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A photo shows a smiling person wearing a graduation cap and gown.
Graduating from college and entering the workforce can be viewed as either a threat (loss of financial support) or a challenge (opportunity for independence and growth). (credit: Timothy Zanker)

The perception of a threat triggers a secondary appraisal    : judgment of the options available to cope with a stressor, as well as perceptions of how effective such options will be (Lyon, 2012) ( [link] ). As you may recall from what you learned about self-efficacy, an individual’s belief in his ability to complete a task is important (Bandura, 1994). A threat tends to be viewed as less catastrophic if one believes something can be done about it (Lazarus&Folkman, 1984). Imagine that two middle-aged women, Robin and Maria, perform breast self-examinations one morning and each woman notices a lump on the lower region of her left breast. Although both women view the breast lump as a potential threat (primary appraisal), their secondary appraisals differ considerably. In considering the breast lump, some of the thoughts racing through Robin’s mind are, “Oh my God, I could have breast cancer! What if the cancer has spread to the rest of my body and I cannot recover? What if I have to go through chemotherapy? I’ve heard that experience is awful! What if I have to quit my job? My husband and I won’t have enough money to pay the mortgage. Oh, this is just horrible…I can’t deal with it!” On the other hand, Maria thinks, “Hmm, this may not be good. Although most times these things turn out to be benign, I need to have it checked out. If it turns out to be breast cancer, there are doctors who can take care of it because the medical technology today is quite advanced. I’ll have a lot of different options, and I’ll be just fine.” Clearly, Robin and Maria have different outlooks on what might turn out to be a very serious situation: Robin seems to think that little could be done about it, whereas Maria believes that, worst case scenario, a number of options that are likely to be effective would be available. As such, Robin would clearly experience greater stress than would Maria.

A concept map begins with a box titled “Stressor” at the top with an arrow underneath that leads to a box labeled “Primary appraisal: challenge or threat?” Below “Primary appraisal: challenge or threat?” is a line leading to the word “challenge” on the left side and “threat” on the right side. Below the word “challenge” is a box labeled “Potential for gain or growth.” There are no additional lines, arrows, or boxes under “Potential for gain or growth.” Below the word “threat,” there is a box labeled “May lead to harm, loss, or negative consequences.” Underneath the box, there is an arrow leading to another box labeled “Secondary appraisal: potential options and how effective?” The box has a line underneath that leads to the words “effective option” on the left side and “ineffective/no option” on the right side. Below the words “effective option,” there is an arrow leading to a box labeled “Low threat.” Below the words “ineffective/no option,” there is an arrow leading to a box labeled “High threat.”
When encountering a stressor, a person judges its potential threat (primary appraisal) and then determines if effective options are available to manage the situation. Stress is likely to result if a stressor is perceived as extremely threatening or threatening with few or no effective coping options available.

To be sure, some stressors are inherently more stressful than others in that they are more threatening and leave less potential for variation in cognitive appraisals (e.g., objective threats to one’s health or safety). Nevertheless, appraisal will still play a role in augmenting or diminishing our reactions to such events (Everly&Lating, 2002).

If a person appraises an event as harmful and believes that the demands imposed by the event exceed the available resources to manage or adapt to it, the person will subjectively experience a state of stress. In contrast, if one does not appraise the same event as harmful or threatening, she is unlikely to experience stress. According to this definition, environmental events trigger stress reactions by the way they are interpreted and the meanings they are assigned. In short, stress is largely in the eye of the beholder: it’s not so much what happens to you as it is how you respond (Selye, 1976).

