Avram Altaras asks:
Is there any scientific evidence that humans don’t like uncertainty? I think I saw that in one of Gigerenzer’s articles, and the guest lecturer talked about it last week. It’s def conventional wisdom but I’m having difficulty accepting it.
I replied that I’m not sure. I guess a statement such as “humans don’t like uncertainty” would have to be stated more specifically before it could be evaluated. So I assume this has been done, but I don’t know the literature.
There is the test that asks “do you want $100 with certainty or $50 if a coin comes up heads and $150 otherwise”, which only proves that humans don’t like to be exposed to uncertainty without compensation. Others invoke cavemen, dinosaurs, and evolution to make the point (almost any point.)
I tossed the question of to Josh “Don’t call him ‘hot hand’” Miller, who replied:
Unless I misunderstand what is meant by “like” and “uncertainty,” I have a boring opinion: it depends.
People sometimes dislike certainty, e.g. they hate spoilers.
People often seek out uncertainty, e.g. suspense and surprise.
Some people find uncertainty to be convenient, e.g. willful ignorance and plausible deniability.
We could probably go on…
On the other hand, when I am making a decision, I prefer to know the consequences of my actions, rather than for them remain uncertain. At the very least it helps for planning.
Can any of you help out here?