Intolerance of Uncertainty

Uncertainty is the state of not knowing or being unsure. Uncertainty arises from exposure to novel, ambiguous, or unpredictable stimuli. In other words, an individual will feel uncertain when the individual encounters a stimulus that (a) he or she has no prior exposure to; (b) is indistinct, obscure, or could have multiple interpretations; or (c) changes unexpectedly or frequently. Uncertainty is often uncomfortable or distressing. However, some individuals display intolerance of uncertainty (IU), meaning that they have extreme difficulty tolerating or coping with the state of not knowing. IU results from extremely negative beliefs about uncertainty and its potential consequences. It can manifest as a number of maladaptive emotional, cognitive, and behavioral reactions such as anxiety, worry, and avoidance behavior. Our understanding of IU continues ...

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