我的一个好朋友最近接受了白血病测试。她对我说，最令人痛苦的折磨就是苦苦等待测试结果的那一周时间。我朋友说，她可能会学着直面坏结果。但真正让人煎熬焦虑的是那种茫然的感觉。哈佛大学心理学家吉尔伯特(Daniel Gilbert)不久前在《纽约时报》(New York Times)的专栏中写道，不知道要发生什么坏事比知道什么坏事要发生的感觉更糟。我们大多数人之所以会夜不能寐、抽烟发泄，并不是因为道琼斯指数要再跌1000点，而是因为我们不知道指数会不会下跌──不确定的感觉比不确定的事情本身更折磨人。
Coping With the Certainty of Uncertainty
A close friend of mine recently underwent tests for leukemia. The most agonizing part of the ordeal, she said, was the week-long wait for the test results. A bad outcome she could learn to cope with, my friend said. It was the not knowing,the uncertainty, that was so difficult.'People feel worse when something bad might occur than when something bad will occur,' wrote Harvard psychologist Daniel Gilbert in a recent New York Times op-ed. 'Most of us aren't losing sleep and sucking down Marlboros because the Dow is going to fall another thousand points, but because we don't know whether it will fall or not ─ and human beings find uncertainty more painful than the things they're uncertain about.'