COM310_ Chapter 4

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COM 310
Laura Guerrero

Uncertainty and Secret Tests: UNCERTAINTY Defining 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 relationship ◦ 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 ◦ Attraction 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
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