Uncertainty and Secret Tests: UNCERTAINTY
◦ We want to be able to understand behavior.
• High Uncertainty: feeling unsure or insecure about your ability to predict or explain someone’s
attitudes and behaviors.
◦ Occurs a lot in relationships.
• Low Uncertainty: feeling confident in your ability to predict and explain someone’s behavior, often
because they believe they know someone well.
◦ You know you what you're going to do next!
Types of Uncertainty
• Self Uncertainty: uncertainty about your own feelings and how involved you want to be in a
◦ Not sure what they want
• Partner Uncertainty: uncertainty about their partner's feelings and intentions, including whether their
partner reciprocates their feelings
◦ How the other feels about you; finds out indirectly
• Relationship Uncertainty: uncertainty about the general state of your relationship
◦ Unsure where the relationship is going; friends with benefits
Uncertainty in Initial Encounters: General Principles
1. People seek information to reduce uncertainty during initial encounters with others.
◦ People who are similar to me
2. People can reduce uncertainty using passive, active, or interactive strategies.
• Passive: unobtrusive observation
◦ Do you anticipate future interaction?
◦ Are there pictures taken at work or parties?
• Active: using third parties or manipulating the environment
◦ Ask friends to "find out about them"
• Interactive: direct verbal and/or nonverbal communication
◦ The more you know the person, the more likely you will interact with the person.
3. As uncertainty decreas