New research: Self-Uncertainties affect daily interactions

01/04/2017
  Human Uncertainty Robert Böhm

In times of environmental threats due to climate change, migration of refugees refugee etc., uncertainties about ourselves and the society in which we live, are prevalent in many human's lives. But what are the consequences of such perceived uncertainties in our daily interactions?

EME members Robert Böhm together with Stefan Pfattheicher (Ulm University) aimed to answer this questions. In five experiments they manipulated participant's self-uncerstainty and measures trust toward independent others in various ways. Their striking finding is that individuals who perceived greater self-uncertainty, reduced trust more strongly, particularly when they have a personal disposition to be prosocial and honest toward others. In other words, uncertainties mainly reduce trust among the "nice guys". This finding is important because it shows the negative social consequences of uncertainties people experience due to, for instance, environmental threats.

The research report will appear in the renowned Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, published by the American Psychological Association:

Pfattheicher, S., & Böhm, R. (in press). Honesty-Humility under threat: Self-uncertainty destroys trust among the nice guys. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology. psycnet.apa.org/psycinfo/2017-09885-001/