Term of Award

Spring 2022

Degree Name

Master of Science in Experimental Psychology (M.S.)

Document Type and Release Option

Thesis (open access)

Copyright Statement / License for Reuse

Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.


Department of Psychology

Committee Chair

Jeff Klibert

Committee Member 1

Jessica Brooks

Committee Member 2

Karen Naufel


Stress is a non-specific reaction to the body (Jamieson et al., 2018), defined as a feeling of tension when one’s personal resources are taxed or exceeded (Folkman & Lazarus, 1985). Coping mechanisms for stress often focus on reducing associated features (Connor-Smith & Flachsbart, 2007). However, stress can produce challenge states, mindsets where individuals perceive personal resources as greater than situational demands (Jamieson et al., 2013). Challenge states are more likely to elicit positive behavior (Jamieson et al., 2018) and improved cognitive performance (Jamieson et al., 2010). One prospective mechanism to foster challenge states is arousal reappraisal, a cognitive mechanism that encourages individuals to view elevated physiological arousal as a positive resource (Moore et al., 2015). The current study examined the effects of a stress arousal reappraisal intervention on self-efficacy and different dimensions of affect during a stressful task in hopes to gain knowledge about how to improve well-being, optimal functioning and subjective happiness during the course of stress (Delegach & Katz-Navon, 2020; Li et al., 2019). The overarching purpose was to fill gaps within the stress and well-being literature, examining the following questions. Forty-nine undergraduate students participated in the study, and valid data were collected from 40 individuals. All participants underwent stress induction. Participants were then randomly assigned to an intervention task (arousal reappraisal vs. control). Participants in each condition completed a speech-task. Participants completed measurements during baseline (Time 1), post stress induction (Time 2), post intervention (Time 3), and post speech-task (Time 4). A series (x3) of 2 Intervention (Control, Reappraisal) x 4 Time (Time 1, Time 2, Time 3, Time 4) Mixed Factorial ANOVAs were used to analyze the data. State measures of self-efficacy, positive affect, and negative affect served as the dependent variables. Results revealed non-significant interaction effects (Intervention x Time) for each dependent variable. These findings run counter to the prevailing literature. Difficulties managing unique environmental confounds within the study may explain why my findings were divergent. In the discussion, I provide unique insights into how the study can be altered to better evaluate the effects of arousal reappraisal interventions on different indices of well-being.

OCLC Number


Research Data and Supplementary Material