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UncertaintyHow It Makes Science Advance$
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Kostas Kampourakis and Kevin McCain

Print publication date: 2019

Print ISBN-13: 9780190871666

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: October 2019

DOI: 10.1093/oso/9780190871666.001.0001

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The Psychology of (Un)Certainty

The Psychology of (Un)Certainty

(p.19) 2 The Psychology of (Un)Certainty

Kostas Kampourakis

Kevin McCain

Oxford University Press

People strive for certainty due to an inherent desire for it. Uncertainty seems to be stressful in the same unconscious manner as anger and fear. We cannot really control this feeling, and we feel relaxed only when we feel certain about what we know or about what we should anticipate. However, our world is filled with uncertainty and so are most aspects of our life. Therefore, instead for looking for certainty where it does not exist, we had better learn to appreciate uncertainty and learn to live and deal with it. Education could play a major role here. But a major shift is necessary from the current educational practice of providing yes or no answers to one that would educate people to understand and deal with risk and uncertainty.

Keywords:   astrology, religion, fundamentalism, feeling of knowing, brain, stress, risk literacy

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