Journal of Behavioral Medicine

, Volume 12, Issue 1, pp 91–103 | Cite as

Coping styles, paradox, and the cold pressor task

  • Jay S. Efran
  • Robert L. Chorney
  • L. Michael Ascher
  • Michael D. Lukens


The study investigated how coping style differences affected performance on the cold pressor task. Reactions of “monitors” (individuals who prefer having information about stressors) and “blunters” (individuals who avoid cues connected with stressors) were compared, using different instructional sets. The study also assessed the effectiveness of paradoxical intention compared to more traditional cognitive strategies. Monitors and blunters were identified using Miller's recently developed Behavioral Style Scale. All instructional sets improved performance in comparison to a control condition, and individuals generally did better when an instructional set supported their preferred coping style. Paradoxical intention did not show any decided advantage over other strategies. The desirability of designing stress management programs to fit individual coping style patterns is discussed.

Key words

coping cold pressor stress paradox behavioral style 


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Copyright information

© Plenum Publishing Corporation 1989

Authors and Affiliations

  • Jay S. Efran
    • 1
  • Robert L. Chorney
    • 1
  • L. Michael Ascher
    • 1
  • Michael D. Lukens
    • 1
  1. 1.Temple UniversityPhiladelphia

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