Someone dealing with an ambiguous situation is more likely to make an unintentional error or to be confused.


Ambiguity occurs when there is more than one meaning or interpretation for a word or situation. It causes a problem if it is misinterpreted or if it causes confusion or doubt.


Risk factors for ambiguity:

(1) intentional

(2) words are taken out of context

(3) a concept is poorly defined

(4) at least one person in the exchange does not understand the concept

(5) a situation is hurried or rushed

(6) a term with many different meanings


Ambiguity can be reduced by explicitly defining what is meant through the process of disambiguation. This requires a bit more time and effort but saves time later.


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