Why uncertainty makes us shudder

“The oldest and strongest emotion of mankind is fear, and the oldest and strongest kind of fear is fear of the unknown”
H.P. Lovecraft



  1. Uncertainty begins to raise its head in milder forms than fear in the form of anxiety and stress. Even in mild forms they have an impact on our behavior. I find it productive to consider a psychological comfort zone as a state where the external world appears safe because it is largely predictable and orderly. As Martin Seligman once put it, “anxiety is the alarm clock going off in your head telling you that things are not happening as you predicted.” Pushed out of our comfort zone and we become more closed minded which compound the issue.

    Businesses can benefit by understanding this – if they create uncertainty for customers they make them less receptive, if they reduce uncertainty they make a value connection.

    John I. Todor, Ph.D.
    Alliance for Business Innovation

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