What is Cognitive Appraisal?Lazarus stated that cognitive appraisal occurs when a person considers two major factors that majorly contribute in his response to stress. These two factors include:
- The threatening tendency of the stress to the individual, and
- The assessment of resources required to minimize, tolerate or eradicate the stressor and the stress it produces.
See also: Schachter-Singer Theory of Emotion
Primary AppraisalIn the stage of primary appraisal, an individual tends to ask questions like, “What does this stressor and/ or situation mean?”, and, “How can it influence me?” According to psychologists, the three typical answers to these questions are:
- "this is not important"
- "this is good"
- "this is stressful"
After answering these two questions, the second part of primary cognitive appraisal is to classify whether the stressor or the situation is a threat, a challenge or a harm-loss. When you see the stressor as a threat, you view it as something that will cause future harm, such as failure in exams or getting fired from job. When you look at it as a challenge, you develop a positive stress response because you expect the stressor to lead you to a higher class ranking, or a better employment.
On the other hand, seeing the stressor as a “harm-loss” means that the damage has already been experiences, such as when a person underwent a recent leg amputation, or encountered a car accident.
Secondary AppraisalUnlike in other theories where the stages usually come one after another, the secondary appraisal actually happens simultaneously with the primary appraisal. In fact, there are times that secondary appraisal becomes the cause of a primary appraisal.
Secondary appraisals involve those feelings related to dealing with the stressor or the stress it produces. Uttering statements like, “I can do it if I do my best”, “I will try whether my chances of success are high or not”, and “If this way fails, I can always try another method” indicates positive secondary appraisal. In contrast to these, statements like, “I can’t do it; I know I will fail”, “I will not do it because no one believes I can” and, “I won’t try because my chances are low” indicate negative secondary appraisal.
Approach-approach conflict is one of the three major types of conflict described by psychologist Kurt Lewin in 1931.
It happens when a person has to choose between two desirable outcomes, such as a choice between finishing college and a full-time job offer.
This conflict is often the easier to resolve than the two other conflicts, which areavoidance-avoidance conflict and approach-avoidance conflict.
Avoidance-avoidance conflict is one of the three major types of conflict described bypsychologist Kurt Lewin in 1931. The other two are approach-approach conflict andapproach-avoidance conflict.
This conflict involves choosing between undesirable alternatives or outcomes in which a person tends to avoid. For instance, a person who dislikes his job but fears on quitting and unemployment.
Approach-avoidance conflict is one of the three major types of conflict described by psychologist Kurt Lewin in 1931. It is when an individual is indecisive and ambivalent in pursuing a desirable goal that has an undesirable outcome. For instance, a person wants to do something but fears the consequence it entails. This conflict is often the more difficult to resolve.