PSY 197 Lecture Notes - Lecture 17: Stress Management, Eustress, Psychological Stress

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31 May 2017
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PSY 197 – Lecture 17
The Transactional Model of Stress
Psychological stress: a troubled relationship between the person and the environment in
which an environmental demands, constraints, or opportunity is judged to tax or exceed the
person’s resources
Emphasis: cognition factors
External events  appraisal  reactions
Appraisal: the key construct
Stress does not occur without an antecedent appraisal of the event
The appraisal, not the event itself, cause stress
i.e., getting a B – for some people it might be a great grade, for others it might be the
end of the world
Change the appraisal, change the stress experience
i.e., an argument with one’s supervisor
Shakespeare: “for there is nothing either good or bad, but thinking makes it so”
Three Appraisal
Primary appraisal: evaluate the stressor’s immediate impact on a person’s well-being
Evaluate the significance of the event
Evaluate the potential benefit and harm of the event
Good appraisal  benefit; e.g. getting a promotion
Bad appraisal  harm, e.g. conflict with supervisor
Second appraisal: appraise their coping potential (one’s resources) with the event
What can I do about this stressful encounter?
Reappraisal: incorporates new information
Now what?
Coping Strategies
Coping refers to ongoing cognitive and behavioral efforts to manage stress
Two purposes in coping with stress:
to overcome stressor—problem focused coping
direct acting to alter the environment
To prevent strain—emotional focused coping
Eustress and Distress
Distress: a negative psychological responses to a stressor, as indicated by the presence of
negative psychological states
Workplace incivility  anger or frustration
Eustress: a positive psychological response to a stressor, as indicated by the presence of
positive psychological states
Receiving a job task  excitement or being motivated
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