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Cognitive Appraisal

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Synonyms

Lazarus theory; Transactional model

Definition

The concept of cognitive appraisal was advanced in 1966 by psychologist Richard Lazarus in the book Psychological Stress and Coping Process. According to this theory, stress is perceived as the imbalance between the demands placed on the individual and the individual’s resources to cope (Lazarus & Folkman, 1984). Lazarus argued that the experience of stress differs significantly between individuals depending on how they interpret an event and the outcome of a specific sequence of thinking patterns, called appraisals (Lazarus, 1991).

Cognitive appraisal refers to the personal interpretation of a situation that ultimately influences the extent to which the situation is perceived as stressful. It is the process of assessing (a) whether a situation or event threatens our well-being, (b) whether there are sufficient personal resources available for coping with the demand of the situation, and (c) whether our strategy for dealing with...

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  • DOI: 10.1007/978-1-4419-1005-9_1115
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References and Readings

  • Folkman, S., Lazarus, R. S., Dunkel-Schetter, C., DeLongis, A., & Gruen, J. (1986). Dynamics of a stressful encounter: Cognitive appraisal, coping and encounter outcomes. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 50(5), 992–1003.

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  • Folkman, S., Lazarus, R. S., Gruen, J., & DeLongis, A. (1986). Appraisal, coping, health status, and psychological symptoms. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 50(3), 571–579.

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  • Lazarus, R. S. (1991). Emotion and adaptation. New York: Oxford University Press.

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  • Lazarus, R. S., & Folkman, S. (1984). Stress, appraisal, and coping. New York: Springer.

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Correspondence to Tavis S. Campbell .

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© 2013 Springer Science+Business Media, New York

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Campbell, T.S., Johnson, J.A., Zernicke, K.A. (2013). Cognitive Appraisal. In: Gellman, M.D., Turner, J.R. (eds) Encyclopedia of Behavioral Medicine. Springer, New York, NY. https://doi.org/10.1007/978-1-4419-1005-9_1115

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  • DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/978-1-4419-1005-9_1115

  • Publisher Name: Springer, New York, NY

  • Print ISBN: 978-1-4419-1004-2

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