Do you know what’s worse than knowing something bad will happen?
Not knowing whether something bad will happen. The state of being stuck in limbo, uncertain about an outcome, is the worst state to be in. We would rather know with absolute certainty that something bad will happen than maybe have it happen.
In 2016, researchers performed a study on the stress levels of participants about to receive a painful electric shock. In situations where subjects had a 50 percent chance of receiving a shock, they experienced much higher stress than subjects who had a 0 or 100 percent chance of shock. That means participants who knew they would definitely get a shock felt calmer than participants who only had a 50 percent chance of shock.