The psychological treatment of uncertainty has undergone major changes over the past decades. At the beginning, uncertainty was conceptualized in terms of quantitative terms like frequencies, degrees of belief, and probabilities, and it was considered as being stored and retrieved. Research has shown, however, that this narrow understanding of uncertainty does not catch the many variants of uncertainty. From a broader perspective, quantitative information is but one particular kind of information on which people might base their feeling of uncertainty. In many situations, qualitative information, i.e., evidence, arguments, and stories are used to infer and construct expressions of uncertainty. In this paper I describe (very selectively) research on reasons which people might have for being uncertain, and I illustrate the range of concepts with examples from my own as well as from other researchers' studies.
Keywords: uncertainty, subjective probability, ambiguity
Short Title: Jungermann, H. (1997) PsyBeit 1-2:126Prof. Dr. Helmut Jungermann
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