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ERIC Number: EJ860928
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2009-Nov
Pages: 31
Abstractor: As Provided
Reference Count: 181
ISSN: ISSN-0033-2909
Cognitive Appraisals and Emotions Predict Cortisol and Immune Responses: A Meta-Analysis of Acute Laboratory Social Stressors and Emotion Inductions
Denson, Thomas F.; Spanovic, Marija; Miller, Norman
Psychological Bulletin, v135 n6 p823-853 Nov 2009
Models of stress and health suggest that emotions mediate the effects of stress on health; yet meta-analytic reviews have not confirmed these relationships. Categorizations of emotions along broad dimensions such as valence (e.g., positive and negative affect) may obscure important information about the effects of specific emotions on physiology. Within the context of the integrated specificity model, we present a novel theoretical framework that posits that specific emotional responses associated with specific types of environmental demands influence cortisol and immune outcomes in a manner that would have likely promoted the survival of our ancestors. We analyzed experiments from 66 journal articles that directly manipulated social stress or emotions and measured subsequent cortisol or immune responses. Judges rated experiments for the extent to which participants would experience theoretically relevant cognition and affect clustered around five categories: (a) cognitive appraisals, (b) basic emotions, (c) rumination and worry, (d) social threat, and (e) global mood states. As expected, global mood states were unassociated with the effect sizes, whereas exemplars from the other categories were generally associated with effect sizes in the expected manner. The present research suggests that coping strategies that alter appraisals and emotional responses may improve long-term health outcomes. This might be especially relevant for stressors that are acute or imminent, threaten one's social status, or require extended effort. (Contains 9 figures, 6 tables and 6 footnotes.)
American Psychological Association. Journals Department, 750 First Street NE, Washington, DC 20002-4242. Tel: 800-374-2721; Tel: 202-336-5510; Fax: 202-336-5502; e-mail:; Web site:
Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Evaluative
Education Level: N/A
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A