lying about their motives and about what happened, why things happen around you, and what the future will be like.

Maybe I am just not looking in the right places for literature on this, but it seems to me that it is understudied.

 

See:

http://link.springer.com/chapter/10.1007/0-387-26238-5_20

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