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Title page for ETD etd-07182016-114933

Type of Document Dissertation
Author Yih, Jennifer
URN etd-07182016-114933
Title Uncovering Relationships Between Appraisal, Emotion, and Coping: Emotion as a Process
Degree PhD
Department Psychology
Advisory Committee
Advisor Name Title
Craig A. Smith Committee Chair
Adriane E. Seiffert Committee Member
James H. Steiger Committee Member
Leslie D. Kirby Committee Member
Terry A. Maroney Committee Member
  • emotion differentiation
  • appraisal theory
  • cognitive psychology
  • affective science
Date of Defense 2016-06-30
Availability unrestricted
Our understanding of emotion and coping is limited in that theorists and researchers have generally failed to observe the full adaptational process, from emotion elicitation to coping. Across three studies, I capitalized on the strengths of different research designs to investigate the relationships between appraisal, motivation, and coping among various negative and positive emotions. In Study 1, I conducted a retrospective survey of emotional experience and modeled the coherence between appraisal, motivation, and coping. By uncovering the patterns of appraisal, motivation, and coping for each emotion, I differentiated among 20 distinct emotions. In Study 2, I experimentally manipulated appraisals of problem-focused coping potential and observed the effects of this manipulation on coping during a difficult learning task. The appraisal of high problem-focused coping potential interacted with perceived competence to influence the use of various engagement-related coping strategies. Finally, in Study 3, I conducted a prospective survey of how undergraduate students experienced and coped with their emotions prior to, as well as after, taking two exams across a two-month period. Results supplement the findings from Studies 1 and 2, providing evidence of how prior appraisal and coping impact present emotional experience. Taken together, the three studies reveal the elegant coherence between appraisal, emotion, motivation, and coping.
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