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Effect of Threat and Challenge Appraisals of Acute Stress on Subsequent Acts of Self-control

Title: The Effect of Threat and Challenge Appraisals of Acute Stress on Subsequent Acts of Self-control.
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Name(s): Ramsey, Brandon, author
Department of Psychology
Type of Resource: text
Genre: Text
Issuance: serial
Date Issued: 2014
Physical Form: computer
online resource
Extent: 1 online resource
Language(s): English
Abstract/Description: Past research has shown that stress has negative implications for self-control performance. The current research was designed to test circumstances under which acute stress may improve self-control performance. Research on acute stress describes two different appraisals of a stressor--challenge and threat. These appraisals types differ in perceived resource availability and perception of how demanding the task is. They also differ in their associated physiological responses. A challenge appraisal leads to increased glucose release that continues for some time after the task, whereas the threat appraisal activates an extra stress axis that dampens the glucose response leading to lower glucose availability. Because of the difference in glucose release, I predicted that a threat appraisal of an acute stressor may impair self-control functioning relative to a no-stress control group, whereas a challenge appraisal of an acute stressor may improve self-control functioning relative to a no-stress control group. Participants completed a stressful speech task in which interviewers gave varied evaluative feedback to evoke a threat appraisal or challenge appraisal. Participants in a control condition completed the speech alone without evaluative feedback. Self-control performance was measured using a Stroop task. Contrary to predictions, participants in the threat condition who reported low life stress performed better on a self-control task than participants in the control condition. Participants in the challenge condition did not perform better on a self-control task regardless of perceived life stress. These findings suggest life stress may moderate the relationship between stress appraisal and subsequent self-control performance.
Identifier: FSU_migr_uhm-0347 (IID)
Keywords: self-control, acute stress, stress appraisals, perceived life stress
Submitted Note: A Thesis submitted to the Department of Psychology in partial fulfillment of the requirements for the degree of Honors in the Major.
Degree Awarded: Spring Semester, 2014.
Date of Defense: April 11, 2014.
Subject(s): Social psychology
Persistent Link to This Record: http://purl.flvc.org/fsu/fd/FSU_migr_uhm-0347
Restrictions on Access: http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/
Owner Institution: FSU
Is Part of Series: Honors Theses.

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Ramsey, B. (2014). The Effect of Threat and Challenge Appraisals of Acute Stress on Subsequent Acts of Self-control. Retrieved from http://purl.flvc.org/fsu/fd/FSU_migr_uhm-0347