Questions & Answers

what are the social psychology concepts
MICOT Reply
when do children form oppions
Tasha Reply
they sit in home and play home toys
muhammad
oppions?
Grace
How to know other person
RAGHAV Reply
what is the nature and scope of biopsychology?
Pratibha Reply
working along with neurologists and doctors closely on the field related to brain and nerves
devesh
How can one over come a sleep debt
Andy Reply
how does an algorithm save you time and energy when solving a problem
john Reply
by directing your attention or misdirecting your attention to a particular topic
frederick
can an obsession with blood and Gore be caused by psychological trauma
Dalton Reply
psychological trauma is a bit of a wild card in the case of long term effects. everyone has their own unique experience and I dont see why the example in your question couldn't be a possible manifestation.
Elle
it would be a bigger possibility of this resulting from trauma if this began after you witnessed a violent or gory event. however this often comes from the amount of violence and gore we are exposed to through social media, the news, and fictional material like books, movies and video games.
andrina
how can the bipolar and mood disorder can prevent?
Shana Reply
Control stress. Stress is a major bipolar trigger. ... If you would control stress you will simply feel good ....if you want to know more about this DM @shana mae
KhaLid
That brings us to the next question.. How do we actually control stress in an effective way?
Looney
well for me mindfulness meditation techniques are very much effective for coping with stress ....
KhaLid
please what are the major things I need to know now in psychology,because I'm a new student of psychology.
Godwin
Godwin if it is your begining in this field you should first clear some concepts like what is psychology it's etymology , structuralism,functionalism , behaviourism and many other perspectives .....
KhaLid
first of all are you studying in psychology or working as a psychologist
muhammad
studying Sir
Godwin
Thank you Sir Khalid.
Godwin
Muhammad Akram Both ☺️
KhaLid
Far too often, you can't control stress just like that on your own . And it will affect you On subconscious level . When it comes to meditation it's something to take seriously and best to be taught by professional.
Kira
I know there are many other ways but I found this one at my own Kira Emerala!
KhaLid
Hi friends
RAJABU
it can't be extracted I'll tell u that much
Shawnte
someone who study psychology here need help ? anyone ?
khawla
Can I ask for tips when you have no motivation and can't focus with your studies?
Jhea
For Shana, I'm sorry, I can't answer your concern at the moment, because I'm still studying about the basics of psychology 😬
Daydreaming
do meditation, start learning few pages initially n understand before moving to another topic
mini
play a sport of your choice for half an hour or listen to your fav music, develop your positive outlook towards life
mini
learn to balance work play study
mini
n health
mini
I'm struggling with BPD cptsd major anxiety disorders and going to college for a psychology degree. trying to maintain motivation is difficult. what can I do?
Sarah
I already meditate take my meds use biofeedback and several other things
Sarah
As a student, it is normal to lose motivation during college life but look at the long term goal. What do you want to achieve at the end? Divide it into small achieveable goals. Once you achieve it, focus on 2nd small goal. Last thing, it's okay to ask for help when needed. We are all in a journey.
mehdi
what's your friend's circle
muhammad
khawla saadouni yes how can I help you ?
KhaLid
Sarah you need CBT it will be effective on that what you are experiencing !!
KhaLid
implicit memory are those type of memories which can be written without any unconsciousness
Aayu Reply
m interested in this research...
Arnav
me too plz I am suffering from depression so v forgetful which has ruined my life
Sins
yes plank youth
Shawnte
0rayers poracles a d majik
Shawnte
cuffed truthfullcreatibeclarity
Shawnte
sins saintly do you need any help regarding how to cope up ?
KhaLid
nebieiluvrue
Shawnte
yes
Shawnte
what do you mean by sensory memory
Aayu Reply
sensory memory simply is an automatic response, not under conscious control. It deals with the input from the senses. 
KhaLid
what is the name of a person who introduction the techniques of factors analysis in intelligence
JobJoy Reply
what is associated with the developmental
JobJoy
lifelong spiritual advice
Zach Reply
Can you define spiritual Zach?
Emely
Are teeth part of our minds?
Kamil
who introduced the technique of factor analysis in intelligence
JobJoy Reply
Spearman's (1904)
Stephen
apart from Spearmans 1904 who again
JobJoy
Howard Garner
Komal
what scattered and worn triage has created upon resisting the internal anabalistic instinct to kill and conquer
Shawnte Reply
can anyone please recommend me some good psychology books?
Fareha
Id love to help but i would need to know about you.
Shawnte
Hahahahaha
Zain
Hey, I'm a 2nd year college student doing majors in psychology, i really love to read about different psychological concepts that effect us today's world, it would be great if you could recommend any books, thanks.
Fareha
lol @zain its ok i hope i get some books recommend too now
Fareha
anything related to the today's worlds issues and its factors related to the psychological effects
Fareha
obviously psychological concepts that effect about us today related to that @mujtaba
KhaLid
fareha Fatima have you ever read any book related to emotional intelligence?
KhaLid
@Khalid yes i did a few you can recommend me any book anyways
Fareha
thank you @Mujtaba i just downloaded the pdf.
Fareha
interesting emotional intelligence?
Sheila
interpretation of dreams sigmund frued behaviourism by JB Watson the ego and the Id by Sigmund frued
KhaLid
emotional waring made me mick bravery to even introduce my superiority complex without hiding...
Shawnte
yes especially by Daniel Goleman@sheila Henderson
KhaLid
how do i determine if im schizo because the voices i somtimes hear/feel are real.. it dosnt help my borderline personality disorder
Edward
Edward those types of labels are just words trying to capture the equation of some phenomenal behavioristic traits some have been both cursed and blessed with.
Shawnte
@Fareha erich fromm is very interesting
Mal
@Fareha read about personality by Sigmund Frued, Albert Adler & Eric Fromm..... & read about School of thoughts of Psychology...
Zain
electric field lines never cross why?
Hejab
how much patients can one have with a special needs child?
Edward Reply

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Source:  OpenStax, Psychology. OpenStax CNX. Feb 03, 2015 Download for free at https://legacy.cnx.org/content/col11629/1.5
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