• Entry
  • Reader's guide
  • Entries A-Z
  • Subject index

Uncertainty Management Theory

  • By: Kami Kosenko
  • In: Encyclopedia of Health Communication
  • Edited by: Teresa L. Thompson
  • Subject:Public Health Education & Health Promotion, Health Psychology, Health Communication

Dale Brashers developed uncertainty management theory to account for people's experiences with and responses to uncertainty, defined as an inability to make sense of, assign value to, or predict the outcomes of events. Brashers viewed life in general, and illness in particular, as inherently unpredictable and argued that communication was the primary means through which individuals coped with these uncertainties. With its emphasis on communication and its relevance to health, uncertainty management theory has considerable appeal to health communication scholars. In fact, communication scholars have explored various health issues, including cancer, HIV/AIDS, organ failure, and human papillomavirus (HPV), through this theoretical lens, providing empirical support for the theory's assumptions and central themes.

Although often mentioned in the same breath as Charles Berger and Richard Calabrese's theory ...

    • Loading...
    locked icon

    Sign in to access this content

    Get a 30 day FREE TRIAL

    • Watch videos from a variety of sources bringing classroom topics to life
    • Read modern, diverse business cases
    • Explore hundreds of books and reference titles