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Defining Intolerance of Ambiguity

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Current tests of intolerance of ambiguity suffer from two grave faults—the measures are not logically consistent operational definitions of the concept, and they have poor psychometric properties.

The logical implications of the theory of intolerance of ambiguity were reduced to a set of defining characteristics. Two of these attributes were used to generate two tests which operationally define these attributes, and are not inconsistent with the rest of the defining characteristics. The two tests, measures of “need for categorization,” and “need for certainty,” were examined for their psychometric properties. Their distributions satisfied the usual psychometric criteria, and their intercorrelations showed that the two dimensions were positively related.

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Robert S. Beecroft’s help and encouragement to the writer is gratefully acknowledged.

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Bochner, S. Defining Intolerance of Ambiguity. Psychol Rec 15, 393–400 (1965).

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