Dr Sindhuja Sankaran’s paper titled “When do they push the right buttons? Need for closure and the role of perceived control in situations of uncertainty”
Dr Sindhuja Sankaran, Assistant Professor of Psychology, Sai University, has published a paper titled “When do they push the right buttons? Need for closure and the role of perceived control in situations of uncertainty” in the journal ‘Personality and Individual Differences’. The paper was co-authored with Małgorzata Kossowska from Jagiellonian University, Krakow, Poland and Ulrich von Hecker from Cardiff University, Cardiff, UK.
You can read the paper at: t.ly/f42In
The paper highlights the human tendency to seek closure when faced with uncertainty, a state that can be uncomfortable for many individuals. According to their research, they argue that some people are sensitive to uncertainty, i.e., they are not capable of handling uncertainty, leading to distress. While some other people are effective at handling uncertainty. This motivational personality difference is called need for Cognitive Closure (NFC). They were interested in understanding the strategies that people with high NFC would use to handle uncertainty. They found that when people experience uncertainty, they also experience a lack of control over their environment. So, by restoring control, people could restore uncertainty. They found evidence to support this assumption and found that people with high NFC were more effortful in trying to restore control. While this paper underscored the general processes involved in dealing with uncertainty, one take-home message would be that, when dealing with uncertainty, trying to focus on things that give you a sense of certainty would help restore control and thereby deal with uncertainty better.