Volume 61, Issue 2
  • ISSN 0521-9744
  • E-ISSN: 1569-9668
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Tolerance for ambiguity (TA) is a cognitive factor that influences the perception of uncertainty and that, when not sufficiently present, may adversely affect problem solving and decision making, both key processes in translation. This being so, it has even been stated that TA is a personality trait which must be taken into account as far as translator training and recruitment are concerned (Tirkkonen-Condit 2000). After reviewing the main research conducted so far on TA from the disciplines of psychology and translation, the results of an exploratory field study based on descriptive methodology and self-report measures are shown. The Multiple Stimulus Types Ambiguity Tolerance Scale (Arquero and McLain 2010) or MSTAT-II is the main psychometric instrument applied to all participants (n=107). On the one hand, a positive correlation was found between tolerance of ambiguity and individuals’ own assessment of their self-efficacy when searching the Internet for documentation. On the other hand, those subjects who thought that they did not meet the requirements for becoming professional translators in the future obtained low scores in TA, and a significant difference in TA was found between them and those who believed to meet such requirements. The results of this preliminary work suggest that TA is relevant to the study of the cognitive processes of translators and that psychometric instruments of proven reliability and validity can be useful for process-oriented translation research.


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