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On the Experience of Awaiting Uncertain News


At some point in life, everyone must wait for important news—whether the news from college applications, job interviews, medical tests, academic exams, or even romantic overtures. Until recently, the psychological literature on stress and coping had largely overlooked these common and often distressing experiences. However, the past 5 years have seen significant advances in the understanding of waiting experiences, revealing insights into the nature, time course, and consequences of distress during waiting periods; individual differences in these experiences; and effective and ineffective strategies for coping with this type of uncertainty. This article reviews the emerging findings from this growing literature and provides suggestions for future research in this area.

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