modding degrade files

I am wanting to lower the stress of my character in the game. Under the config where it says " _stress_degrade = 0.52", I was wondering what that meant. Does it mean that the stress of my character decreases by 52% or 48%? An answer to this would be much appreciated.

I would also like an explanation of these things. I want to modify the rate at which a number of personality traits degrade. For instance, I’d like to get rid of IQ and Persuasion degradation entirely or nearly entirely, while sharply reducing Confidence degradation.

Confidence is so hard to raise. If I actually manage to get it to 100%, I want my character to develop a bloody Messianic complex; that level of self-esteem provides an indomitable barrier against many of the slings and arrows of outrageous fortune, and it should require something more powerful than standard degradation over time to reduce it again.